What's a good resolution for document scanning?

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Rowdy Rob
Rowdy Rob's picture
Joined: 09/04/2006

I finally got off my butt and replaced my troublesome scanner. I have many documents I want to scan and post online (much of it videogame oriented). However, most of my scanning experience was with old photos and such, where I wanted optimal resolution.

I scanned a magazine article once pertaining to the Bally Astrocade, but I wasn't really happy with the result, or the MASSIVE file sizes. Certainly 17 megs per page is too big for online posting to sites like Flickr or such.

What would be a good scanning resolution/dpi for online document posting? I want to preserve enough detail to be enjoyable and readable (or even valuable), but without the massive file sizes. I want better than "rough" readability, but certainly it doesn't have to be 9600 DPI!

Any advice? Thanks in advance.

document scanning (not verified)
Hire out someone

I think that you can just go ahead and hire someone to scan all of those documents for you. Usually companies will have good rates to scan all of your documents for you if you don't have time to do it yourself. I really think that there needs to be more options out there, but hiring someone is always something i consider.

Rowdy Rob
Rowdy Rob's picture
Joined: 09/04/2006
Thanks, guys.

I scanned an old INFOCOM newsletter, called "The Status Line," last night, at 300 dpi. The software that came with the scanner just plain doesn't work, but I found workarounds.

The Infocom newsletter is quite interesting and surprisingly funny. It should be a great read for classic gamers. I have to set up a Flickr account to post the JPegs, which I probably won't have time to do tonight. By the weekend, most definitely. I may have to set up my own web page so I can post my upcoming documents as PDF's.

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Joined: 05/20/2006
A desktop monitor is only

A desktop monitor is only about 96dpi, so even 200dpi tends to look pretty decent. You can still zoom in & see more detail. Also it helps if you have software that lets you adjust the amount of JPEG compression & see in real time how it will look.

Joined: 01/21/2009
I work IT for a crop

I work IT for a crop Insurance company and all our Claims work is done in the field and signed by farmers. its then all scanned on handheld scanners and archived. We scan all our B&W documents at 200DPI and I would say most look pretty good. We use some B&W maps and use 300 DPI on those. Of course color is a whole new bag. We transfer all stuff online so we try to keep the dpi as low as possible but need the images for any "problems". We try get away with 200-300 DPI on color also and depending on original image it seems to be working out pretty good.

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