All scanning software has the same basic capabilities.  Here is a list of the details that most software has in common.

  • Scan to a directory.  Almost all scanning programs can scan to a directory.
  • Create.tif or .pdf files.  Almost all scanning programs can create single or multi-page .tif or .pdf files.
  • Image types.  Most scanning programs can save .jpg, .tif and .pdf files.  A few can also save .gif, .png, and .bmp.
  • Manually name a file.  Almost all scanning programs can manually name a scanned file.
  • TWAIN interface.  This is like a printer driver but for scanners.  Don’t buy a scanning software program unless it has a TWAIN interface because 99% of all scanners use a TWAIN interface.
  • Color.  Most scanning software can scan in both black and white and color.
  • Two-sided scanning (duplex).  Most scanning programs can handle scanning 1 or 2 sides.  You can get by with software that only scans one side, but why would you?
  • Scanning resolution.  Scanners can do 200, 300 or 400 dpi (dots per inch) resolution.  The standard for scanning is either 200 or 300 dpi.  We recommend 300 dpi for better image quality.  Image size is slightly bigger, but hard drive space is cheap.  Make sure your scanning software can handle easily changing resolution.
  • Paper sizes.  Scanning 8.5 x 11 or 8.5 x 14 paper is easy.  Check to see if the scanning software handles different page sizes as well as custom page sizes.
  • Image quality.  Almost all scanning programs can set brightness and contrast.
  • Continuous feeding.  Almost all scanning programs offer a continue/stop option to allow the document feeder to be refilled.
  • Image preview.  Most scanning programs offer the ability to preview images as they are being scanned.
  • Blank page detection.  Most scanning programs offer the ability to detect and remove blank pages.
  • Hot folder.  Many scanning programs have the ability to pickup images from a “hot” or “watched” folder either manually or automatically.