Creating a pdf from a scan

To create a pdf from a scan, ideally you want to start with a high quality scan. The scanner should be set to scan at the minimum of 600 DPI (dots per inch) if possible and unless color is used to display meaning, the scan should be black and white.  It should be easy for everyone to read, including individuals with low vision or who use assistive technologies to read text electronically. High quality scans should be free from:

  • Text that is cut off
  • Crooked pages
  • Dark gutters (the margins where shadows occur from curvature in the book’s spine
  • Poor contrast
  • Pages that are rotated 90 or 180 degrees
  • Handwriting
  • Highlighting
  • Underlining
  • Watermarks/coffee stains
  • Poor contrast
  • Excessive use of script or italic fonts
  • Blurry

Check if the scanner has built-in Optical Character Recognition (OCR) capabilities. OCR turns images of text into text that is copy and pasteable. Often, this option is identified as saving a document as a Searchable PDF.  If the scanner does not have built in OCR capabilities you will want to use Adobe DC to accomplish this task.  

If you are scanning a book and you own it, consider removing the binding of the book if the gutter is small or tightly bound. This allows for high speed scanning. The book can then be re-bound with spiral binding for low cost at a local copy shop.

Scanning to do's

During the scanning process, please be aware of the following:

  • Scanning books with a spine – A book with a spine will not naturally lie flat on a scanner which means text on the edges of the page will be distorted. Please push the spine of the book down while scanning to insure that all the text is copied in a clear manner.
  • Don’t combine pages – Limiting each print page to one electronic page will improve reading on mobile platforms. This also helps to speed up the conversion process using OCR software.


Article ID: 139280
Mon 4/25/22 1:49 PM
Mon 2/5/24 1:36 PM