[bksvol-discuss] Re: scanning settings:

  • From: Roger Loran Bailey <rogerbailey81@xxxxxxx>
  • To: bksvol-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 13 Jan 2012 12:34:06 -0500

Here is some advice on using Open Book that was posted on this list a long time ago:

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


Whew! We've made it to the end. (grin) I hope some of this makes your

On 1/13/2012 10:54 AM, Dolores Dean wrote:
I would apprecciate some suggestions> I'm eotking on a Nancy Drew mystery-very cheap paperback. Some pages sccan well; others just don't scan correctly. I'm using openbook but can't figure out how to get a decent setting. I don't want to give up on the book. Thank you.

Sister Dolores

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