Image scanner

device that optically scans images, printed text, handwriting, or an object, and converts it to a digital image

In computing, an image scanner is a device used to transfer images or text into a computer. There are special models for scanning photo negatives, or to scan books. In the computer, the signal from the scanner is transferred to a digital image. This image can then be edited, printed, etc. All scanners have special parts which are used to take a picture from an object.

Film scanner, for photographic slides

Charge-coupled device or Contact Image Sensor parts take the light from the object and change it into a digital signal. The digital signal is then transferred to the computer memory or is read in the scanner's processor. With some software it can be changed to a compressed digital image, like JPEG or PNG. Text printed or written by hand can be changed to ASCII code by an OCR program.

The main types of scanner

  • Desktop scanner (flatbed scanner). This is probably the most popular type. An object to be scanned (picture, image, text sheet) is put on the glass. Under the glass, there is a moving Image Sensor.
  • Hand scanner. The device is moved on the paper by hand. It was popular during the 1990s.
  • Rotary scanner (drum scanner) used for fast scanning large numbers of sheets of paper.
  • Smartphone scanner scans a document by taking a photo with the smartphone's camera.[1]


  • Canon
  • HP
  • Lexmark
  • Mustek
  • Plustek
  • Other


  1. "Scanner App – Scan documents to PDF for free - Apps on Google Play". Google Play. Retrieved 2020-07-08.

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