How Many Types of Scanning Are There?


Scanning has a well-earned reputation for being a simple but powerful solution. The truth, though, is that scanning has more moving parts than you might have realized--but the good news is that, as soon as you're familiar with the options, it's just as easy as ever. Let's take a look at the different types of scanning!

Fitting Your Needs

Scanning isn't a "one size fits all" solution, and there's no "right" way to do it. Instead, scanning should be a tool that fits like a puzzle piece into a very specific gap in your company, helping address your needs and meet your goals without making you take steps designed for someone else. That's why it can be helpful to brush up on the different types of scanning and which situations they're designed for.

Here are a few common types of scanning!


This is what most people think of when they set out to implement scanning solutions: taking a whole stack of papers and turning them into small, well-organized digital documents. This is a great choice if you're trying to make a big dent in your to-do list (but it doesn't necessarily mean you have to do everything at once!).


OCR, or Optical Character Recognition, is a tool that analyzes a scanned document and compares it against compiled databases to essentially "read" the text. The result is a searchable, edit-friendly file that's perfect for any business trying to go digital with documents and communications.


If you have wide-format documents that need to be scanned into your system, you're going to need a more specific machine to help you out. Luckily, these devices have the same functionality and put you in charge of the details to create smooth, high-quality scans of posters, maps, architectural designs, and more.


Not interested in doing the work yourself? Outsourced scanning is one choice you might consider. Remember, though, that you lose some control and visibility when you outsource scanning jobs--and they can be a little less secure and a little more expensive.

Want to learn more about scanning? Ready to get started in your own company? Contact us today!