ADF Scanner

    About digital document scanners equipped with an automatic document feeder

An ADF scanner is a digital document scanner equipped with an Automated/Automatic Document Feeder or ADF. The ADF is an electromechanical device that accepts a stack of documents and feeds them one at a time into the scanner for processing, without human attendance or assistance. An ADF scanner is a very convenient and common device in many offices and homes. It enables effortless scanning of large batches of documents, photographs, and any other matter on sheet stock.

An ADF scanner may be black-and-white only or a full-color scanner. There are pros and cons to each type of ADF scanner.

A black-and-white ADF scanner is inexpensive and standard equipment in singe-function fax machines, which produce only low-resolution black-and-white reproductions anyhow. A black-and-white ADF scanner feeds and scans documents faster than a color ADF scanner because it must generate fewer pixels. Black-and-white image files produced by ADF scanners are much smaller than color images for storage, emailing, and other size considerations. If all you do is scan text documents without color, a black-and-white ADF scanner is your best value.

Color ADF scanners cost more but have more uses, particularly in digitizing paper photographs for preservation on CDs or DVDs, and for addition to Web sites. You can easily email photos digitized with an ADF scanner. You can edit them with Photoshop or another image editor to improve their quality or even change their subject matter almost undetectably.

You can reduce the size of a color ADF scanner image file by reducing the resolution or fidelity of the image; often this comprise is undetectable because the resolution of a computer monitor is limited anyhow. It is a waste to send a 1460x1280 image file to someone who will view it on an 800x600 screen. You may as well reduce the image resolution to 800x600 and shrink the file by several thousand bytes.

An ADF scanner typically plugs into a USB port of a computer. But some high-end ADF scanners include wireless adapters, sometimes bases on Bluetooth technology, that eliminate the need for a connecting cable to the computer. This means you can place the ADF scanner anywhere relative to the computer and not worry about tripping over a cable or whether the cable is long enough.

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