Please Help Me with a Word
October 2, 2011 3:40 PM   Subscribe

Is there a common English word or a technical term that names the process of taking a page or picture from the real world to the virtual? In other words, if I took a physical page and, with a scanner or camera, turned it into a file on my computer; what would you call that action?
posted by millerizer to Computers & Internet (20 answers total)
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 3:40 PM on October 2, 2011 [37 favorites]

posted by orange swan at 3:51 PM on October 2, 2011

Taking a picture of a page is "Capture" and converting the page image to a document is called "Digitization".

"Digitization" is good enough for both of them and commonly used for both.
posted by fake at 3:53 PM on October 2, 2011 [1 favorite]

Definitely digitizing.
posted by roofus at 3:53 PM on October 2, 2011

posted by pompomtom at 3:54 PM on October 2, 2011 [1 favorite]

There are lots of words depending on the medium, audio and video are ripped, printed media and 3D structures are scanned, but yes, digitizing is the general verb. It refers to converting from the analog realm where everything is continuous to the digital, where it has been quantized into numerical buckets.
posted by wnissen at 3:55 PM on October 2, 2011

Occasionally "importing", along with the other terms. For a printed page, I'd probably use "scan" or "digitize".
posted by hattifattener at 4:04 PM on October 2, 2011

I also came in to suggest "digitizing".
posted by pemberkins at 4:08 PM on October 2, 2011

I have heard and used "PDF" as a verb for scanning in a printed page -- as in "Can you PDF that for me?" and "I'll PDF it to you".
posted by Cocodrillo at 4:11 PM on October 2, 2011

I think the technical term is "document capture," although it's used more with scanners than cameras. Nobody in their right mind would try to use a camera in place of a scanner for production work (less extraordinary circumstances like book scanners, which can involve specialized camera/lighting gear).
posted by Alterscape at 4:18 PM on October 2, 2011

I work at a library and the department where we do this is called "Digitization."
posted by stoneandstar at 4:53 PM on October 2, 2011

I worked with some VDR (virtual data room) guys, which is like the business equivalent of Google Books. They called it "importing" even if there was a scanner involved. But that was really a sales and marketing term. Printing or giving someone a PDF was called "reverse importing". As in "client requested QTA reverse import". Business people are strange.
posted by Ad hominem at 5:17 PM on October 2, 2011 [1 favorite]

Digitize on Merriam-Webster
posted by asras at 5:21 PM on October 2, 2011

Digitize me, Fred!
posted by The otter lady at 6:21 PM on October 2, 2011

Speaking in my professional role as a Digitization Librarian, I would use the word "digitize."
posted by Devoidoid at 7:44 PM on October 2, 2011 [1 favorite]

Way back when I had a job making systems that did exactly this for various companies, we called it "document imaging."
posted by Andrhia at 7:58 PM on October 2, 2011

Making a digital copy works too.
posted by hypersloth at 8:26 PM on October 2, 2011

posted by bz at 9:33 PM on October 2, 2011 [2 favorites]

posted by FrereKhan at 5:35 AM on October 3, 2011

I'd call it scanning, since you're using a scanner. Even if you were using a specialized camera because whatever you have won't fit in a scanner, I'd still call it scanning.
posted by thebazilist at 9:24 AM on October 3, 2011

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