Scanning Apps

Major points

How I use them: 
  • I use scanning apps to digitally record books and articles I need for my research.

  • I scan using my iPad and a tabletop cradle, then wirelessly export the document to my computer, where I save it to DEVONThink for easy archiving and filing.

  • While several scanning apps provide multilingual OCR, I am unsure of their quality for Japanese documents (one of my major languages of study) and prefer to convert to OCR on my computer, using either ABBYY FineReader software built into DEVONThink or Adobe Acrobat. At present, DEVONThink does not support East Asian languages, and so I use Adobe for Japanese. DEVONThink 3.0, which is due to be released in 2019, does support East Asian language OCR conversion.

What I look for:
  • I need a hands-free scanning app that will automatically take pictures of the text so that I can use both hands to hold the book and turn pages

  • I need a scanning app that provides clear and high quality scans that are legible when zoomed in and that can be easily converted to OCR (this is especially important for Japanese). I also do not want the scans to be too large. 

  • I need a scanning app that easily 

  • Bonus: allow for setting the exact scan size (I would prefer a colored border that would block out my fingers and allow me to exactly line up the text and images I want scanned, but I haven't found that yet). 

  • Bonus: allow for customization of image size and quality

  • Bonus: can split pages down the middle and allows user to set reading order (ABBYY FineReader can split pages, but it does not allow to set reading order, which renders it inconvenient for most Japanese books). 

  • Bonus: a setup function that allows me a moment to set the specifications of the text and the layout before it starts taking pictures; also, an easily accessed pause button 

  • Bonus: the chance to delete or retake pictures while in the midst of scanning as well as after the job is finished

Disclaimer: Advice and suggestions are based upon personal experience as a student, applicant, and administrator. Listed content may not be fully comprehensive or applicable to all situations or circumstances. All content is original, but it is not necessarily unique and may bear similarities with others' suggestions. Content will also grow and adapt as I gain more experience.

Anyone making use of the resources and suggestions listed here are encouraged to seek out additional recommendations to build their own personalized approaches to navigating the often intimidating world of academia.

©2021 by Abigail I. MacBain