Scanning manuals

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Scanning manuals

Post by Coeus » Fri Apr 28, 2017 11:34 pm

What do people use for scanning manuals?

I did the ISO Pascal one recently as it's a reasonable size I didn't want too much manual fiddling. Now bear in mind I am on Linux but I used xsane, did a preview of a couple page to set the scan area and then just did scan to file so each time I hit the scan button it would scan the a double page, trying as best I could to make sure the book was square on the scanner bed. I was scanning to 256 grey level.

As a first attempt to extra individual pages I used Imagemagick - it worked and has the advantage that it is scriptable so once I worked out what co-ordinates to give I could process all the double-pages into pairs of single pages as a batch. After a flick through I decided there were and handful that needed straigtening and that I also wanted to apply some tone curve correction to improve the contrast.

As I use darktable, a program similar to Adobe Lightroom, for photographs I though I'd try doing the straightening there but it would be nice to have all the transformations there - it is a non-destructive editor. That turned out to be pretty simple - select all the images and duplicate, making a virtual copy of each. Find a suitable crop for a right hand page and copy to add odd numbered images, do the same with a crop for a left hand page and copy to all, experiment with a tone curve and copy to all, flick through images and pick a handful for straigneing and the export all to PNG and go back to ImageMagick for multi-PNG to PDF conversion.

That seemed quick enough. Do people generally leave it at that or do you go for OCR and corrections etc?

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Re: Scanning manuals

Post by 1024MAK » Sat Apr 29, 2017 12:10 am

xsane can do OCR. But sometimes it's fair and other times it's not so good...

I used xsane and a flatbed scanner to scan a booklet a while ago. I have also scanned A4 manuals before and it goes get rather tiresome after many pages. So do it in stages and take breaks ;-)

Of course, once you have the images, it's a good idea to crop and straighten them, even if you do not intend to do anything more complex, like OCR or produce a PDF. Again do it in manageable stages. I find that I get distracted by trying to tidy the images by removing unwanted grey and black areas... I'm not normally OCD like that, except with this task! :shock: :?

But it sounds like you have a system that works. Well done =D>

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Re: Scanning manuals

Post by daveejhitchins » Sat Apr 29, 2017 6:46 am

When I worked for a living, goodness (best word I could come up with :roll: ) that seems like a long time ago now - we had an office photocopier that would scan, OCR and save to an editable document all in one go. I was allowed to do this after hours - brilliant! Great for booklets that could be separated, PINA for bound books etc. Can't remember the name of the copier :? - but I suppose a lot of high-end copiers would be capable of this now? Current method is a flat bed scanner :cry:

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