Scanners for the home office

Continuing our series for home working, we look at the need for scanning from our home office. Creating a PDF document from a paper copy is essential when dealing with signed documents. When you’re in the office it’s easy with an all-in-one printer. However, if you don’t have an combined printer, then it can be an issue. There’s plenty of ways to easy solve this problem and leave you setup for your mobile requirements in the future.

Mobile scanning apps

There are lots of apps available which integrate with the built in phone camera, but one which stands our for functionality is Tiny Scanner.

Almost anything you expect to be scanned could be perfectly recognized by Tiny Scanner. For instance, documents, books, receipts, notes, photos, IDs, passports, whiteboards, posters, cards, letters, newspapers, screens, licenses, menus, certificates, music scores, etc.

It’s available for download on the Google Play store and the Apple Store. Although currently £4.99 in the Apple Store, the comments and huge number of downloads speaks for itself.

We know that a number of mediators have downloaded this app and think it’s perfect for the job.

Portable handheld scanners

If you don’t have a phone with a suitably high definition camera, then you may want to look at a small handheld scanner. There’s plenty to chose from, and cheaper than getting a new smartphone!

One such device is the Iris – Iriscan Book 5 portable colour scanner. Simply roll the device across the document, and the image of the document will tbe saved automatically into the memory card. This can then be transferred to your computer. The scanner also has a built in OCR reader which converts the images into text to allow you to edit on your computer. It also can convert the text into audio files if you choose!

One of the disadvantages is the area which you can scan. If you are scanning a single sheet of paper on a flat surface, this is unimportant, but this is the “Book 5” and depending on your needs, this device cannot capture the whole page. If you are trying to create an document which is printed to the edge of the paper, this device is not capable of achieving this.

Brother have also provided a larger portable scanner which is capable of 2 sided document scanning. The Brother DS-720D Document Scanner does require that the documents are loose sheets to pass through the scanner, and therefore limited for some applications.

It does however enable the entire document to be scanned right up to the end of the document, unlike the Iriscan.

The included software supports saving the scanned image to a number of different destinations, to a local file or image, to a shared folder, email, FTP, or printer.

Brother DS-920DW Document Scanner supports wireless functionality, along with scanning of passports or drivers licenses for easy scanning.

Your choice will depend on how tech-savy you are. One point to consider is how you get the scanned image to your computer for saving or sending to a client.