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Using a hand held scanner to transfer notes into Windows.

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BML
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Using a hand held scanner to transfer notes into Windows.

Post by BML »

I have a desktop computer alongside a desktop A4 page scanner and I have just started to study what I refer to as, "The dichotomy between the Parliamentary Labour Party and the actual Labour Party" but am faced with a slight problem of dyslexia. One manifestation of that is that although I read words from a text book by the time I move my eyes from the words to write them on the notes I’m taking I’ve forgotten how some words are spelt.

When I download articles I wish to use in my notes from the internet I’m obviously not faced with that problem because I can cut and paste the parts I need.
I know that I can use my desk scanner to scan full pages that I wish to use in my notes but I’m then faced with not totally accurate OCR software. The thought crossed my mind that I might be able to use a hand held scanner to capture the lines in a book using whatever software is available to place them in my windows notes.

The question I have having looked on the Internet for an effective hand held scanner is would someone make a suggestion as to what ones really work and what software do I need to move what is captured to my windows based notes.
cday
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Re: Using a hand held scanner to transfer notes onto windows.

Post by cday »

BML wrote: 09 Apr 2022, 13:55 I have a desktop computer alongside a desktop A4 page scanner and I have just started to study what I refer to as, "The dichotomy between the Parliamentary Labour Party and the actual Labour Party" but am faced with a slight problem of dyslexia. One manifestation of that is that although I read words from a text book by the time I move my eyes from the words to write them on the notes I’m taking I’ve forgotten how some words are spelt.

When I download articles I wish to use in my notes from the internet I’m obviously not faced with that problem because I can cut and paste the parts I need. I know that I can use my desk scanner to scan full pages that I wish to use in my notes but I’m then faced with not totally accurate OCR software.
Yes...
The thought crossed my mind that I might be able to use a hand held scanner to capture the lines in a book using whatever software is available to place them in my windows notes. The question I have having looked on the Internet for an effective hand held scanner is would someone make a suggestion as to what ones really work and what software do I need to move what is captured to my windows based notes.
Do you see the possible advantage of using a handheld scanner as being the ability to capture one or only a few lines at a time, or are you primarily hoping that the OCR output results would be better? Which OCR software(s) do you currently have available, as modern OCR software such as Abbyy FineReader currently is about as good as it gets?
BML
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Re: Using a hand held scanner to transfer notes into Windows.

Post by BML »

Do you see the possible advantage of using a handheld scanner as being the ability to capture one or only a few lines at a time, or are you primarily hoping that the OCR output results would be better? Which OCR software(s) do you currently have available, as modern OCR software such as Abbyy FineReader currently is about as good as it gets?
I would hope to be able to capture a few lines at a time and paste them directly onto my notepage without having to use an OCR.
cday
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Re: Using a hand held scanner to transfer notes into Windows.

Post by cday »

The forum is not as active as it was, and I don't recall hand held scanners being mentioned much if at all since I joined, so you might have to rely on whatever information you can find online from product literature, and any useful reviews you can find.

I asked about the OCR software you currently have because if it is only basic you might be able to obtain better results using newer software, and then in the absence of a better alternative scan all the content that you wish to cut and paste using your flatbed scanner.

Does anyone have any experience or useful knowledge about hand held scanners?
BML
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Re: Using a hand held scanner to transfer notes into Windows.

Post by BML »

Your absolutely right about regarding the lack of traffic on hand held scanners yet from the point of view of a student I would have thought them quite useful but may their handwriting is better and faster than mine. I did try a scanner pen a couple of years ago but it was simply not up to the job.
I thought about asking a producer but the question has to be, which ones are worth communicating with. Thanks for your assistance.
cday
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Re: Using a hand held scanner to transfer notes into Windows.

Post by cday »

I've been having a quick look on Amazon, searching for 'Handheld scanner' and there are quite a number, most from unrecognised brands, though.

One thing to be sure to distinguish is the difference between a 'document scanner' through which loose sheets can be fed, and the type of handheld scanner I believe you are considering. In general the handheld scanners typically save the scan to a removable memory card, so you would need to be able to read that, but some at least also have a USB interface, so could be read directly into your computer: I think you could scan without the cable attached, and then readout the image created.

Typically, the products seen output a choice of a JPEG image or a PDF image file, which can then be OCR'ed probably only as a separate operation performed on your computer. One or two I have seen refer to included Windows OCR software, probably a reduced functionality Abbyy FineReader software. That could have quite good recognition, possibly better than whatever software you currentky use, but you could also of course use whatever OCR software you normally use if you prefer. I doubt if it is possible to output a searchable PDF file, which might be the ideal.

This is one example product among many unrecognised brands and includes bundled OCR software, somewhere at least to start:

MUNBYN Portable Scanner 900DPI, Handheld Document Scanner.
cday
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Re: Using a hand held scanner to transfer notes into Windows.

Post by cday »

There could actually be another, possibly simpler and easier, approach to your problem assuming you have a smartphone.

There are now widely available, and at least sometimes free, smartphone apps that can very quickly and easily image a page and produce a searchable PDF as an output. If you only wanted part of a page you could also possibly use a sheet or sheets of some suitable material to mask other parts of the page, to ease quickly identifying and then selecting the text you need when the viewing the output PDF.

I mentioned an app vFlat which gets good reviews in another thread recently: vFlat.
dpc
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Re: Using a hand held scanner to transfer notes into Windows.

Post by dpc »

Yeah, smartphone would be the way to go.

I recently bought an iScan battery-powered handheld wand-type scanner for a project I was working on (scanning the labels on prescription pill bottles). It was only $50 but works pretty well on flat pages and can scan at 900 DPI. That being said, I don't see any type of scanner doing a better job as your average smartphone camera provided you can find the software to do the post-processing and OCR.

Have a look at Microsoft Lens. I haven't used it in a few years, but I recall that it worked pretty well and it was free.
BML
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Re: Using a hand held scanner to transfer notes into Windows.

Post by BML »

Many thanks for the most recent posts which need a good read through.
cday
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Re: Using a hand held scanner to transfer notes into Windows.

Post by cday »

dpc wrote: 11 Apr 2022, 01:43 Yeah, smartphone would be the way to go.
One advantage of a smartphone is that the PDF file created should already be searchable, eliminating the need to run OCR on the output from a handheld scanner. Including OCR and the processing power required to run it in a handheld scanner would probably quite significantly increase the cost and power needs.
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