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Scanning a book

Posted: Wed Sep 02, 2015 4:14 pm
by kelp7
Help! Anyone else tackled the tricky procedure of scanning a book into their PC? I've got a couple of old retro computing books which are roughly A5 sized and I'd like to scan them but a lot of the program listings etc go right near the spine of the book and despite putting a heavy weight on the flatbed scanner's lid it will not squash the book down enough, you get very blurred text near the spine. Bit annoying. I'm prepared for the answer "it's not possible without breaking the spine" but just asking in case anyone's got any experience of this... cheers in advance.

Re: Scanning a book

Posted: Thu Sep 03, 2015 9:51 am
by TwoHeadedBoy
Yep, afraid that's your only option. Thought there'd be a way around it, but too many times have I heard that sickening snap of the spine when trying to scan big old books :(

Re: Scanning a book

Posted: Thu Sep 03, 2015 10:24 am
by pantal00ns
I'll set myself up for abuse with some possibly stupid suggestions:

1) Can you get some good handheld scanners these days? I found an old amiga one in a pile of stuff the other day, though I have never used one. Would take a long time and repeatability could be an issue.

2) With digital cameras in phone or otherwise being so good these days, you could make a Blue Peter style frame to hold it at a set distance and in the same place. A lot of pictures it would be! but you could set it up as you wanted afterwards?

Re: Scanning a book

Posted: Thu Sep 03, 2015 10:49 am
by kelp7
Thanks both. I'm taking the book to a local printing / copying shop on saturday who will see if they can remove the binding, bit of a shame but the price to pay for having a decent scan. I did try my digital camera last night funnily enough but it didn't really produce the results I'm after, plus I usually scan into Foxit Phantom PDF to generate OCR'd files and it wasn't too happy with the jpeg produced by my camera.

Re: Scanning a book

Posted: Thu Sep 03, 2015 11:46 am
by Treguard
kelp7 wrote:Thanks both. I'm taking the book to a local printing / copying shop on saturday who will see if they can remove the binding, bit of a shame but the price to pay for having a decent scan. I did try my digital camera last night funnily enough but it didn't really produce the results I'm after, plus I usually scan into Foxit Phantom PDF to generate OCR'd files and it wasn't too happy with the jpeg produced by my camera.
ABBYY are a company that specialize in software for this kind of thing, have a look at their website.

Re: Scanning a book

Posted: Mon Sep 07, 2015 7:29 pm
by RetroAerosmith
I wouldnt bother getting a handheld scanner. I bought one to scan old annuals and its so tricky to use, you need a fluid movement and each jerk of your hand creates a white line on the end result. Also the scanner only kicks in when the movement wheels are pressed and if the wheels go off the end of the page it stops leaving the width of the scanner off the bottome of the picture off. hope that makes sense.

Re: Scanning a book

Posted: Wed Sep 09, 2015 1:16 am
by kelp7
It was all cool in the end. A local printing / copying shop got rid of the binding for me for a couple of quid and my flatbed obviously scanned it in better quality than I could ever manage with the binding still in place.