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Document Scanning FAQ's

Q: What is document scanning?

A: Document scanning is the process of using document scanning software and high-speed document scanners to convert paper documents into electronic image format. These electronic images can then be indexed and stored in a document storage system which gives your users the ability to search through millions of documents for one page in a matter of seconds.

Q: How are documents indexed?

A: Documents are indexed based upon customised search criteria set by you.

Scanned files can be indexed by client name, ref number, invoice number etc, as pre-defined by you.

Full Text indexing can be performed using an OCR (Optical Character Recognition) method. We can create a text file of your complete image. This allows the user to find any word (or part of a word ) that occurs in a document! In other words, using this technique you can search for document images by their content.

Q: What types of documents can be scanned?

A: There is virtually no limit to the type of document that can be scanned, this includes pictures, posters, brochures, etc. Pearl Scan can handle document sizes ranging from a small receipt to as large as 36 inches wide large, technical drawings.

Q: How about Document Preparation?

A: Document Preparation means that the document is 'prepared' to go through the scanning equipment. Prepping documents requires that all the staples and other paper fasteners have been removed from the files and the pages are not excessively wrinkled, torn or otherwise damaged. Pearl Scan offers this service at a nominal fee.

Q: Wouldn't I be best doing my own scanning rather than outsourcing it?

A: Possibly!

If you have small daily volumes of documents, which need a quick turnaround time then it is generally best to do it yourself on a small desktop scanner. Pearl Scan can advise you on the best scanner to suit your requirements.

Larger volumes of documents (i.e. Many thousands) are generally best outsourced to a professional scanning company. Pearl Scan use very high quality and high-speed scanners, which generate excellent image quality and keep costs down due to their high speed. You also benefit from our pre-existing QA procedures, which would take time and training to implement in house.

Q: We don't want our documents to leave site but we don't have the capability to scan them ourselves. What do we do?

A: Pearl Scan offers an on-site scanning service where we scan in documents using our own staff and equipment at your offices. Please contact us for further detail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Q: How does the pricing work?

A: Pricing can often depend on the volume of documents which need scanning as well as the document size, format and storage method. It would normally take longer to scan and archive documents which are heavily stapled and require detailed indexing if they are not in an organised format. Pricing can sometime be done per page or as one overall cost.

Q: How are the documents transported?

A: The documents can be picked up from your office then delivered back along with the disks once the scanning exercise has finished. Documents are always kept safe and secure and we have our confidentiality agreements in place.

Q: What is the cost of document conversion to CD?

A: The cost will depend on the type of conversion and retrieval methods used. Pearl Scan can assist you in compiling a conversion and retrieval scheme that meets your goals and budget. Please contact us for further detail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Q: Do you offer a searchable database of my documents?

A: Absolutely! You may search by either having your documents OCR' d (Optical Character Recognition) whereby each word becomes the "index" allowing you to search by keyword or part of a keyword (recommended for clean documents) or you may have the document manually indexed based using customized criteria. An example of this would be "file name" (Vendor), "invoice number", "date", etc.. This enables you to search your database with ease and confidence.

Q: What file format are the scanned pages?

A: Pearl Scan offers many file formats, but we recommend black and white Group 4 TIFF or PDF for most document storage applications due to its wide support by software developers, small file size, and ability to store multi page documents in one file. Other image formats are available for full color or special applications, If you require a special format, please tell us and we will do our best to meet your requirements.

Q: Do you OCR documents and convert them to MS Word, Excel and Access Format? What is the accuracy? How about accuracy and costs?

A: Pearl Scan offers paper document conversion to editable file formats such as word processing files, Excel or Access commonly called OCR or Optical Character Recognition. Accuracy is entirely dependent on the quality of the original. Claims by OCR software vendors for uncorrected documents are 99.7% accuracy with a high-quality original but expect average of 95-99% based on industry experience.

A document produced by a laser printer or printing press with standard fonts on white paper is considered a high-quality original. Photocopies, fax, low-resolution printouts, documents with non-standard fonts such as script, and documents with poor contrast due to similar colors of paper and ink, are all considered low-quality for the purposes of OCR and will probably require manual processing to improve accuracy. We can provide either one-pass OCR processing on a scanned image without correction, or we can completely correct the OCR results.

Q: Do I need special training to use a document CD?

A: No special training is required to view or print the documents when using intuitive software such as "Imaging" or Pearl Scan CDs. When we provide you with Pearl Scan Software, we include a User Guide as part of the document database. Most computer users are able to get results immediately.


For further information on Pearl Scan's document scanning, document conversion and document retrieval services, please contact us:

Tel: 0161 832 7991
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Free Trial

Document Scanning Service

We offer a free trial scanning service to our prospective clients to their required format as proof of concept.


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