Tag Archives: Optical Character Recognition

Canon CD-4050 Scanner Review

 The Canon CD-4050 scanner is a compact sheet-fed scanner with tons of cool features to help your office and business run smoothly.

Canon CD-4050

Dimensions:

  • 14 in. x 18 in. x 9 in.
  • 46 lbs.
  • The scanner is pretty compact, but slightly heavy. It’d fit most places in a small office, but might be a hassle if it needs to be moved around.

Scan Resolution:

  • 300 DPI.
  • Your text documents will look clean and crisp. Your images…Ehhhh. If you do a lot of image scanning, this probably isn’t the scanner for you.

Speed:

  • 37 PPM.
  • Definitely not super fast, but it’s not slow either.
  • This scanner hits right around the median of scanners like it when it comes to pages per minute.

Media:

  • Maximum scan size of 11 in. x 14 in.
  • It’s a sheet-fed scanner, so you’re mostly dealing with plain paper.

Other Features:

  • Automatic document feeder with 100 sheet capacity.
  • Scan to e-mail capabilities.
  • OCR software.
  • Barcode recognition.
  • Easy-to-use LCD touch screen.

Overall Rating: 8/10

The CD-4050 scanner has some really great features that make it more user-friendly and hassle-free than most other scanners like it.

  • The large LCD touch screen is downright amazing. It is a high resolution touch screen that enables users to control all scanning operations and create customized filing systems easily and efficiently. The LCD screen also allows you to preview all scanned documents. It’s connected to the scanner by a semi-long cord that allows you to bring the touch screen to your desk with you, making scanning even easier and more efficient.
  • All the software additions. The OCR, barcode recognition, and scan-to-email capabilities make it, again, an incredibly user-friendly scanner.
  • The size. It’s incredibly compact, though a bit heavy. It’ll fit in any nook or cranny with no problem. Yes, it’s heavy, but because it has that movable LCD screen, you probably won’t be needing to move the scanner around too much anyways.

You’re probably asking yourself why, if it has so many wonderful features, it didn’t get 10/10? Well…

  • The scan resolution. It’s not bad, but it’s also not great. You’re limited in your scanning options, as image scans will not look as good as you might want them.
  • The speed. Again, it’s not bad, but it’s also not great. It’s not crawling, but some companies have mounds and mounds of papers to be scanned. Those companies should look elsewhere for a scanner.
  • You’re also limited in your scanning due to the fact that it does not have a flatbed. Sheet-fed scanners are great, but sometimes you need to scan 3D objects or thicker paper or something that can’t be put through a sheet-fed scanner. Those are the times that it’s nice to have the versatility that a flatbed scanner offers.

The Canon CD-4050 scanner is a great, compact scanner that has tons of extra features that make it one of the easiest scanners out there. Its huge LCD screen is a huge bonus when it comes to working smarter. If speed and amazing scan quality are the most important things for your business, you’re probably better off choosing a different scanner. However, if they’re not as big of a priority, this scanner could be perfect for your business. If you’re looking to buy one, they’re sold on Ebay and ScannerParts.biz!

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The Best Flatbed Scanners for any Budget

You know when you go to the grocery store, and there’s a million different pasta sauces? Different brands, different ingredients, organic or not, you get the picture. It’s exhausting. I just want some red sauce to put on my spaghetti. We’ve all been there. Shopping for scanners is basically the same, except you don’t get a delicious meal at the end of it.

I’m breaking down some of the best flatbed scanners out there based on price points in hopes that you can forego the endless research and headaches associated with buying electronics. Don’t worry, I’ll scale ’em for you by prices from $$$$$$.

Canon Canosccan LIDE 210$: For a low price, just $60, the Canon CanoScan LiDE 210 still packs a punch.  If you won’t be doing too much heavy-duty document scanning then this could be a great option for you. They have great image quality and a sleek design, are lightweight and easily stored, and can scan any of your basic needs. The negatives? Well, some reviews say its software can be finicky and not always as intuitive as some might like. Additionally, its OCR is said to not be up to par. To be fair, it’s only $65 for a fully functional scanner. As they say, beggars can’t be choosers.

Epson Perfection V370$$: Moving on up, the Epson Perfection V370 could be perfect for your home or office if you’ve got a little more cash to spend. At just $119.99, this flatbed scanner is still incredibly affordable. It’s great because it can scan a full-sized sheet of paper as well as photos and film. It also is incredibly easy to scan to cloud services (Google Docs, Evernote, etc.). Some drawbacks: the scanner has had some issues with software compatibility. Some say that it doesn’t work with Macs, others say it’s Windows 7 that’s the problem. It could just be that reviewers aren’t tech-savvy and couldn’t figure out the set-up process, but be aware that your computer might have some issues with set-up and getting started with this scanner.

Fujitsu ScanSnap S1300i$$$: In the middle of the road, we have the Fujitsu ScanSnap S1300i. It comes in at $249.99. It features an automatic feeder, OCR capabilities that can convert to editable Word, Excel, and PDF documents,  and the ability to scan 12 double-sided pages per minute. It’s very lightweight at just 3 pounds and is compatible with both Mac and PCs. What more could you want?! I’ll tell you. Some shortcomings: There is no TWAIN, WIA, or ISIS support, which means that the scanner isn’t able to work with any 3rd party application interface. This can be tricky for office use. If you don’t need those things, though, this scanner otherwise comes very highly recommended.

Visioneer OneTouch$$$$: Beginning the higher-end scanners we’re going with the Visioneer OneTouch 9520. It goes for about $349, give or take. The OneTouch has amazing image quality, and can scan more than 281 trillion colors. Yes, that’s with a “tr-“. Its scan density is insane, making it possible to scan film and film negatives without any degradation in quality. It also supports optical character recognition (OCR) so, like the ScanSnap, it can create editable documents from your scans. It also is a great option for anyone doing 3D scans. Any downfalls? Although it is compatible with Mac and Windows, there have been reports of it not being very “user-friendly.” It also is said to have a short lamp life, but you can always buy another lamp and replace it.

HP Scanjet n6350$$$$$:  The granddaddy of them all. Okay, we may have made a little bit of jump. At $1,099.99 we have the luxe HP Scanjet N6350. This is the scanner you think of when you envision an office scanner. It’s big, has an automatic document feeder (that holds a whopping 50 sheets), and is mostly used for plain old paper. What makes this (possibly) worth your wild is that it’s consistent. HP is a trusted name in scanners and printers, and their customer service is top-notch. If something goes wrong, you will most likely be helped. It gives great image quality, is compatible with Macs and PCs, scans quickly and efficiently, and is dependable. What’s not to love? Well, it is somewhat bulky, which means you’ll need to have enough space to actually store it. Its product description says it’s primarily for your paper scanning needs, but you can absolutely use it for more than that.

Have another scanner that you love and are dying to tell us about? Leave a comment, we’d love to hear from you! Happy scanner hunting!

OCR Made Easy

ocr-scanningFor those of you who don’t know OCR stands for Optical Character Recognition. In layman’s terms, OCR stands for the ability to scan a document and then be able to directly edit and search that document. OCR software recognizes characters (letters) of scanned documents and creates a workable document consisting of those characters. It can save you time, energy, and money by doing any re-typing of documents for you. Need to scan a book and then be able to search for key words within it? OCR is your friend. Of course, no OCR software is flawless quite yet, but a good one will only require minor editing of the document in question.

There are many different OCR software options available to you, ranging in
price from $50-$500. True, some do work better than others and may be worth your while to invest in. Some well-reviewed OCR software options can be found here  and here!

However, if you’re just beginning with OCR software, or if it would only be utilized for a “one-time” project for your home or business, then you’re in luck, because you probably already have OCR software on your computer!

If you have Microsoft Office installed on your computer, then you most likely already have OCR software installed and ready to use.  The steps for using it are super simple:

  1. Click on Start, All Programs, and then Microsoft Office. From there, you should find “Document Imaging” either in the list of applications, or under “Microsoft Office Tools.” Click!
  2. Put the document you would like to scan in the scanner and make sure your scanner is turned on. Now, on your computer, under the File tab, choose “Scan New Document.”
  3. Follow the prompts! Do you want it black and while or color? Gray scale? Why not! Choose the presets that are best for your project. The software’s default is to pull the paper from the automated document feeder. If that’s not what you want, click on the “Scanner” button and uncheck the “Use automatic document feeder” button.
  4. Once you’re ready to scan, click the “Scan” button to begin!
  5. Once the document is finished scanning, click on Tools and select “Send Text to Word.” From there, it should open up a Word document for you with the text of your scanned document!

Make sure to go through for editing purposes, as it most likely won’t be perfect. But still, for free and basically no hassle, it’s a great tool to use.