[sane-devel] scanning for archival and OCR

David H. Durgee dhdurgee at comcast.net
Tue Jan 22 17:34:05 UTC 2013

Now that I have my Canon PIXMA MG2120 working as a scanner I was looking 
at the possibility of using it to scan some documents for archival 
purposes.  My intent is to scan some old bills and other documents and 
database them in some manner before disposing of the originals.  As 
these are mostly bills and other documents they tend to be B&W with the 
possible exception of some logos or letter head/foot in color.

I am trying to determine how best to scan and save these documents. I 
would like to be able to reprint them in the future if that becomes 
necessary, implying a high quality scan.  But I am also concerned with 
the size of the saved documents on my system.  What is the best file 
format for saving such documents?  I would imagine that 16 or possibly 
even 8 colors would suffice to represent the documents, assuming the 
palette can be specified.  The documents are likely to be mostly 
white-space, so I would expect them to be highly compressible.

Given I am interested in databasing them I would also think that using 
an OCR program to extract the content would be useful.  I tried a few 
things with that on a small document and encountered problems, given the 
mixed content of the particular document.  Are there any specific 
recommendations for scanning a document with OCR in mind?  As I am 
running linux I am looking at tesseract and cuneiform at this point, at 
least one of which wants a B&W document for input and whose results 
appear to vary quite a bit with the scan resolution.

Am I dealing with conflicting goals?  Will I need to scan each document 
twice or more to accomplish what I want here?


More information about the sane-devel mailing list