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Tips for Successfully Scanning a Document with OCR Technology

Here are some tips if you are scanning documents with optical character recognition (OCR) technology:

  • Scan the documents at 300 or 600 DPI; 600 is recommended.
  • Scan documents with 10-point text size or larger.
  • Use gray-scale instead of black and white.
  • Use gray-scale instead of black and white.
  • Verify that the lines of text are parallel with the bottom of the page.
  • Documents should be on clean paper, without lines or ink blotches.
  • Screen captures (images generated by pressing the Print Screen button on your keyboard) do not scan well with OCR.


If the OCR technology cannot read the document, it may be because:

  • The document was scanned at a low resolution and the words are blurry. Scan documents at a higher resolution, e.g., as a gray-scale TIFF file with 600 DPI.
  • The document was scanned upside down or sideways.
  • The document has lines that cross out or stains that cover the scanned words.
  • The font spacing in the scanned document is tight and the letters run together.