Hi, everyone. I wrote an email about getting really clear scans and am modifying it for one of our volunteers who is using Openbook. I'm posting it publicly in case 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 we have volunteers at all levels of computer knowledge, so I'm focusing on things that may not have occurred to you yet. I'll call them my top ten Openbook 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. I have access to Openbook 6 and 7. Most of this should apply for people using version 8 and even version 5 if you still use that. Wyn Wizard users may find some of this to be useful, but some of it won't apply. I have Openbook 7 installed right now and used it for several years. So I'll do my best to help you translate these to other versions of 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 Openbook that will work most of the time. You may know your way around Openbook 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 scanner settings tab, make sure that your despeckle setting is unchecked. In addition, uncheck the option to scan white text on a black background. These options work well when scanning newspapers and hardcover books that have a small decoration around the text. For most books, these settings will actually degrade performance. In Openbook 7 and later, turn off the language analyst too. It can introduce OCR errors into your document. Once you have settings you like, save them as default so you can start scanning without worrying about them each time you start Openbook. 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 when you use 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. Openbook doesn't have an optimization feature like Kurzweil, but you can do this yourself before scanning a whole book. Start with a base of good settings. Use the resolution setting of 300 DPI for best results. Don't worry about turning on color scanning unless you're doing a magazine or really glossy book with lots of photos. Color scanning will just slow you down if you don't need it. Before scanning a book, open to the center and do several test scans, adjusting the contrast setting until you like what you hear. Scanners do have personalities, and they tend to have a certain contrast setting that works best most of the time. If you have a high-quality scanner like an Epson, Opticbook, or HP, the auto contrast feature may work really well for you. In you're using something like a Canon or Visioneer, you will need to spend more time adjusting the contrast setting. My old Canon seemed to do best with the lighten page option. My old HP did best with the darken page option for most books. Testing 4 or 5 pages in your book will help you decide which contrast option to use. Once you have figured this out, please save this as a settings file with the same name as your book. If you skip this step, you'll have to start over with adjusting settings when you start Openbook. If you save the settings and only scan half of your book, you can start Openbook again and load your settings. Giving them the same name as the book you're scanning will help you locate the settings file quickly. 4. If someone suggests that you use greyscale, smile politely and discard the idea. Openbook doesn't implement grey-scale correctly, so automatic contrast is probably your best choice if a scan isn't coming out well. 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 think this is one area where Openbook makes a submitter's job harder than it has to be. Since Openbook has no feature to tell you about the scan quality as you're working, your best bet is to either scan and proofread as you go or scan 10 to 20 pages at a time and then read them to make sure your scan is still coming out ok. Nothing is more frustrating than scanning a 300-page book and discovering that over half of the pages are a mess. Rescanning is no fun at all! 6. Your scanner needs regular 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 in batch mode, 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 your spellchecker. It will let you see your spelling errors and will let you fix them more quickly than reading through the document and fixing errors individually. If you find some words that Openbook 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 Openbook doesn't have in its internal word list. You'll find that doing this over time helps Openbook do a better job for you when you're cleaning up your scans. 9. Do all of your page rescanning, adding pages, spellchecking, reading, or editing that you care to do in Openbook. Then save your file as an rtf. Once you've saved it as an rtf, do not keep editing it in Openbook because Openbook won't save it properly. So once it's an rtf file, switch to Word or Wordpad to continue editing or whatever. To save as an rtf file, press alt f for the file menu, and the letter a to save as. Tab over to the file type list and choose rtf. Hitting the letter r in the list should take you right to the rtf option. By default, Openbook puts files in its library directory. You may want to navigate to the my documents folder before saving your file. Then tab over to the save button and press enter. 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. Here are a few auto-corrections I have added to my autocorrection 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 Visit my blog at http://www.scannersguild.com 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.