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Scanner info and advice needed

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My kids have a broken scanner. I have never used one, and I have a few questions. I know that one can take a photograph or a piece of paper and scan it into a computer. Am I right so far? If I am, I think I will take a giant leap into the 21st century and buy myself a scanner.




1. Are some scanners better than others at scanning photographs?

I have 4 large packing boxes of photos of the kids dating from 1994. I want to scan these into my computer. Then, I want to edit them using Photoshop or other software. After that, I want to file them and print them as I want them.


My ultimate goal is to throw away the boxes full of photos.


2. Can paperwork be scanned and tossed?


I have tons of paperwork in files that I have to save. About 2/3 of them are related to our businesses. Most of this paperwork is related to our income taxes in case we are audited.


A. Can I use a scanner to copy this stuff, put it in files on my computer, and then throw away all the paper?


B. Will the IRS and other tax and government agencies accept scanned paperwork instead of actual receipts and invoices as proof that backs up deductions taken?


3. Are really good photo scanners also really good paperwork scanners? If so, which would you recommend? Nothing is larger than 8.5" x 11". I do not have a price range -- I just want the photos to look good when they are printed, and the paperwork to satisfy the government.


PS I have Carbonite for backup.


Thank you,


Edited by RoughCollie
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1) ABSOLUTELY!!! You really need to decide what types of things you are going to mainly scan, long-term, and go from there. A high quality flat-bed scanner is probably best for pictures, but a more compact feed-thru is best for paperwork.


2) I work at an accounting firm and we scan ALL of our client documents and discard or return originals to the client. According to the IRS, it is basically the best possible copies available that you would use in defense of an audit. If you have scanned and discarded the originals, then the best copies available are the scans!!


At home for my personal businesses, we also scan & shred all paperwork (except receipts - my scanner at home isn't nice enough to do that easily, so we just throw them into envelopes). I scan all my tax returns. In fact, whatever I can I just print directly to pdf (using a free pdf print driver) and then whatever else I want to keep I scan! :)


3) I don't know much about picture scanners, but my home HP C309a seems to do a pretty decent job. It has both a flat-bed portion and a document feed-through portion, so I can use it for paperwork as well. It is a pretty good compromise between pictures and documents, if that is your goal, but it is definitely not ideal for documents. (It is also a color printer, copier & fax machine) I have had problems with it doing duplex on the document feeder - that seems to jam the machine, so I'm just going to quit doing it!!


What I LOVE is the Fujitsu ScanSnap that I have at work! It is an AWESOME document scanner and easily compensates for size (tiny receipts to legal). It is also SUPER-quick and does a great job of image processing. Unfortunately... it cost about $450! So, no nice toys for me at home... :) It only has feed-through, so if it could do pictures (I don't know) they'd have to be ones you could send through the feeder. It does do high-quality color, so if it can accept them it probably does well.


PS - we started our adventure into paperless storage at work with flat-bed scanners for all (they were pretty cheap & a good starting point). We quickly realized that high quantities of paperwork really require sheet-feeding, fast scanners. At this point, all but 2 of the people in the office now have the Fujitsu.

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DS14 (Noghiri) says:

A1: Yes. For example, a high-quality Epson dedicated scanner will be better than a Samsung All-in-One (i.e. Scanner/printer/faxer machine).




b) I have no idea. I'd keep a hard copy just in case in a firebox.



Yes. Black and White paper is less demanding than photos.

For a recommendation, ask the people at http://www.maximumpc.com/forums/

This is my "Home Forum", and the people are very reliable. They are more knowledgeable about scanners than I am. Most of them are good at breaking down the best of each general price area, and will not steer you wrong.

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