How can I troubleshoot poor scanning quality?

1. Check your scanning environment: Make sure the surface you’re scanning on is flat, clean, and free of any creases or wrinkles. Also check that the light in the room is just right—not too bright or too dim.

2. Use the correct paper type: Different types of paper can yield different scanning results. Thicker paper might require higher resolution settings whereas regular printer paper should work fine with lower resolution. A paper’s thickness and texture can also affect scanning quality.

3. Clean the scanner glass: Dirt and dust particles can cause distorted images. Use a soft cloth and frequently clean the inside of the scanner’s glass to maintain optimal scanning results.

4. Adjust the resolution: Depending on the application, the resolution might need to be adjusted to ensure the best possible scan. Lower resolutions are best for working with text documents, while higher resolutions are recommended for photos and graphic scans.

5. Use manual vs. auto settings: Auto settings are usually fine unless you want to significantly change the image quality. Manual settings let you take control of the contrast, brightness and color levels to achieve optimal output.

6. Use the right software: Poor scanning can often be caused by outdated software. Keeping your scanner’s drivers up-to-date is essential for achieving the highest image quality.

7. Manage document size: Make sure the document you are scanning is not too large or too small. The scanner may attempt to fix or enhance the scan in places where it isn’t necessary, leading to distortion.

8. Move items carefully: Shifting items during the scanning process can lead to blurred images or incorrect alignments. Documents should be placed and moved slowly and carefully.

9. Take multiple scans: If initial scans are blurry or grainy, try scanning once more at higher resolutions. You should also use multiple angles to capture all the details accurately.

10. Capture shadows: To get the most accurate scans, any shadows caused by nearby objects should be taken into account and adjusted.

11. Remove unwanted items: Ensure there are no unwanted items in the background before scanning a document. These can show up as parts of the scanned document, leading to poor quality.

12. Avoid jpeg format: Jpeg files compress images, leading to reduced image quality. Avoid using this format and opt for Tiff or png instead.

13. Check the text: Text should be easily readable after scanning. Use OCR (optical character recognition) software to extract any text that was not scanned properly.

14. Check the colors: Colors should be accurate after scanning. Use color management software to ensure accurate and true-to-life colors.

15. Check the dpi: Make sure the dpi (dots per inch) is set appropriately. Higher dpi settings lead to much better scans.