What is the difference between scan and copy?

What is the difference between scan and copy?

Photocopiers are standard pieces of office equipment and have been since the 1970s. As technology has developed, the majority of photocopiers in offices today are 'multifunction' devices. It can be hard to distinguish the difference between a photocopier and a scanner as they appear to operate in similar ways, yet the method of output is vastly different.

What is copying? 

Copying will produce a paper duplicate. It is free to DC faculty, staff, and students. Community patrons will be charged 10 cents per page. You must ask at the circulation desk for assistance with copying, as it requires an authentication code to begin.

Copying documents is a simpler process than scanning. Most photocopiers require users to press a button to start the photocopying process. Additional buttons are available to change the print quality or increase the number of copies.

If the machine is a copier, it simply prints the digital image onto one or more blank sheets of paper. Copying documents is generally a simpler process than scanning. Most copy machines require users to push a single button to instigate black-and-white copying and a second button for colour copies. Additional buttons dictating such options as print quality and the number of copies are usually not difficult to master. Users will also need to know how to load paper and perhaps clear paper jams. 

Frequently Asked Questions

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Store more files in Document Cloud with a storage increase from 2GB to 20GB (limit increasing soon) OCR more text and images with a new 100-page limit, vs 25 pages for free users.

Scanned Copy means electronic copy of any document generated using a scanner is called scanned copy.

What does a copier look like? 

A stand-alone copier's primary function is to copy documents onto paper and in volume. It has a flat piece of glass or takes pieces of paper individually through feeders, records an image of the document, and prints duplicates of the document. Copiers output different sizes of paper, depending on the make and model. Likewise, some create colour prints, while others deal only in black-and-white.

Hard copies are needed for authenticity. While switching to paperless storage may have environmental and organisational benefits, sometimes it is simply not an option. For instance, people often need to access and provide hard copies of certain documents for authenticity or identification purposes. In such cases, digital copies may not constitute sufficient proof, and physical copies are the only option. Individuals with house deeds, birth certificates, signed contracts and will need to guarantee that such documents are in safekeeping and readily accessible. Reproducing them in digital form is certainly recommended, but physical copies are usually essential if they are to be considered valid documentation.

What is the importance of a copier?

Companies with an abundance of documents which require this level of authenticity should always be keeping physical documents because you never know when you might need undeniable proof of certain terms or transactions. Indeed, some laws and regulations specify that companies should keep physical documents for a certain amount of time. In these cases, we recommend that companies commit themselves to secure hard copy data storage. There is simply no other way to guarantee complete authenticity and remain compliant with the relevant legislative requirements.

In order to remain in compliance, some businesses or industries are required to keep authentic files some industry-specific requirements regulate what can be kept digitally and what must maintain authenticity – whether it be the document itself or in some cases, documents require handwritten signatures, versus digital signatures. Regulations like this can vary by the type of business. Still, more heavily regulated industries like finance, law, and medicine may have state and federal laws governing how records should be maintained.

Hard copy wins where authenticity is important. If the document concerned is a will or relates to land ownership, you may legally be required to maintain documents in a hard copy format.

Despite attempts to the contrary, electronic documents are at greater vulnerability to fraud than their hard copy equivalents. One only has to look at the trouble 'Bitcoin' has run into in proving this point.

Any document requiring physical signature clearly must be retained in hard copy format, even if you choose to create a digital duplicate. Contracts of sale or employment are typical examples of signed documents requiring hard copy formats.

When you scan a paper document containing a signature, the evidential value of that document decreases. Tip: keep paper copies in case you must later rely on them in court. Documents are signed for a very good reason and making digital equivalents diminishes their value significantly.

If your needs dictate storing records for more than a few decades, hard copy storage may have the advantage over digital files. Think about the types of storage in your life that have already become obsolete – floppy discs, cassette tapes, microfilm, etc. While it is possible to transfer data from one form of electronic storage to another, there is also a risk of losing quality during the transfer process. When stored properly, paper documents have a shelf life of about 200 years.

In many cases, companies or individuals are required to keep certain documents in storage for years or even decades before destroying them or using them. Whether kept for legal purposes or for personal reasons, storing documents in a physical location is often the only way forward. Technology is constantly evolving, and digital forms of document storage are not guaranteed to be around for as long as your documents may require – just look at computers ten years ago!

Where do you store hard copy documents?

Accessing documents via outdated means can be awkward at best and unsafe at worst. However, with hard copy data storage, your documents are simply kept in a secure location to be accessed whenever you see fit – no need for technology or complex databases.

The safety and security of hard copy data storage. When you compare the security of hard copy data storage with that of digital copy data storage, physical documents always win. Though neither are easy to access by illegitimate means, electronic documents are more vulnerable due to their existence on computer systems. Malicious data breaches and hacks are unfortunately more common than you might think, especially within bigger companies that store more sensitive information. In such a climate, removing the risk of electronic breaches entirely might just be your best bet.

Total protection of confidential information and sensitive documents can never be guaranteed, but storing hard copy documents instead of relying on digital storage certainly comes close. Anyone attempting to steal, alter, delete, or compromise your data in some way would need to be in the same place as the documents themselves even to have a chance.

Is it safe to keep a hard copy?

As a consequence, keeping your documents in the safest place possible will greatly reduce the likelihood of theft. Storing your papers in a document storage facility would be one way of ensuring this security, although many opt for safety deposit boxes or simple office storage. Whatever you choose, storing physical documents in a safe location are objectively much harder to access than electronic copies sitting in cloud storage or on your hard drive.

While storing documents digitally is more convenient, there is never 100% assurance that networks won't be breached or issues won't occur with data backup. Networks can go down, and viruses do spread. Due to the ease of accessibility via networking, electronic files are simply more vulnerable to theft. When appropriately stored in a secure location, there is no chance of unauthorised use of a hard copy.

What is scanning?

Document scanning, also known as document imaging, is simply defined as the process of capturing a digital image of a paper document (or microfilm).

"It's how your paper documents are converted into electronic searchable images, which can greatly help your business process," Neil McKeever, a document imaging specialist with the UK-based document management and scanning service Kefron, told Small Business Trends in an email response.

Scanning will create a digital copy. It is free to all library users. You enter an email address, and the machine will send a pdf copy of your scan to this email address. You may save or print the email attachment. We highly recommend that you log into your email before leaving the building to ensure that the scan went through properly, because the machine may fail to send a very large file.

Scanners are the tool for business owners that want to go 'paperless', yet if a paper is your medium of choice for document transmission and recording, then a copier will suffice. However, many devices combine the two functions today. Multifunction devices combine a printer, copier and scanner into one device, giving you all the options, as well as the option of fax.

Scanning requires users to have a basic knowledge of computers to manage the transmitting, storage and editing of scans. When you press the button for scanning, you may be faced with a pop-up message, asking you what to do next – scan to folder or email.

If the machine is a scanner, it stores a digital copy of the image on a memory card or USB device, or it transmits the image to a computer.

In addition to those skills, scanner users will also need a basic knowledge of computers in order to manage the scanning, editing, printing, storing, and transmitting of scanned images.

How does a scanner work?

Scanners work much like copiers, taking images of documents that you place on a piece of glass or insert into a reader space. Scanners create digital versions of the images and store them on your computer. You control the input settings and select the resolution for the scans and can use the digital files for a variety of things, from viewing on your computer to emailing to coworkers.

Scanners are useful for creating high-resolution digital images from text or photos. You can then send the digital copies via email or share them over your network with other people. Scanners usually operate page-by-page, which makes them slower than copiers, which handle multiple pages in quick succession.

Using prime office real estate to store business records is costly. Scanning your documents frees up office space so it can be used to generate more revenue for your company. Thousands of files can be stored on a single server rather than taking up space in bulky file cabinets.

If you have important historical documents, you want to preserve them for years to come. Unfortunately, the aging process accelerates every time they're handled. Document scanning is the "last touch" solution that lets you protect important information from physical deterioration with the added benefit of improving the legibility of old hardcopy records.

What are the possible things you might encounter in scanning? 

Digital Scanning Can Result in Data Loss – When scanning documents for digital storage, a human error comes into play. Sections of documents can be missed or distorted, and side-by-side comparison with hard copies is time-consuming and too often skipped over. Naturally, knowing how to scan documents properly can help avoid these concerns. When you do need to digitise documents, consider hiring a professional document management firm to eliminate these risks.

When you no longer want an electronic document to exist, permanently deleting it will not do. Even deleted documents remain within hard drives in some form, and even rudimentary hackers have the knowledge and skills necessary to retrieve it. You cannot guarantee total destruction. On the other hand, when you destroy a document with a micro-cut shredder, there is absolutely no chance of its remains being found and reconstructed (although as previously covered here, certain types of paper shredding are not secure enough to protect against this risk altogether).

By storing physical copies of your documents, you are not only ensuring that they are better protected from being compromised during their storage but also after their eventual destruction. Get in touch with our team today to learn more about our various hard copy document storage services.

Digital scanning can result in flaws. There is always going to be room for error when scanning paper documents for digital storage, especially when done at home and not through a professional document scanning service. Important segments of the paper could be omitted or distorted in the scanning process if you are not careful to do it properly. This makes the prospect of converting all your physical copies into digital ones somewhat more risky.

Is scanning better than copying?

Of course, knowing how to scan documents safely will help, but keeping physical copies in a secure place is a much simpler option for those who already have a large backlog of papers lying around. If you do choose to digitise your physical papers, make sure to either take great care in the process or hire a professional to do it for you.

When it is time to destroy documents, the responsibility to effectively destroy records falls directly on the business. When documents are stored digitally, they can be found in various locations – on networks, in emails, on phones, etc. Even documents that have been "deleted" can often be retrieved. When paper documents are securely shredded, destruction is final and guaranteed.  

Despite electronic storage convenience, digital and/or cloud storage of sensitive or important documents may not be as secure or durable as hard copies. Cloud services may not be available 24/7 and are prone to network outages and hard drive failures just like any computer is. Digital storage might not also provide the sort of confidentiality or security you require – medical records, for example, can be more easily accessed online than if the only copy is kept on site. Even if you decide to go with 'nearline' services, like tape drives, those are prone to eventual wear and breakdown, which might prevent you from making a second backup before the data is unretrievable.

Digital and magnetic forms of storage are at risk of becoming obsolete and/or redundant. Paper documents have a shelf life of around 200 years when correctly stored. Digital and magnetic means of storage rely on external devices in order to retrieve their content. We've already seen the death of the floppy disc, microfilm, and cassette tape. In another forty years who knows what may happen! If you plan to store documents for a period greater than thirty-five years now you run the risk of never retrieving the data due to lack of available rendering equipment.

You may be able to convert one electronic or magnetic form of data into another (e.g. cassette to digital) but note you risk losing some of the quality of that data in the process.

For businesses that require access to files frequently, hardcopy storage is ideal. You can also customise the access procedure, establishing a method that ensures maximum security by drawing up a shortlist of those entitled to access. Alternatively, because documents are carefully categorised and archived, files can be retrieved and sent to the client too.

If you take a match to a hard copy document, you're almost guaranteed the document won't come back to haunt you!

Not so with an electronic document. Hard drives have been dropped from aeroplanes travelling at 20,000ft high in the sky and data has been successfully retrieved from smashed up pieces. Pressing 'delete' does not equate to destruction. This is because the data's ghost remains on the hard drive. A document retrieval expert uses specialist equipment in order to revive otherwise 'deleted' documents.

Protecting hard copy information is difficult at best. Scanned documents can be encrypted, password-protected, and securely stored in the cloud. You can assign access levels to specific users and track all file activity.

What are the benefits in scanning?

Document scanning makes it easy to share documents and collaborate on projects without having to reproduce information on paper. Staff in multiple locations can access and view electronic documents simultaneously. Another great benefit of digital files over paper ones is document sharing. Multiple colleagues can access the same document when required, reducing wasted time once again where paper files must be passed from one department to another. With easy access to all your files and documents at the click of a button, you or your staff won't have to waste time searching through boxes and files in an attempt to locate the document you need. You won't be paying staff for a task that could take hours when it should be completed in a matter of seconds.

Instead of rummaging through massive loads of paperwork to find something particular, you will be able to search easily, archive and retrieve your documents on a computer and even your phone. Document scanning enables users to store all their information in one place.

Compliance is a reality for most businesses. Document scanning makes it easier for your company to fulfil its legal and regulatory obligations. Digital files can be organised, indexed and produced quickly to meet the demands of even the strictest auditor.

If you have customers in more than one region, it's hard to provide consistent customer service. Instead of having to print and mail bills, invoices statements and other items, document scanning lets you get important information to your clients much faster.

Clutter kills productivity. Paper clutter doesn't have to be the norm in your office. Document scanning prevents excess paper from building up in the first place so your employees can be as productive as possible.

Paper documents are especially vulnerable to fires, floods and natural disasters. Fortunately, document scanning offers enhanced disaster recovery for your business. Digital images can be backed up to tape or hard drive or protected electronically with an e-vaulting solution. As you won't need those paper files on-site, you can keep them in dedicated storage facilities that have outstanding security protocols. You won't need to worry about security at your office either, as all digital files and backups can be stored remotely on highly secure servers.

An AIIM survey found it can take an average of 37 minutes to find one paper file. Document scanning streamlines file access across your organisation. Files can be retrieved quickly and easily without having to leave your desk.

Document scanning isn't just good for your business; it benefits the environment as well. According to the Paperless Project, the average office worker uses 10,000 sheets of paper every year. That's a lot of trees! And even if a mere fraction of that paper ends up in the waste stream, it causes harm to the environment. Document scanning greatly reduces your business' paper consumption for a greener planet. Less paper production means less paper waste which ends up in packed landfills. Fewer trees will be used which can help provide our city, state, and a planet with cleaner air.

With document imaging, you can digitise every part of a file and index it with a range of metadata. That means that if you require a specific piece of information — such as an invoice number — you can find it instantly. This is especially useful if you want to meet the needs of your customers as quickly as possible.

Document scanning reduces storage space. By converting all your physical documents to digital files, you'll no longer need to store them where they are close to hand. They can be boxed up and shipped to secure, dedicated sites, freeing up space in your office for more important things and reducing the costs associated with paper file storage. 

Did you know that around 90% of information is still in paper form? Every year and each day, more documents are being produced or photocopied, turning document management into a substantial task. Think about how much space you would free up if all those file cabinets full of documents aren't necessary anymore. With the assistance of scanning service, you are able to make soft-copy backups, eliminating the need for paper storage.

Finally, you might find that compliance procedures in your industry require you to keep some documents digitally, as well as physically. Putting a secure and efficient document imaging solution in place now can save you time and effort down the line.

When you create a digital version of a paper document, be sure to take care when scanning. Carelessness or 'human error' is a major disadvantage when it comes to digitalising hard copy versions. Otherwise, sections of a paper document could get chopped off when converting to digital. Data loss is a risk when converting from any type of medium into another. Just be sure to take great care when scanning paper documents.

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