Scanner parts

Getting to know your way around your scanner will help you make digital versions of your treasured prints and negatives more quickly and easily. Many companies provide a printed instruction manual as well as online help files that will introduce you to your scanner's particular functions and features, but here we provide a visual guide to the most common scanner parts and features (see Figure 11.7):

1 Power button - used to switch the scanner on and off. Some models do not have a power button, with the unit being turned on and off via the computer.

2 Quick scan button - many newer scanners have several one-step buttons at the front of the unit. These are designed to help make the job of everyday scanning quick and easy. The quick scan button creates a scan with a single click.

3 Copy button - used to provide a one-step copy or 'scan and print' option for those users who want to make 'photocopies' of documents or papers.

4 E-mail button - used to provide a one-step scan and e-mail option for those users who regularly want to send pictures to friends via the web. After the picture is scanned, your e-mail program will open automatically and the picture will be inserted as an attachment to a new message. Simply address and add a few words of explanation and mail away.

5 Photocopy or direct print button - a single-step process that scans a picture and then prints it with the press of one button. Some companies provide a little pop-up window, which looks very much like the key pad of a photocopier to be used with this feature.

6 Scanning area - the part of the scanner where your original is placed. This usually takes the form of a glass plate for print scanners or a negative holder for film scanners.

7 Negative holder - supports the film as it is scanned. These devices are hinged, with the film inserted and sandwiched between two plastic supports. Care has to be taken so the edges of the holder match up with each of the negative frames.

8 Power light - indicates that the scanner is turned on. Some models also use a blinking version of this light as a way to show that a scan is in progress.

9 Scanning light - the light source that illuminates the surface of the print. In film scanners the negative is positioned between the light source and the sensor.

10 Power socket - used to connect power to the scanner. Some units combine the power and computer (data) connection in the one cable and so don't contain a separate power socket.

11 Computer socket - connects the scanner to the computer and is used for transferring the picture data. Depending on the scanner model, this connection might be in the form of a USB, Firewire, SCSI or Parallel port socket.

12 Transparency adapter - provides a way to scan your negatives using a flatbed or print scanner. These adapters are usually purchased separately as an optional extra. If you have a varied collection of photographs, in both print and negative forms, this type of scanner might be a good option.

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