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The Difference between Document Scanning and Document Conversion

The decision about whether or not to “go paperless” can be daunting, especially if you don’t understand the terminology that’s used by scanning and imaging providers. Although the terms “document scanning” and “document conversion” are used interchangeably, each is a unique process. In this blog, we help you understand the difference between the two.

What Is Document Scanning?

Whether a multi-function printing machine or a desktop scanning device is used, anyone can scan a document. You simply place a document on a scanner, push a button, and a digital version of the document pops up on your computer screen or is saved to a thumb drive.

One drawback of scanning documents yourself is that you can only scan a few pages at a time. Professional scanning services use high-speed scanners that quickly digitise thousands of documents in a short period of time.

What Is Document Conversion?

Businesses use a variety of systems, and data needs to be shared between all those systems. Unfortunately, not every system can use the same data. Document conversion solves the problem because it changes the format of a document so data used on one system can be used on another. For example, hard copy documents converted to digital files can be shared across a variety of applications and platforms.

Unlike basic document scanning, where a paper document is converted to a simple image file that can only be read, document conversion makes image files searchable and editable. Optical character recognition (OCR) software is the key driver. During scanning, OCR recognises printed text characters and converts document images to editable, searchable text. By typing keywords or phrases, users can pinpoint data without having to scroll through pages of a document.

How Do Document Scanning and Document Conversion Work Together?

Document scanning and document conversion make the storage and management of your information both cost-effective and efficient. Professional document scanning technicians handle every phase of the scanning and conversion process, including:

  • document preparation
  • image capture and enhancement
  • OCR
  • post-scanning destruction

Document scanning and document conversion also work hand-in-hand to benefit your business in several ways, such as:

  • immediate data accessibility
  • reduced paper storage costs
  • increased productivity

Now that you know the difference between document scanning and document conversion, the decision about whether or not to “go paperless” will be much easier for you to make.

Archive Document Data Storage (ADDS) offers document scanning services to businesses throughout London, Bristol, Bath, and Swindon. For more information, please contact us by phone or complete the form on this page.

Natasha Rawley The File Queen: Expert in Record & Information Management, LPM Columnist.

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