Many people want to have an electronic version of their favorite paper book but they don’t know how to use a book scanner. A book scanner is a great way to not only make ebooks but to also save recipes from cookbooks or party ideas from magazines. They can help you keep your desk organized and free of paper clutter. It can be confusing at first to use a book scanner. Below are step-by-step instructions on how to use a book scanner:

What You Will Need:

  • Flatbed scanner
  • Paperback or hardcover book
Canon LiDE200 Color Image Scanner
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(price as of Aug 13, 2016)

Step 1: Turn on Your Scanner and Computer

I’m going to assume that the scanner has already been hooked up to your computer. If it isn’t hooked up to your computer, find the installation manual that came with the printer and follow the directions to hook up the printer. Now, turn on the printer by hitting the power button. It will be located in different places on different scanners so search around until you find it. You’ll also want to turn on your computer which you should know how to do already.

Step 2: Prepare the Book to Be Scanned

There are a few different ways to scan a book. If the book is a paperback, you probably won’t need to do anything to the book to scan it. A hardcover book is a little bit different. Some books are impossible to get flat so you will need to rip out the pages. The easiest way to do this is to remove the front and back cover of the book. You will then need to take off the binding that is holding the book together. This will release the individual pages of the book. The book is now ready to be scanned.

Step 3:  Place the Book or Pages in the Scanner

After the computer and scanner have been turned on and the book is ready to be scanned, you will need to put the book or the pages in the scanner. A standard book scanner will have a lid that you open. There will be a piece of glass under the lid and this is where you place your book or page. Place the book or page face down on the glass and line up the corner with one edge of the glass. You will want to make sure the edge of the book or page is lined up straight with the edge of the glass. If it is crooked, your digital book with appear to be crooked and will be hard to read. Make sure the page is as lies as flat as possible. Now you can close the lid of the scanner.

Step 4: Set Your Options

Before you start scanning in your book, you will need to set up a few things. Open the scanning software that came with your scanner. It will be very confusing to see all of these options but I will walk you through them. First, you will need to tell the scanner what you want to save the file as. I recommend saving the file under the book’s name. For example, if you were going to scan in the book Moby Dick, I would name the file Moby Dick. Next, you will need to set the type of file you would like. Most ebooks are PDFs and that’s what I would suggest choosing. Now the scanner will need to know where to save the file. Choose a location that you can easily remember such as on your desktop or in your documents folder. Those are the only options you need to choose in order to scan your book. Some scanners will have the option to use auto correct or image correction. These are not necessary when scanning a book so leave them unchecked. They won’t hurt anything if you use them but it might slow down the scanning process. If there are other options that you are confused about, check out the guide that came with your scanner.

Step 5: Scan the Book

Book ScannerPress the scan button on your computer screen or on the printer to begin scanning your book. It will only scan one page at a time. Most printers will ask you if you have more pages to scan for this file. Always select yes and put another page into the scanner. Make sure you scan the pages in order or else your ebook will not turn out right. It is just about impossible to reorder the pages after they have been scanned into the computer. If your scanner happens to save every page into a separate file, this is easy to correct if you have saved the files as a PDF. Open the first page of the document. Click on ‘File’ and then click on ‘Combine’ and ‘Merge Files Into Single PDF’. You can then select the pages of your book and it will combine them into one PDF document.

Canon CanoScan 9000F Color Image Scanner
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(price as of Aug 13, 2016)
Epson B11B200201 Perfection V33 Photo Scanner
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Warning: Copying books and sharing the copy is against the law and can get you into serious trouble. Only scan a book into your computer for your own use. Do not sell or give it way to others. It is a copyright violation to sell unauthorized copies of books.

I hope this tutorial helped you learn how to use a book scanner. It is a skill that can come in handy when you need to save something that you read about but you don’t want to save the entire book. Here are a few things you can do with a book scanner:

Start Scrapbooking: Your Essential Guide to Recording Memories
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(price as of Aug 13, 2016)

Create a digital cookbook.

Every time you find a recipe you like in a magazine, newspaper or online, scan it into your computer. You can save it a folder labeled “Recipes”. You can add tags and keywords to the files. Label the recipes as desserts, meats, snacks, etc. When you want a specific recipe or ideas for recipes, type the name or label into the search box that Windows provides and you will get a ton of ideas.

Party Planning

When you are planning a party, you will often find great ideas in magazines. Scan these ideas into your computer and you’ll have lots of ideas when you plan your next party.

As you can see, it is very beneficial to learn how to use a books scanner.