Scan? Yes You Can!
The fax machine is all but dead, so scanning documents is a vital feature for today’s home office. Here’s the thing, though: Most all-in-one printers are plug-and-play for printing and copying, but their scanning features require a little more work to set up.
Scanning is the creation of an electronic copy of a document or photo, rather than a paper copy.
Most printer/scanners are capable of sending a photo file (.jpg or .tif) to your computer even without special software, but to create a professional copy of a document, especially a multi-page document, that can be stored, emailed, etc., you’ll want to create a .pdf file. PDF stands for “portable document format,” and is commonly opened with free Adobe Acrobat software.
Scanning to PDF format usually requires downloading and installing the advanced software from your printer’s manufacturer.
Each manufacturer (HP, Canon, Brother, etc.) has their own software, and they offer it for both PC and Mac. Once installed, it will allow your scanner to communicate directly with your computer, and allow you to initiate a scan from the printer’s console or from your computer directly. If you have to place each page manually on the glass (i.e., your printer doesn’t have an automatic document feeder), the special software is essential. The software allows you to create the PDF document and save the file to your computer.
It is important to make sure you install the correct software package for your printer directly from the CD that comes with it, or from the genuine manufacturer’s website. Beware of websites that masquerade as providers of printer software, as their downloads may contain malware.