Durham, North Carolina
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Defining Popular Scanning Service Terms
By purchasing or renting scanning software and hardware, you can preserve your old photos and slides. If finding space to store film presents an issue for you, or you are undergoing a move, turning these files into electronic copies can help you meet your needs. Depending on the volume of usage, you might want to buy your own software and equipment, or secure the right to use those belonging to someone else.
USB - This acronym stands for "Universal Serial Bus," the industry standard for connecting up electronic devices. In relation to scanning, it often refers to the specific function of USB mass storage, such as with the small devices known as flash drives.
PDF - An acronym which stands for "portable document format," the software on which this file type is based was created by Adobe Systems. Now officially termed an "open" format not controlled by its creator, this file type could applicably store both text and photos.
Flatbed Scanners - A commonly used example of this type of equipment, these devices are made up of underlying lights, which light up overlying glass panes on which photos or slides can be placed, and sensors which register electronic copies of these.
Output - Some of the various formats in which copies of photos or films can be stored include, in addition to the aforementioned PDF, JPEG and TIFF. One of the main questions to be asked about these formats is about whether or not they compress and consequently lose data.
Resolution - This aspect of storing photos and slides refers to how much detail is contained in the image. This quality is identified by the standard "dpi," or "Dots per inch."
In this day and age, most offices and many homes have their own scanners. However, some small businesses and a lot of householders may lack this useful device. If a person only needs to scan maybe once a month, it may not be worth the money of buying one or the extra desk space. All in one scanners, whilst popular, tend not to last quite as long as specialist printers.
Most scanning services are offered out of store fronts. These store fronts also offer other services such as copying, computer time and sometimes film development. They are also likely to sell stationery and supplies, although often in smaller quantities and at higher prices than an office supply store. They may also sell USB drives. Some large office supply stores may also offer these services.
The scanners used tend to be the flatbed type. Some stores may also have specialist film or slide scanners. Many allow for high quality printing of digital images and photos on specialist paper or slides. Most scanners also have some kind of document feeder, for fast scanning of numerous sheets.
The scanner image can then be put onto a USB drive or printed out. Data is commonly stored as images, but modern OCR software allows the conversion of text into PDF files or other formats. PDF or Portable Document Format is often used for these files. Negative scanners convert film negative into digitized photos that can then be printed out. Most scanned pictures are color. For large projects, mobile or on site services may be offered, sometimes using handheld devices. Some firms may also offer document storage and management. As scanned documents become searchable, they take up less space, and are key to the ideal of the paperless office.