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Flatbed Scanner Information

Updated April 17, 2017

Flatbed scanners are popular and can be found in many homes, probably even yours. If you have a multi-use printer that copies and faxes, you have a flatbed scanner in your home. All scanners work in essentially the same way.

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Scanner Basics

Flatbed scanners are devices that feature a glass top covered by a plastic shield. To use it, you place a drawing, photograph or other printed document face down on the glass and close or lower the plastic cover. When you activate the scan feature, a light shines from under the plastic and a copy of your paper appears on your monitor.

The Finer Details

Scanners typically give you the option of setting your "dpi". This three-letter code refers to the historical process of ink printing in which the printer deposits so many "dots per inch" on the page. Although you may not always be scanning for print, ScanTips explains that this terminology has come to be used whether you are talking about dots per inch on the page, pixels per inch on the screen or samples per inch taken in the process of scanning.

The Extras

Flatbed scanners can offer you a range of features depending on the model you own. Sign Industry highlights the OCR function many scanners have that enables them to recognise text characters, making them editable. Other models offer a page feed accessory option so you can scan multiple images or a film/slide scanning accessory.

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About the Author

Wendy Strain

Wendy Strain's professional career started in 2000 with small community newspapers in Texas. She holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in English, education and graphic arts from Texas Wesleyan University and Westwood College, plus independent study in many areas. The ideas she’s discovered through her non-fiction work is reflected in her works of fantasy and fiction.

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