Printers and Copiers Understanding Scanning

woman scanning documents at copier

Printers and Copiers Understanding Scanning

A few years ago scanning options on most commercial multifunction copiers and printers were sold separately as an add on feature. Sometimes additional software, hardware, or licenses were required to provide scanning functionality. But now, in an effort to keep up with the competition many manufactures have begun to provide scanning functionality as a standard feature on new equipment.

And that’s great news for you if your in the market for new equipment. Because it means you won’t have to pay extra money to be able to use your machine as an office scanner.

The Basic Scanning Options

Scanning can be complicated, and there are many variables that can make a big impact to your workflow. Such as file size, scanning speed and resolution, file type, encryption, network protocols, scanning to cloud applications, OCR, image editing, file management, and security. In the interest of brevity this article is limited to the basic scan functions that you should be knowledgeable about when purchasing a new machine. The more in-depth information will be covered in other articles. But if you have questions please contact me. I’ll be happy to try and answer them for you.

Scan To Fax

Scanning to fax is scanning a document and sending it as a fax. Of course faxing is nothing new but with modern equipment there are a lot more options and the speed and quality are much better. One very nice feature you should know about is forwarding an incoming fax to your email or to a network folder. Fax forwarding is a used in many offices because it saves paper, prevents lost faxes, make distribution options easier, and saves a trip walking over to the fax machine. Another great feature is the ability to send a fax directly from your PC.

Scan To Email

This is a another great feature used in many offices. Load your documents on the document feeder and have them scanned as a PDF, JPEG, or TIFF file, and sent to an email address designated by you. Typically there will be a one touch button on the operation panel programmed with the desired recipients address. You can also manually designate email addresses as desired. If the scanned files will be to big for email distribution then you will need to use SMB scanning or scan to FTP, explained below.

SMB Scanning

SMB scanning is a widely used scanning process. It is similar to scan to email except the scanned document is sent to a folder located on your PC or a folder located on the network. Typically SMB scanning will result in the file getting to your folder faster (than to your email inbox) since the file does not have to travel through an email server. Not that you need to know this but SMB is an abbreviation for Server Message Block.

Scan to FTP

This scanning option is not often used in small offices but is available on most multifunction devices for scanning to a FTP server. The functionality is basically the same as SMB scanning. The only difference is that the file is sent to an FTP server (like FileZilla) instead of a file folder. Again not that you need to know this but FTP is an abbreviation for File Transfer Protocol.

Twain Scanning

This is an older scanning technology that is still supported by most manufactures. This type of scanning is used to scan documents directly into programs such as Photoshop. The difference here is that the machine does not push the documents to the application, the documents are pulled into the application from the PC workstation.

Scan To USB

This is a handy option available on some machines. Scan your documents to a USB storage device like a thumb-drive and take them with you. If you desire this feature make sure that the machine is also enabled to print from the USB device as well. Sometimes the ability to print some file types like PDF files comes as an add on feature.

Scan to HDD

Scan documents to the devices hard drive if it is so equipped. This allows for fast document retrieval and printing right at the device. With files that are printed frequently like letterhead or job applications store them on the hard drive and then print them right from the machine.

Copiers And Printers Understanding Scanning Summary

Scanning is one of the more complicated aspects of multifunction printers and copiers. Getting the right options and knowing how to use them will make a big difference in how satisfied you are with your machine selection. Consulting with a knowledgeable professional can lower your overall printing costs. At SOS we perform document workflow evaluations for our customers and help them discover the true cost of handling their documents. Typically we can save our customers 20%-40% while introducing new solutions that make document handling easier. Feel free to contact our friendly and courteous staff. In just a few minutes we can let you know if you can realize these same savings.

Our friendly and professional staff are available 8 AM – 5 PM Mon-Fri to answer questions and schedule appointments.

Call us at: 877-852-0044

contact sos life preserver icon

Scroll to Top