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Using Scanners: Scanners are great tools for the home or office. There are so many things you can do with them. For example, with a scanner, you no longer need a fax machine. You can simply scan your document and then fax it to anyone immediately. Better yet, you can scan the document and send it attached to an email instead of using a fax. You can scan a document and then use the OCR to convert it to a text document that you can edit.

OCR stands for Optical Character Recognition and it is software that reads the document and turns it into a file that can be edited with a word processor. Got a form you need to fill out. No need to write everything out. Just scan the form and use the forms software that came with your scanner to type in all the fields and then print the document. This creates a very neat form.

Scanners are not just for work. One of the best things to do with is them is scan photos and then edit them for fun or to improve them. Most scanners come with software that allows you to edit and manipulate images. You can also print photos or email them to friends and family.

While the better scanners can be very expensive, there is no need to spend a lot to get a good scanner that will serve you well. In most cases you can get a scanner, complete with a nice collection of software for under $100. I recently purchased a unit that even had a multi document feeder that allows you to scan in a stack of fifty documents for under $150.

Scanners can be handy for small and large businesses because you can use them to reduce the amount of paper files you keep. By scanning hundreds of documents and then transfering them to CDs you drastically reduce the space required to archive information.

The combination of a scanner and a CD writer makes an excellent set of tools for a small business.

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