Having run workshops and courses for women returners and administrative staff over the past 8 years Jackie Sherman is very much in touch with the concerns women have about working with computers. She is well aware of the fears female learners and work returners have of being out of date. If you are one of these, there is no other book that specifically covers the issues that concern you.
There are a number of occasions when you may need to scan in blocks of text or images from the printed page. Using a scanner allows you to add them as objects to your own documents or even turn them into word processed text that can be edited using OCR technology (Optical Character Recognition).
Scanners come in different shapes and styles but the most common are flat bed scanners. They can be used to scan single sheets of paper or, with the lid left up, large books or other solid objects. They work by dragging an array of sensors across the underside of the paper that has been placed face-down on the glass plate. You can scan in black and white, greyscale or colour and modern machines can even scan items such as slides and negatives.
The quality of the image depends on the resolution, or number of dots (pixels) per inch. If the default settings do not give a clear enough image, you will need to experiment with different resolutions, but for most text to be readable is likely to need to be scanned at 300dpi. This chapter shows how to use HP Director, but your own scanner will offer similar menus and facilities.
OPTICAL CHARACTER RECOGNITION (OCR)
To use typed words, place the page face down on the glass plate of your scanner and close the lid. Double-click the scanner icon or find the program from the Start menu. Click the Scan Document option.
In the next window, click the Editable Text option (unless you want to save time and scan text and any images together) and choose the option to place the text in a new Word document ready for editing.
Click the button labelled Scan and you will hear the scanner start up and the light source and sensors will be dragged across the underside of the page. You will be offered a preview of the document and may want to make one or two adjustments e.g. reduce the size of the area to be scanned or alter the contrast or resolution.
When you are happy with the preview, click Accept to scan fully. The text will appear on a new Word page and you can now work with it using normal toolbar and menu options.
Take care with the file, though, as it will have been given an arbitrary filename e.g. SCAN001001 – save it again to make sure you can retrieve it easily.
TO SCAN A PICTURE
Follow the steps above, but select Scan Picture or a graphics option.
A thumbnail of the image will appear in the Photo & Imaging Gallery and the default folder in which it will have been saved – a dated folder in My Pictures – will appear on the left of the screen.
Although there are some basic tools e.g. to enable you to rotate the image or print it directly, you will probably need to carry out further editing. Double-click the thumb-nail or click Image Editor to open the picture fully.
You can add text by clicking Add Title and entering your words into the text box window. When they appear on the page, drag them into position. You can also remove unwanted sections of your picture: select the area to keep with the mouse or drag in the corners of the image before clicking the Crop button.
To change colours or rotate or sharpen the image, click the appropriate button and then use the menus and sliding scales that will appear to amend any settings.
Before making changes, it’s a good idea to save the original image. Later, you could use the Save As option to save an amended version or simply update the original.
ADD IMAGES TO OTHER DOCUMENTS
To use all or part of the image elsewhere, select it with the mouse pointer showing a cross – the unwanted part will appear grey – and then click Copy. Open up the destination document, right-click on the page and select Paste.