There are a lot of ways to scan and you can scan anything you want. The most important part of this is knowing what scanner to use where and how to post-process the scanned images to enhance the original look.

While we have already written an article about the different kinds of your memories like photos, negatives, slides, books, and documents, let us in this article know how to enhance these memories, to be specific the knowledge bank, which is the book.

Books are all bound. They are bound to be together. While we are trying to convert them to a digital copy, there are a couple of main ways that we follow to get them converted.

Non-destructive

If you have only one copy of a book that is extremely old or you have borrowed a book from a library, then this is the best option that works out for you.

In this type of scanning, you not only scan the books intact, but you will also be scanning each side of the book into a separate page, which in turn becomes one PDF page.

Yes, you will not be cutting open the spine of the book and converting them into separate sheets. The books will be bound as is, while you scan them using overhead scanners.

You can check more about different types of scanners in this article. We have written an article on how to scan books without damaging them here.

Destructive Scanning

In this type of scanning, the scanning is done really fast, like how we have described in this article. We will have to cut open the spine of the book and insert the pages into an ADF.

This sucks the pages and scans them really fast. in addition to this, here, the scans come out well due to the fact that the pages get scanned touching the scanner.

What we have written till now in this section is about the ADF. There is one more type of scanning where we place the books on the flatbed and get them scanned, covered in detail in this article.

This is a special way of scanning which will be easier when the spine of the books are opened. The pages can be easily placed on the scanner.

However, if the pages are not cut, the book has to be placed on the scanner as is and becomes non-destructive scanning.

Sometimes, when the pages are small, this type of scanning can scan two pages at once. Let us see in the coming sections how different kinds of software can enhance different types of scans.

Let us start understanding the different software that can be used to get the best out of the scanned images, helping us convert them to the best possible PDF.

Let us start from the open-source:

1. ScanTailor

This is the best software that we have used to post-process the scanned images. The advantage of this is its portability. it runs in all three operating systems, Linux, Mac, and Windows.

It is a step-by-step process where you select different options to enhance the pages to a better and enhanced version.

If we say there is an unbelievable change, it is not an exaggeration. You can see the below before processing and post-processing.

You can find more about the software and its detailed guide in this article.

More about the software here.

2. ScanTailorAdvanced

This is, as the name itself indicates, an advanced version of the same software we have discussed in the previous section.

There are small changes that are visible in the advanced version, which you cannot find in the generic version. If you are familiar with the generic version, you can make better use of the software in this advanced version and complete the process easily.

You can see the below images and see the differences between the two versions of the same software here.

Only after looking at the differences will you be noticing the importance of each of them in your regular enhancements of the pages.

More about the software here.

3. Voussoir

Like the previous two, even this is an open-source project that can be used in any of your used cases. While in the previous section, nothing much can be done if the cameras capture both the sides of the book that are placed on a V-Cradle, here in this software, this is what can be done.

This is a single-camera solution. One camera captures both sides of a book. A book placed on a V-Cradle and captured using a single camera from its top looks like this.

This digital image can be converted to a single page after deskewing it automatically using python. This software works with Open CV and other scripts.

More about the software here.

4. YASW

Unlike the previous software, Yet Another Scan Wizard (YASW) does not correct the pages captured as two together. Instead, it corrects pages captured by each camera separately.

For this, first, you will have to import the captured images from the two different sides on each dedicated slot of the software. Once you have the images imported, there are four steps as follows:

  • Rotate
  • Deskew
  • Crop
  • Scale

After these actions, export the pages, and you are done with your enhancement.

More about the software here.

5. Skarynka

This software, written in Javascript, not only supports the enhancement of pages but also supports cameras capturing images right from the computer.

It uses an API called CHDK to do that. CHDK is expanded as Canon Hack Development Kit. As the name suggests, this only works with Canon Cameras, that too a selected few.

Right from scanning using the CHDK, the software enhances the pages just like any other book post-processing software.

More about the software here.

6. Nidaba

This is a little unique in its features. While the rest of the open-source software enhances the pages to look beautiful to the human eyes, this does a good job in providing the OCR engines with great input.

OCR is expanded as Optical Character Recognition, which converts an image that has text, to a format that is completely text, like word, text PDF, to name a few.

For this it does the following functions:

  • Coverting the pages to Grayscale
  • Binarizing the scanned pages
  • Deskewing the pages
  • Dewarping the pages
  • Integration of tesseractkraken, and ocropus OCR engines
  • Page segmentation from the aforementioned OCR packages

More about the software here.

7. Perspec

Pretty simple software that does quick jobs. It has to be done manually. This software is pretty simple to use.

Once you capture the images, all you need to do is manually select the corners and there you go. The captured images get deskewed.

Let us now go through the commercial apps or software that help us improve the pages. These are industrial-grade software that has many features in-built.

More about the software here.

8. BookDrive Editor Pro

This is a proprietory software owned by ATIZ. At a price of around $2399, you will get premium software that does most of the job in one shot.

All you have to do is to select a profile and click the start button. It can process up to 3000 pages at one shot depending on your system configuration.

Below mentioned are the profiles that are available to start with.

  • General
  • Textbook
  • Old book
  • Magazine
  • Handwriting
  • Comicbook
  • Newspaper

Apart from this, there are other advanced options like contrast, brightness, sharpen, despeckle, remove the black border, and more.

There is a special crop feature that is mostly automated.

One thing to note here is the fact that the lighting has to be equally illuminated to the whole page. It is best using their scanner to scan the images that go into post-processing.

More about this software here.

9. Booksorber

This software is not as expensive as the previous. It is pretty nominal at a price of about $33. This is a great piece of software. It offers a range of features for different kinds of scanning books.

  1. It can help enhance the images scanned by a single camera capturing both sides of the book, which means to say that it can split the pages together.
  2. It can crop the black background seemlessly. This saves a lot of time. It can scan as fast as 80 pages per minute, which means you can process 500 pages in about less than 8 minutes.
  3. It can remove the book curvature right out of the box.
  4. The light need not be spread uniformly as in the previous case.
  5. You can check media files from this link.

More about this software here.

10. LIMB

It does not matter what type of scanner you use. Be it an ADF scanner, Overhead scanner, or flatbed scanner, this software processes all of these types of scanned pages.

Called LIMB processing, this type of processing covers the following steps:

Process

Right from helping out in choosing a type of processing, which can either be manual or automated. It includes all the features from the previous software.

QC

Tagging, corrections, naming, table of content, can be made during this face of the project.

OCR

Before converting them to any eBook format, if required and possible we can convert the image to text

Structuring Export

This is where everything gets exported to a format that you can start reading.

As you have seen in this section that this is a complete solution unlike the others including the QC.

More about this software here.

Conclusion

If you are a developer or at least know how to run a program, you can create the DIY software that can help you customize your workflow.

If you are not sure about coding at all, then you can rely on any of these proprietary software.

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