Is it dumb to expect a scanner to be capable of

scanning a document (or a file) in the computer itself? I called Epson tech support and they said it can’t be done.

Why should I need to print the damned thing, and then put the printout on the scanner bed to scan?

My unit is an Epson Perfection 3170 Photo Scanner.

Are all cheapo scanners like mine similarly limited?


I wouldn’t go as far as to say it was dumb to expect that of a scanner, but I certainly think it’s unreasonable. Scanners are for turning hard copy into electronic documents; you want to convert something that is already an electronic document into… an electronic document…?

Like I said… bwuh?

I’m guessing you want to render a document as a bitmap? If you’d settle for PDF instead, then you could install a bit of software like PrimoPDF, which pretends to be a printer, but spits out a PDF instead of paper.

What kind of document are you talking about and what do you want it changed into?

Scanners are inherantly optical devices. Cheapo or top-of-the-line, they’re designed to convert a physcial object to an image, more accurately, a file of bits that describe an image. You have to print a document to make into a physical thing.

Scanning an on-disk file directly, therefore isn’t possible.

What’s your real intent? Are you trying to convert a document, like a text file, to a jpg image? I have to admit that I can see almost no application for what you seem to be trying to achieve.

What’s your reason for scanning it? The usual reason is to convert hard copy to electronic form, and you already have that.

This made me go bwuh, too. Ditto on the questions.

I’ve got this terrible feeling there’s a big whoosh going on.

Not at all.

Suppose you’ve got some PDF files that prevent you from editing them. So you scan the files (instead of printing the friggin’ thing) then edit and save.

Why not?

How do you think a scanner works?

It sounds like what you want isn’t the scanner, but the OCR (optical character recognition) software that is included with some scanners. You can take the PDF document and convert it into bitmap form (a screen capture is one easy way to do it), and then run it through the OCR software to produce a text file.

Does that answer the question?

By what process would you edit the scan, that you can’t already do?

Why not just get a converter to another format?

The very first google link for “pdf doc converter” was

Which seems to do exactly what you would need it to do. I’ve not used it, I don’t know any more about it than that it was there, but there were over 3.5 million results for my search, surely something in there will do what you need.

Unless there’s a password or something that is stopping you from editing the document, in which case you probably shouldn’t be doing it in the first place. Hence the password.

bwuh? :confused:

If you are using Acrobat reader 6 or above the program comes with a “Snapshot tool”.

What precisely do you think that scanning would achieve that using the snopshot tool wouldn’t achieve faster and more eaisly? In both cases you end up with a bitmap image of the pdf document.

Well, maybe I didn’t know about the snopshot tool! :smiley: :smiley: :smiley:

I asked a simple questions and what do I get? Scorned and scoffed at. Demeaned and derided. :slight_smile:

Thank you all, nevertheless. :smack:

Ok, BarnOwl, here’s another question:

Is it dumb to expect a printer to be capable of printing a document (or a file) into the computer itself? Are all cheapo printers like mine similarly limited?

This thread is madness!

Why not just select the text in the PDF, copy it, and paste it to another document that you can edit?

Your question was indeed simple but it made no sense:

  1. You have a document in the computer.
  2. You have a scanner, which is a device with one function: Take a physical document and put it into the computer.
  3. You ask how you can put it in the computer without printing it out and scanning it in.

The answer to your simple question is that you do not need to do anything, the document is already in the computer. You are done. There is nothing the scanner can do for you.

That’s because the question, as asked, was a bit confusing… but here’s the deal, Epson was not more helpful because they’re just the scanner company, and they limited themselves to what the scanner does and does not.

The scanner itself, and the software that it directly links to for image acquisition (e.g. TWAIN or WIA), just turn physical pictures into a bitmap file usable under your Operating System – what then turns that into any other editable format is not the scanner it’s some software, maybe included in the package but most likely not made by Epson, installed at the computer end. No consumer* scanner* that I know has the capability to be fed from the computer an already formatted file and return it to you as a raw bitmap – the bundled software may include a utility for pdf–>OCR conversion but that’s independent of the scanner.

Hey, guys, lay off. Here’s someone who is not especially computer literate, confused, comes to SDMB for help–exactly the place to go–and gets spit on. Boo.

I’ve seen more polite answers to much more naive questions.

Exactly the place to go for that, too, come to think of it :o . Seems at any given time any number of us are auditioning to take over from whoever’s currently playing Cecil, and have figured that the smartass putdown response is the key signature move to be perfected…

One of Mapcase’s Laws is that the quality of the answer you get is directly proportional to the quality of the question you ask.

The OP’s question was confusing enough without even noting that it also committed the sin of not mentioning why the answer was needed or what the OP would do with it. And the OP didn’t get insults and imprecations, but genuine and justified bewilderment.

So lay off laying off. They got it right.