Types of Scanner- Uses, Invention, Advantages/Disadvantages

In this article, you are going to read about what is scanning device?, Types of Scanner, for what kind of work this device has been used, advantages, disadvantages, etc.

Before the invention of scanning devices, it is very hard to convert Physical data or documents (hard copy) into digital documents (soft copy), but after the invention of the scanner, it made its own place in the market.

It is a very useful tool that all businesses need to make copies of their important documents.

What is Scanner?

So, before going into another heading firstly you have to understand, what is scanner?

This is an Electronic as well as an Input device that converts any type of physical data into digital data within a minute by eliminating manual data entry. They are able to scan Text, Pictures, Photos, and Etc.

This device captures data from a source document (order form, photos, invoices, brochures, and much other manual data work) and convert it into digital data, optical Scanner, and bar code reader are some examples.

Like digital cameras, the image quality of a scanner is measured by the number of bits it stores in a dot and the number of dots per inch or resolution.

The higher the resolution better is the quality and the more expensive is the scanner.

Today, color desktop scanner for home and small business range from 30 to 48 bit and have an optical resolution ranging from 600 to 3000 dpi (dots per inch).

Commercial scanners designed for power users range from 4000 to 12,500 dpi.

There are some Smartphone Softwares that taking the place of home scanners by giving like-to-like features called Picture to PDF, Document to PDF, PDF to a word document, and Physical file to PDF.

It destroys the market of some scanner brands that make budget-friendly devices for homes and small offices.

Camscanner, Adobe scan, and Ms-office lens are the types of scanners that provide mobile application scanners that are very useful for us and didn’t cost anything.

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6 Different Types of Scanner

Scanners are more effective and time-saving tool very useful for businesses and organizations who have to scan and email documents 100-500 time s a day.

All types of scanners are made for doing different types of work, example as- Photo scanner is made only for Photos same as flatbeds are made for document scanning, there are some more examples you are going to read below.

Now, these days there are too many scanning devices are available in the market, and in this article, you are going to read 6 types of scanners that are famous and used by most small or big businesses.

Flatbed Scanner

Flatbeds are the types of scanners you are going to read first, A flatbed scanner works similar to a copy machine except that it creates a file of the document in memory instead of a paper copy. This is the most popular and common type of scanner available in the market.

Once an object is scanned, it can be displayed on the screen, stored on a storage medium, printed, faxed, attached to as an e-mail message, included in another document, and posted on a website or photo community for everyone to see.

Flatbed scanners are able to scan almost all types of documents and photos, and compact with all size documents made a very good option for businesses and home also.

High-speed scanning, optional network support, wireless scanning, easy file management are some pros of this flatbed scanning device.

The bulky and heavy machine needs more space to store and it is also expensive than others.

Photo Scanner

Photo scanners are the types of scanners especially used for scanning images, photos, and paintings.

If you want a scanning device for photos you must go for a photo scanner because it gives high-quality scanning to your photos. The high resolution and color depth ness are the main features of this device.

Flatbed is also able to scan photos but a photo scanner gives you premium results, that shouldn’t be compared with other scanned photos.

Some photo scanner has inbuilt image editing software that improves the quality of image, is the advantages of this.

Scanner with image editing software can cost too high in front of others.

Document Scanner

Document or Sheetfed scanner are mainly used for scanning documents of different sizes without any problem.

This is the best scanner option if you have to scan multiple pages means thousands of pager per day. It can easily scan too many pages a day and also have some inbuilt features to make scanning easy and efficient.

More features mean more cost so this is the reason why a document scanner is costly than a flatbed.

Capable of duplex scanning takes less space, quality is excellent are some features of this device. This is ideal for scanning pages, not a book or sheets.

Handheld Scanner

All the scanners above we talk about are heavy and bulky and need space to store somewhere but handheld is the type of portable scanners that are easy to use and carry in your pocket.

This is a device that is not similar to others in build design but similar in its work, this is a small rod kind of device that can be used by your hand called a handheld scanning device. This is the different types of scanner that are used today.

It detects the result by focusing on the subject, it uses light sensors to read the subject and give the result.

Handheld scanner

OMR Scanner

This device reads marks on specific areas of the page. It can identify hand-drawn marks such as small circles or rectangles made with pens or pencils. A person places these marks on a form, such as a test, survey, questionnaire, and answer sheet.

For checking a test paper sheet, the Optical Mark Recognition devices first read the answer key sheet to record correct answers based on patterns of light. The OMR device then reads the remaining document and matches their patterns of light against the answer key sheet.

OMR are the different types of scanners that are used to check the answer sheets of competitive exams. Now many exams are taken on OMR sheets because it reduces the manual checking process of answer sheets.

This is not made for home use, this is for professional teachers, education institutes, and exam centers.

Bar Code Scanner

A bar code is a set of lines of different thickness that represent a number. A bar code reader also called a bar code scanner is used to input data from bar codes.

Most products in the shops have bar codes on them. Bar code readers work by reflecting a beam of light on the lines that makes up the bar codes and identify the amount of light that is reflected.

These are the different types of scanners only made for shops to scan the product’s code and not made for personal or home use.

Who Invented Scanner and When?

Before the invention, it’s very hard to scan all the documents and make a digital form of data but in the 20th century, It becomes possible to make any document in digital form.

According to Wikipedia Russell A. Kirsch invented the image scanner in 1957.

After the invention, it’s made it easier to manage all the documents and directly send them via E-mail to all who need the document.

Also Read: Types of Keyboards

What are the uses of Scanner

  • Scan Documents – Scan different types of documents with different sizes are the main feature of scanning devices.
  • Copying – A scanner is used to copy the data means if you need multiple copies of any document it is very easy to make multiple copies with this device, for example as posters, Brochures, Flyers, and other documents. Scanners allow us to edit the content of the document with an inbuilt editing mechanism.
  • Digital Archiving Making digital copies of hard copy and manage all documents digitally called digital archiving. These documents can include Office files, tax papers, personal stuff, and many other types of files, you can easily handle all the documents by creating PDF’s of all that files and rename them so you can easily find any files whenever you need.
  • Send files directly through E-mail – You can directly send the files via email after creating the Pdf of any document and that is an important and interesting feature of scanners.
  • Wireless connection – This is the latest feature of this device that you can easily connect with all devices without wires, it connects all devices through wifi or other wireless mechanisms, and It also able to use with your smartphone.

These are the uses of all types of scanner, this is the main work or function of mostly scanning devices.

Overall Advantages and Disadvantages of Scanner


  • Save time and Increase efficiency at home or office.
  • Able to fulfill your maximum needs, scanning, copying, editing, sending, and etc.
  • There are inbuilt scanning mechanisms present in some printers so if you want to save space and money go for it.
  • This device can handle your all digital files like documents, photos, graphic designs, etc.
  • You can also say that scanner is an environment-friendly device because it creates a digital copy of physical documents that use paper.
  • Using a scanner is very simple and doesn’t require any advanced setup that can cause problems for you.
  • It has the flexibility to save your documents in different formats such as PDF, word, etc.


  • Using this device reduces the image and graphic quality doesn’t matter the resolution after reprinting on paper, you can easily saw the difference between old and new.
  • Scanned documents take a lot of hard disk space.
  • the maintenance cost of this device is a little expensive for home users.
  • It takes some time if you want to scan many documents.
Also Read: Types of Printer 


There are too many different types of scanners are available in the market but after reading this article you can choose your scanning device according to your needs. before purchasing any device firstly try to imply your needs and after that go to any decision.

This is our article on Types of scanner, hope you guys liked it if you have any question don’t forget to comment on us we will try to solve your queries.

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