come in two main types -- sheetfed and
flatbed. A sheetfed is small, and operates
when you insert a sheet of paper. A
sheetfed scanner fits easily between your
keyboard and monitor. Sheetfed scanners are great for scanning text quickly,
but don't do photos as well as flatbed
scanners are large, taking up a lot of space. In
addition to better quality photo and image work,
they can be useful for imaging large quantities
of documents if they have an automatic document
either case, think about the interface. Some scanners work only with your parallel port,
which already runs to your printer. Some
printers refuse to run behind a scanner. Get a scanner with USB or firewire connectivity, or a
Trick: Scanners come
with optical character recognition (OCR)
software. Most lawyers are disappointed the
first time they try to copy a pleading.
The line numbers and address at the bottom don't
come through OCR, and you end up with a mess.
Often the line numbers are on one page, the text
This is easy to
overcome. Just OCR the pleading, block and
copy the text -- not the other stuff-- and paste
the text on your pleading paper template.
Then you have interrogatories and can just fill
in the blanks. I wish someone had told me that.
I use a flatbed
for photos. You can get a decent one for
$100, because you really don't need high
resolution for text and exhibits. You
can see a wide selection of scanners at Amazon.
This beauty is the a Hewlett Packard. With its automatic document
feeder, it is the only way to image large
quantities of paper. If you want to scan
long briefs, entire files, or similar stuff,
this is the one you need. All these
mechanical parts are scary, conjuring visions of
expensive repair geeks living in my basement
office. HP products, however, just seem to
work without interruption.
really like my PaperPort. The Visioneer PaperPort software is excellent,
executing when you feed paper. This
is the scanner you want for working with text,
OCR, and getting some of the paper off your
This model is not easy to find, but I like it because
it uses no desk space. At the moment, Amazon has
some in stock. Look for it in the Amazon
box below. If you don't see it, refresh
your browser and maybe it will come up.
And maybe it won't.
Recently, I gave all my scanners away and bought a multifunction machine. So fair, it's been great. I got a
Hewlett Packard OfficeJet D135. It not only works, it works wonders.
Now I can reach everything -- printer, scanner, fax machine -- with no effort. It is also a color copier, color faxer, and probably something
I forgot. The inkjet print quality is just fine. It comes with software for all the various functions. I really like it. It sits
next to my digital lazer copier/printer; everything is right where I need it.