How to Scan From Printer to Computer

Scanning documents and photos enables you to retain electronic copies for sharing purposes or just storage and safekeeping. It is a very useful practice and is common in both homes and businesses.

Most people use all-in-one printers connected to their computers to scan documents. Learn how to scan from printer to computer here below.

Let us first discuss the main benefits of scanning your documents:

Save time

Having all your important documents scanned and safely stored in your computer is a big time saver. Rather than wasting time looking around your home or office for a specific document, you can easily search for it on your PC within seconds.

Prevent loss of important documents

Since every scanned document can be stored on the cloud or in a digital folder, there is no risk of losing such documents, especially when you have a backup. When you work with boxes of crucial paperwork in your office, you are basically asking to eventually lose something important.

Save space

When running a busy place of work, managing it can already be quite stressful. Adding a bunch of clutter and paperwork will decrease the workflow and make the office more challenging to manage. Scanning helps eliminate unnecessary clutter.

Improve record keeping

A scanner makes managing all your records much simpler than using physical copies of the documents. Consequently, you can reach any document within a few seconds, eliminate the problem of duplicate copies and also maintain better security.

Prepare for Scanning

You need to buy a scanner first before you can start scanning documents; otherwise you will be stuck with using public options like going to the local library or cybercafé. You can either purchase a stand-alone scanner or a combined one that functions alongside a photocopy, printer or fax machine.

These scanners are normally available from electronics stores, office supply shops and also several online marketplaces.

After buying an all-in-one printer, the next step is to set it up by connecting it to your computer. Make sure you install the necessary drivers and associated programs.

The advantage of buying an all-in-one printer is the added versatility of doing a wide range of tasks from a single source. You can either scan, copy or print using such printers.

You will require the appropriate software in order to operate the scanner. Generally, this will be included as part of the package, unless you buy your scanner used.

The software will be necessary for editing the scanned documents. However, if you want more editing features, consider also installing advanced tools like Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Acrobat.

The next requirement is the documents or photos that you plan on scanning. Make sure that the documents can lie flat on the scanner bed and do not have any paper clips.

In addition, ensure that the files do not contain any security features like reflective materials that will prevent them from being scanned effectively.

How to Scan a Document

Open the scanner lid to reveal the glass bed where you will be placing the document or photo that you want to scan. Ensure the document is in the right place for its size. The sizes will be indicated by markings on the sides of the scanner.

Furthermore, the document should fit within the edges of the glass tray; otherwise you could miss out on some details in your final scan.

Some printers have an automatic feeder tray that simplifies the process of loading documents onto the scanner. If you are using this kind of printer, then keep in mind that it only supports single-sized documents on letter-size or A4 paper. Simply place the documents on the automatic feeder and ensure the print side is up.

Now that you have placed the documents in place, you can move to your computer and open the scanning software. Install your scanning software in such a way that you always have an icon readily accessible on the desktop. Click on the Scan icon to open the software.

Adjust the scan settings based on the kind of document you intend to scan. In general, text files can be scanned at lower resolution and also in plain black and white. When scanning photos, however, you need to set a higher resolution while enabling full color mode.

The scanning software varies greatly across devices and brands. You will require a bit of experimentation to figure out the settings that work. Something worth noting is that high quality scans occupy more space in your folder or hard drive.

As soon as you are comfortable that you have adjusted the right settings, press Preview Scan to get a preview image.  You can either make further changes to the settings or simply click scan to save the image onto your computer.

Always refer to your product manual anytime you get too confused when using your scanner.

You can make even more changes to the digital images after scanning. This includes changing orientation, brightness and contrast as well as a variety of image correction options.

If you find the size of the scanned images are too large for sending online, simply rescan at a lower DPI.

What to Avoid When Preparing Documents for Scanning

Scanning services recommend against the use of glue sticks for securing paper. The glue can easily get stuck on the scanning tray and create some unsightly marks. If you must stick small documents like receipts together, it is best to use tape.

Avoid using dark colored or grey paper whenever you print documents. This is because documents with such contrasting backgrounds are hard to scan.

For those who have documents with darker backgrounds, then it may be helpful to reprint or copy them on a lighter color background to ensure great readability after they have been scanned.

Finally, avoid stapling your documents too many times. Having numerous staple holes makes it hard to feed paper into the scanner, especially with an automatic feeder. You could end up double feeding two documents simultaneously and thus causing errors when indexing your files.


In conclusion, once you learn how to scan from printer to computer, you should organize your digital files in a suitable way that you will easily find them every time. Just like you would not put all your paperwork in one box, ensure your digital files are properly indexed and organized for easy accessibility.

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