ScanFilter: Scanning a page from a book
September 14, 2006 8:28 AM   Subscribe

How do I properly scan a page out of a hardcover book on a flatbed scanner?

I have a thick hardcover book I'd like to scan a few pages out of to maintain in a private reference (fair use!) -- it's sheet music if you care (i want to keep all the songs I learn in one place) It's a fairly thick book and i can't get a clean image. Short of tearing the page out, anybody know of some kind of "hack" to use a flatbed scanner (which I already own, don't want to buy a special book scanner) to accomplish this?
posted by qbxk to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Photocopy the page at your local Kinko's or library, then scan in the copy.
posted by junkbox at 8:30 AM on September 14, 2006

Wouldn't photocopying present the same problem? Well, you could get it as flat as possible (weigh it down with other heavy books on scanner, and then do a perspective crop on the warped part of the page. It won't be perfect, but it might be good enough. Also, raise the scanner above the table so that the book is at a 90 degree angle when on the scan bed (the other half hanging off the scanner to minimize distortion, not laying on the table).
posted by lovejones at 8:34 AM on September 14, 2006

Take a digital picture of the book? Use Google Book Search to locate the pages and do some kind of screen capture work around?
posted by LarryC at 8:54 AM on September 14, 2006

it's never going to be absolutely perfect unless you tear the page out (please don't do that!), but, if you weigh it down as lovejones suggested, you'll get a pretty good copy. i do this often. it sucks, but, eh.
posted by misanthropicsarah at 8:57 AM on September 14, 2006

Totally untested and speculative, but...

get a 1" thick chunk of lexan the size of the flatbed bed, and use it as a shim to raise the book off the glass?

Or go to a major university library -- they may have scanners/copiers that are designed for books.
posted by misterbrandt at 9:16 AM on September 14, 2006

For sheet music, you could always get yourself some music notation software and build your own e-library of scores/songs/etc.
posted by jbickers at 9:25 AM on September 14, 2006

Well the ebook pirates love them a little gadget called:

Opticbook 3600

because it scans down into the gutter very clearly for OCR. Not that I'd know or anything.
posted by i_am_a_Jedi at 9:26 AM on September 14, 2006

If you have a digital camera with lots of megapixels, you may find you'll get a better result from photographing the page.
posted by Hogshead at 2:28 PM on September 14, 2006

If it is your book, then you can make a decision about how hard you squash it flat -- books seem to survive the experience better than I expected. Graphics software can fix distortion down the middle of the scan.
posted by Idcoytco at 3:49 PM on September 14, 2006

unpaper is a post-processing application for scanned book pages - it works jolly well.
posted by blag at 5:33 PM on September 14, 2006

« Older How to get rid of bad smell on leather bag?   |   DogNameFilter: Help us rename “Daisy” our adopted... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.