How to Deal with Unscannable Paper?

Scanning makes it possible to convert human-readable data into a digital file that requires a computer to read. Paper is the most used medium for scanning documents. Sometimes, however, documents can decline to scan due to problems with the paper. Unscannable paper is a result of various factors, including rough texture, wrong colour combinations and copy protections. Even the wrong ink on paper can raise issues when scanning. Several tactics can help you deal with unscannable paper and ensure that you get the necessary files.

Photocopying then Scanning

Some type of paper like carbonic, origami and conductively-coated paper may not produce the best results when fed into a scanner. The ink used and the level of contrast can also make some paper documents problematic to scan. Paper that is too heavy or thick might also be unscannable with some machines. The solution in these cases would be to photocopy the document then scan it. This option is suitable when the quality of the scanned document is not a big issue because photocopying first can degrade some aspects like watermarks.

Pick Smooth Paper

Texture is an element that affects the scannability of paper. A rough surface can mess with the functioning of the document feeder, causing the scanner to fail. The scanning machine can pick up the texture of the paper and include it in the final image. This reproduction can interfere with the eligibility of the text. An image can appear broken if the texture of the paper is too rough. For this reason, check the texture of the paper before scanning a document and if possible, use a smooth surface.

Insist on Standard Paper Sizes for Batches

A common problem with unscannable documents is the use of non-standard paper size. The edges of most papers are unscannable, meaning that any content in those regions will not reflect after a scan. For example, with A4 paper, 3 mm from the top, bottom, left and right sides are unscannable. These margins may be larger or smaller in other paper sizes. Therefore, when scanning a batch, ensure that all documents are of one size.

Use a Smartphone

In some instances, it is impossible to fix the paper to get it to scan. What you can do here is to use an alternative to traditional scanning machines. Smartphones now come with features that allow you to scan documents the same way as with a regular scanner. An application like Scan Ticket downloads onto your iPhone and lets you scan tickets without any issues by taking pictures. Another upside of the scanning tool is that it stores a history of scans, which helps with your record keeping.

Individual Scanning on a Flatbed

Flatbed scanners are useful when dealing with paper that is too thick. Paper thickness can make it difficult to run documents through an automatic feeder. In such instances, you can place single documents on a flatbed scanner to convert your human-readable text into computer files.

Uscannable paper can be frustrating when you have to transfer data into a computer-readable format. However, with a few adjustments, you can find a way around most of the problems that make paper unscannable.