How to Scan a Document

How to scan a document

In order to scan a document into your computer, you need to have a scanner installed and use it to scan documents. In this article, I will give a step-by-step explanation on the process. I am using Windows 7 (if you are using Mac OS, the whole process will be more or less the same). And for the scanner, Canon LiDE 210 flatbed scanner will be used as an example.

Step 1: Install the scanner

Connect Canon LiDE 210 with your computer via a USB cable. Most scanners nowadays have USB cable included in their package. And some scanners also need to be plugged into a power source. But for Canon LiDE 210, it only needs the USB connection for its functioning.

Then we need to install the scanning driver. For most scanners, especially new ones, Windows 7 will recognize the device and supply a working device driver, so that the scanner obtains the driver it needs to work properly. Once the cable is plugged in, the installation of scanner driver will start automatically like this:


If you click the message, you will see a further notice:


Windows 7 is searching the driver software for you. Wait till you received the message saying “Ready to use”. And the scanner is good to go.


The other way to install a driver is to use the vendor provided installation software, which is also quite straightforward. I am not going into details for it.

Step 2: Use the scanner to scan documents

Choose StartDevices and Printers, and you will see the new scanner listed there.


Double click on it. And the scan setting window opens.

Now open the scanner, and place the item into the scanning tray. Place the side of the document that you want scanned down onto the glass, which allows the camera below to see the item. As I am using an A4 paper for testing, I need to place the document at the appropriate place, where an A4 sign is shown beside the scanning tray, both horizontally and vertically.

Back to the scan settings. You need to pay attention to the two highlighted area: Profile, and other image quality related settings.


The default profile CanoScan Lide 210 used is Photo. Because it is an A4 paper that I will scan, I need to change the Profile from Photo to Documents. This is a very important step. If you need to scan an A4 document, but miss this step, you will find the scanned document cropped, as shown in the Preview window below:


Let’s set Profile as Documents.

Notice that Color format is changed from Color to Grayscale as soon as Documents profile is selected. Grayscale format will reduce the size of scanned images, comparing to Color format. You can change it back to Color if it is needed. In my test, Grayscale is just fine.

Click Preview button to see what your document will look like.


It looks pretty nice.

Click Scan button. And it automatically jumps out a window for import as soon as the scanning is finished.


You can click Import settings to make some further adjustment, as shown below:


I normally will not change anything and just continue to import.

Here we are.


A new image is just scanned into the local folder.


Please always use the right Profile for your scanning.

If the quality of the image scanned is not as good as your expectation, you can try a higher resolution (DPI), or adjust Brightness or Contrast in the scan setting window.