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A scanner is basically an input device that lets a user capture pictures and text and puts it into a digital format that can be edited and stored on a computer.

A scanner is a popular device to add to a computer or a network and the hardware usually comes with quite powerful software. This software typically consists of:

  • Image manipulation programs
  • Optical Character Recognition (OCR) programs

Image manipulation software allows a user to edit pictures and add special effects and many other facilities. Generally, these packages have so many features that many are not used by most users.

OCR software allows a user to scan in text, which could be a page in a book or handwritten notes, and to convert this text to a digital format that can be used by another computer program. One common application is to scan text into a word processor. There are some packages that when the OCR software is installed then an option will be added to the packages menu options.

Next: Types of Scanner