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Old 09-13-2009, 06:42 AM   #1
yunti
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Question Best Format method for Scanning and storing Notes

I have a bout 50 folders of physics notes I would like to scan and be able to take with me everywhere, but I'm not sure of the best method as to how to do it and as to what format I should best use and would be grateful for any advice.

Details/requirements:
- Most of the files are equations so I think any OCR is out so these will probably be scanned in and kept as some sort of image.
- I would like to be able to make electronic scribble type notes over them with a stylus etc.. (and ideally be able to turn on/off the electronic notes to see the orginal and annotated notes)
- I currently have an Iliad 2nd edition (but that's not as important as finding the best format for the future as I'm only looking to do this once).
- I currenlty have a Hp 4500c scanner with an ADF for the job so is there any software that will link into this and produce the notes in the chosen format?

I'm looking to do this as a one time only job ideally and may well be using it for 10 years+ to come. So if I have to replace scanner/ ebook reader etc.. to get the job done in the best most effecient way that's fine.
Aternatively is someone knows a suitable service that is provided for such a thing then please let me know (I'm based in London).

It seems like the epub format is the most likely choice and that's seems to now be the chosen format of ebook readers but can it have electronic digital notes stored within that format?

Thanks for any advice any of you may have.
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Old 09-13-2009, 12:24 PM   #2
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Hi

Scan at 300 dpi (if your notes are one colour) or at least 200 dpi if they are more than one colour.
Save as TIFF uncompressed.
Create PDF’s from the TIFF files with the settings (compression/etc… you want).
Save the TIFF files as your base digital “negatives” from where you will be able to do more conversions in the future if you want, use a USB HD for this, a 80 gig drive will cost you peanuts for this, best do 2 of them, so if one goes south you still have the other.

Use:
You can take notes in any PDF, being those with the free acrobat reader or with any other software for that - ex: PDF Annotator if you have a tabletpc or a umpc lets you annotate with text or with a pen.

Final, with PDF you can also see it in any reader who supports PDF, per example with a 6” screen reader as the Sony ones you can easily see your notes in landscape one half page at a time.
With readers who permit taking notes (sony 600 and 700, Irex DR, etc…) you can take them.
And if you destroyed your original paper notes and one day you will need to get them in analogue format (paper…) just print the PDF’s and presto.

Concerning OCR, forget it, there is no OCR program (reliable) for hand notes.

Best regards,

Last edited by DDHarriman; 09-13-2009 at 12:35 PM.
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Old 09-13-2009, 03:00 PM   #3
yunti
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Thanks for your reply. Greatly appreciated.

I had thought 300dpi might be about the right size. My notes are mainly monochrome sometimes with a bit of red text etc.

(I agree OCR isn't an option here - it's mainly equations anyway so it looks like it will have to be some sort of image storage)

Curious as to why you suggested TIFF, rather than JPEG PNG etc..?(I don't really know the pros and cons of each of them)

The PDF annotator programme you mentioned looks superb and will be excellent with my tablet pc. There is a PDF plus notes function in the Iliad will this be able to work with PDF annotator?

Is there any software you recommend for automatically scanning in each sheet in TIFF format and putting this into a PDF? Or am I best scanning in TIFFs first and then converting to PDF? What software should I use to convert to TIFF to PDF?

Lastly I take it the epub format isn't best here as that is more to do with reflowable text which this won't be?

Thanks for your help.
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Old 09-13-2009, 05:53 PM   #4
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Hello

What I have proposed are the standard procedures for a small/normal digitizing project, based on the info of your needs.

So let’s try to answer your doubts.

1 - resolution - if your stuff is monochrome, 300 dpi monochrome (black and white) is enough (think always that the minimum resolution as to be what you would need to make a photocopy from the original, a photocopy black and white is precisely 300 dpi, this is a not religious truth and must be chosen carefully), if it’s colour, even if just a little bit and you need that little bit coloured in the final image, you should think about it… as a A4 monochrome 300 dpi image is around 1 Mbyte, the same page colour at 300 dpi is 20 Mbyte in size… and that shows in the final PDF file and also the work the computer/reader has to do to show it;

2 - what one should use for the “digital” image format…
Bitmap images are known to be of 2 types, compressed and not compressed… the compressed ones can be compressed without losses (as a zip file is) and with losses…
Losses, says exactly what it says, compressing with losses implies that the final file has not the same information (much less actually) then the original had (or could have).
Jpeg is a loss compression format, if one needs to edit it and save it again, one gets more losses and so on… (it’s called the photocopy effect, if you make a photocopy of a original, then a photocopy of the photocopy and so on, at the 4th/5th generation you can not read anything from the original as so much information as been lost).
So good guidelines in digitizing projects indicate one should use a lossless format… this is traditionally today (still) TIFF.

3 - About PDF Annotator (http://www.ograhl.com/en/pdfannotator/) I do not know if it can accept/interact with the Iliad notes… I would advise you to ask that in the Iliad forum here or contact the company who sells PDF Annotator directly.
You have other options too, namely Bluebeam PDF Revu (http://www.bluebeam.com/web07/us/pro...revu/standard/) and the pen annotation plug-in for acrobat (http://evermap.com/autoink.asp) , maybe one of those does what you are asking;

4 - no, ePub and the other eBook formats are for what it says, eBook formats, text and images and graphics formatted into a unity… hand notes are something really directed to be seen as an “image” and thus reflowing it’s not important or useful, so I would say, the best option today is PDF.

5 - to create TIFF files or even PDF files, I’m sure the software you have got with your scanner is more than enough to do it.
I’m saying this because you are just creating digital images, no OCR or anything more fancy, so the software you already have probably can do it perfectly (I do not know your scanner, so I do not know what software it’s sold with).
If you have access to it, my advice is: scan to TIFF with your scanner main software, than use Adobe Acrobat Pro to build your final PDF’s.
Here you can use less expensive PDF creator’s software or even free ones, per example PDFCreator (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PDFCreator).

One more idea, I have pointed the standard procedures, but you can (I do not advice it) jump some steps, as per example digitize directly into PDF and thus see the PDF as the “digital” main copy.
Your choice of course.

Best regards,
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