What Does Scanner Mean?

A scanner is an electronic device which can capture images from physical items and convert them into digital formats, which in turn can be stored in a computer, and viewed or modified using software applications.


Different types of scanners are available with different resolutions. In the world of electronic data transmission, scanning is considered to be the most cost-effective and reliable way of transmitting images.

Techopedia Explains Scanner

The basic principle of a scanner is to analyze an image and reproduce it to a digital one using the optical character recognition techniques.

Prominent features of a scanner include:

  • Reliability – Unlike certain forms of data transmission, scanning involves only transfer of hard images to digital forms. The role of the end-user is limited in case of scanning. And as they are not dependent on two-way communication, they can also help in storing important information or transmitting important information.
  • Efficiency – Modern scanners are built for efficiency and speed. And it comes with ease of use as well as convenience.
  • Quality – Scanning ensures the best resolution possible for digital images. Compared to fax machines, which may find it difficult to reproduce the accurate details, scanners can reproduce images with high resolution and precisions. They are quite useful for photography and engineering arenas.
  • Cost saving – One of the biggest advantage of scanning is the replacement of physical files/forms with digital ones. Along with saving physical space, which has to be used for storage, there are also environmental benefits by using scanner.

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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…