I’ve been using the Xcanex scanner, concentrating on using it to scan books. I mentioned here this scanner and some of its advantages, but let me explain what attracted me to this scanner to begin with, and then share some tips for its use.
This is a small scanner, that is powered by the USB port that it is plugged into and is small and compact enough to transport with your laptop to the library, etc. It takes an image of what is placed in its field, but the real power comes from the software that processes the images. You can scan single pages or receipts easily, but when you are scanning a book, you place the book under the scanner and adjust its position, then in automatic mode the scanner knows to perform its scan when the movement of the item to be scanned stops for several seconds.
Then you turn the pages to scan all the odd numbered pages, without having to stress the binding to try to get an image of both sides of the book at once. At the end of the book, you turn the book aroud 180 degrees to be able to scan the even pages, from back to front. The software detects when the book has been rotated from the upside down text, and keeps the images in a second column on the laptop screen.
At the end of the scanning, the software optimizes the contrast of the images, adjusts for key stoning, rotates the even numbered pages right side up, and combines all the pages in proper order. Then a pdf is created, with optical character recognition, so that the pdf document is searchable.
Because a page or receipt is scanned all at once in seconds, the operation of the xcanex is much more efficient and much quicker than the use of a flatbed scanner.
Now let me offer some suggestions based on my experience on how to get the most from a xcanex used to scan books:
(1) read the manual and pay attention to the orientation of the scanner, scanning pad and book
(2) also watch the tutorial videos on the xcanex webpage on how to scan a book
(3) practice on a short book or a single chapter until proficient (took me 2 or 3 runs on a 22 page book of my grandmother’s poetry)
(4) remember that when the motion stops, if there is something in the vision of the scanner, it will snap a scan; so, don’t stop the movement of the book or page until it is properly aligned on the real time image of the laptop; and when you finish the even pages, remove the book from the “sight” of the scanner so that it stops the automatic scanning
(5) scanning the book covers separately, or even using a photo from a smart phone works much better than trying to include the covers in an automatic scan of a book. I am told that this area is being improved.
(6) I am also told that the Mac version of the software will be available later this year and I’ll provide an update after I have a chance to try it