Dear Monica, What a wonderful set of tips, and entertaining to read, too. I will put them in my saved-info folder in case I ever start scanning. Thank you for writing this. I think that this should go into the manual. Thanks. Jim James D Homme, Usability Engineering, Highmark Inc., james.homme@xxxxxxxxxxxx, 412-544-1810 "The difference between those who get what they wish for and those who don't is action. Therefore, every action you take is a complete success,regardless of the results." -- Jerrold Mundis Highmark internal only: For usability and accessibility: http://highwire.highmark.com/sites/iwov/hwt093/ "Monica Willyard" <rhyami@xxxxxxxxx > To Sent by: "Bookshare Volunteers" bksvol-discuss-bo <bksvol-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> unce@xxxxxxxxxxxx cc g Subject [bksvol-discuss] Become A Black 08/14/2008 06:19 Belt Submitter PM Please respond to bksvol-discuss@fr eelists.org Hi, everyone. I wrote an email about getting really clear scans for one of our volunteers, and it occurred to me that someone on this list might benefit from it. It's a little on the long side. I hope something in it will help you. If I've said anything confusing, please ask me about it. I know many of you have done a lot of scanning, so I'm focusing on things that may not have occurred to you. I'll call them my top ten scanning tips. (grin) They work from my experience, and you may find that you need to experiment to find something that works well for you. Also, I use Kurzweil for scanning. Openbook users may find some of this to be useful, but some of it won't apply. I do have Openbook 7 and used it for several years. So I'll do my best to help you translate these to Openbook if that's what you need. I got a lot of these ideas from volunteers I've been fortunate enough to work with over the past 2 years. Jim Baugh, Louise, Pratik, Jake, Scott, Shelley, and Gerald taught me so much about good scanning. Thanks guys. (smile) You rock! 1. Start with some solid settings in Kurzweil that will work most of the time. You may know your way around Kurzweil well. I don't know if you've thought to work on these settings though since they're not obvious. Under the settings menu, in the general tab, make sure that your confidence threshold is set to at least 98.5. Why? Kurzweil defaults to 95 percent, and that means that it optimizes scans for a lower level of accuracy. That means you won't get the best results from optimization. That also means more clean-up on the backside, and that's a pain in the neck. The other setting in general that you may want to turn on if you have some disk space is the option to keep scanned images. This feature lets you re-recognize pages if they have issues. Sometimes just changing something like detect columns will make that page come out right without you having to totally rescan the page. Once you've read through the book, Kurzweil will let you remove the scanned images from the book to reduce the file size. There are three final settings that you may find useful for scanning most fiction. These work well for me, especially with library books. They're all under the recognition tab. Column identification should be enabled. Partial columns should be ignored, and suspicious regions should be ignored. This flies in the face of what Nick has recommended on the Kurzweil list, so I'd better explain. When scanning books, it's somewhat common to get a shadow from the spine of the book. It often makes a narrow column of a tab character and a random group of numbers or letters. If you turn off column identification, these random letters are mingled with the regular text. Turning on the column detection separates this garbage from the text, and ignoring partial columns and suspicious regions removes it during OCR. If a page needs column detection turned off due to a table, and you have retained images of the scanned page, you can easily change the recognition settings and just re-recognize the page from the scanned image. Do you see how this could save you time and hassle? Once you have settings you like, save them as default so you can start scanning without worrying about them each time you start Kurzweil. 2. Prepare your book for scanning, and you'll get better results from the start. Before you begin to scan a book, run your fingers lightly through the pages to remove any possible ink ,dust, or other particles that may be on the pages. If the book is a library book, flip through the book in sections of about fifteen pages or so, gently pressing your fingers along the inner spine to encourage the book to lie flat. If the book belongs to you, especially if its a paperback, flip through sections as with a library book, but bend the book back so that it's outer covers almost touch. You're giving your book some flexibility stretches while not breaking its spine. This is especially important for thick books or two-page scanning mode and will keep you from having to push down as hard on books while you scan. 3. Optimize and verify settings for your book. Before scanning a book, open to the center and use the optimize feature. The Kurzweil staff says that optimization should be used in one-page mode so it can get the best idea of how the print works in your book. Scan four or five pages after optimization to determine if any adjustments in settings need to be made. Kurzweil does a fairly good job picking the optimal settings to scan a particular book unless the print quality is exceptionally bad. If you're planning to scan in two-page mode, you can turn this back on once you're finished with optimization. 4. When in doubt, go for grey-scale. Grey-scale is the best and most reliable thing to try when optimization doesn't produce the quality that you need. Try grey-scale with brightness of around 65 and a resolution of 300 DPI. It's really great for scanning mass market paperbacks. Grey-scale will make your scans slower, and its scanned images are larger than those made with static thresholding. It gives the best page representation though, compared to other forms of thresholding. If you're using a Canon or Visioneer scanner, grey-scale will save your bacon! (grin) Please note that Openbook 7 doesn't implement grey-scale correctly, so automatic contrast is probably your best choice. 5. Catch bad scans as they happen. There is a friendly debate among submitters about whether to scan in batches or to scan pages and recognize them one at a time. There are pros and cons on both sides. I do a sort of modified batch style. I scan a book while on the phone or doing something else but don't use the scan repeatedly feature for one reason. I want to catch badly scanned pages as they happen. It saves me from hunting for a page to rescan it later. So I scan a page and let my scan recognize while I'm turning to the next page. I wait for Kurzweil to tell me its confidence number. I make this really easy because I've turned off the progress messages for Kurzweil's scanning and recognition and have it set to play a chime when scanning and recognition are finished. So if Kurzweil says something, it's the confidence number letting me know that the page scanned below the accuracy threshold I've set. If the statistics say 97 percent confidence level or less, rescan the page to try for a better scan. Otherwise, you will have to struggle with many errors on the page. 6. Your scanner needs TLC too. Books can be dirty or dusty sometimes. Mass market paperbacks can leave a residue of ink dust on your scanner. Keep the scanner glass clean by using a dry, lint-free cloth. Never use anything wet like an alcohol pad or baby wipe. That will create little bubbles under the scanner glass and will cause problems in future scans. 7. When scanning a book, do a spot check every 15 or 20 pages. Look at the last page or two of the file to make sure the settings are still producing accurate results. 8. After doing a scan, run rank spelling. It will let you see your spelling errors and will put them in the order of their prevalence in your scan. If you find some words that Kurzweil doesn't know, you may want to add them to your word list so they won't be flagged in future scans. I don't do this for proper names unless its a name that will keep cropping up in future books. I do add words that are valid but that Kurzweil doesn't have in its internal word list. You'll find that doing this over time helps Kurzweil do a better job for you when you're cleaning up your scans. 9. Keep the de-speckle setting turned off for most books. You may need it with hardcover books because they sometimes have a text decoration on the pages. Otherwise, de-speckle can interfere with OCR and actually cause more errors than it solves. 10. The issue of using auto-corrections when scanning is another issue where there is debate. I believe it can be a good thing if used carefully. I should note that Gerald has pointed out that Openbook has some auto-corrections that cause problems with books and should be fixed by users of that program. Kurzweil seems to do a good job for me, and it makes my work easier. I loaded up a bunch of my older scans that have been lurking on my hard rive for over a decade and ran auto-correction on them. What an improvement! I might actually get to submit some of them now. Here are a few auto-corrections I have added to my Kurzweil list. dirough for through diough for though diought for thought diey for they diere for there dieir for their cornpany for company cornfortable for comfortable tiiing for thing rnany for many anydiing for anything If you use Openbook, you may want to remove a few of the corrections in its default list. I regularly find these in books scanned in Openbook and have to fix them as I read. modem for modern torn for tom glock for clock morn for mom bum for burn corn for com That last one causes problems for anyone scanning Star Trek books because Kirk presses his corn badge to talk to the ship. (grin) If a word like command is hyphenated between two pages, you get corn-mand. Meanwhile, Batman dials into the internet with his modern, tries to stop a crook named torn from shooting him with a clock, and puts the dirty burn in cuffs until mom-ing. See how auto-corrections can go wrong if you're not careful? Whew! We've made it to the end. (grin) I hope some of this makes your scans easier to work with. It'll give you a foundation to start from anyhow. Clean-up tips will be another email and will take some thought. I'm better at doing than explaining things. I do have a system I use though. I just haven't really written it down. Anyone got a cold Dr. Pepper to share? -- Monica Willyard To unsubscribe from this list send a blank Email to bksvol-discuss-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx put the word 'unsubscribe' by itself in the subject line. To get a list of available commands, put the word 'help' by itself in the subject line.