Re: Scanners.

Adrian Spratt

I think there are several loose ends here, and I'll leave one or two dangling, but here goes:

Scanning involves both hardware and software. The hardware is typically a flatbed device that takes up a lot of room. I use the Hovercam, which has a tiny footprint and can easily be moved out of the way. It consists of a small base, a tallish stand, and a piece you pull out from the stand and raise above the desk surface. When purchased from IRTI, an adaptive products company in California, it comes with a mat that you unfold and lay out when you're ready to scan. The mat has raised lines that show you where to position the Hovercam and where to place the paper.

OCR (optical character recognition) software converts images on paper to digital text. You can obtain OCR software from a variety of places. IRTI has its own software, and its tech support staff will take you by phone, at no extra cost and no matter how much time it takes, through the setup process and associate the software with the Hovercam. The software you mention is FS's OpenBook. There are others.

The software you'd need to copy photographs, etc., is different. One example is Photoshop, which I believe is owned by Adobe. But this software is not OCR software. I don't know if both can be run on the same system, but I imagine they can. It just gets more expensive.

Going back to the Hovercam, although it can't do automatic feeding, you can pile a stack of pages neatly on the mat, scan the top page, remove that page, scan the next, and so on. The photographing of each page is done in literally a moment (a second or less). When you finish photographing the stack, you press a single key to start the recognition process, where the OCR software takes over and converts the pictures into text. This takes longer than scanning, but it's still fast.

As I finish, I realize I'm promoting IRTI's combination of software and the Hovercam, which I don't really mean to. For anyone needing to conserve space, the combination is ideal and IRTI makes the process simple. Obviously, other options also work. In fact, you have lots of choices, and they aren't all dependent on adaptive product suppliers. But by explaining my experience, I hope I get across the concepts involved.

One last point. There is no need of sighted assistance in the OCR process. I do it all the time on my own. Even the setup process can be done without sighted assistance, but at least for me, the help I got at that stage save me a lot of time.

-----Original Message-----
From: Jfw [] On Behalf Of Carolyn Arnold via Jfw
Sent: Thursday, June 25, 2015 5:30 PM
To: The Jaws for Windows support list.
Cc: Carolyn Arnold
Subject: Re: Scanners.

Mitchell and others, That does get me started.

So, if I get a scanner, what does that involve? Is there hardware that is
involved there? I am not that savvy about operating systems and the like,
just, if it works and I can do it, I use it or learn it.

"Whether you think you can or you can't, you're probably right." Henry Ford.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Michal Nowicki via Jfw" <>
To: "'The Jaws for Windows support list.'" <>
Cc: "Michal Nowicki" <>
Sent: Thursday, June 25, 2015 4:18 PM
Subject: RE: Scanners.


I am by no means an expert on scanners, but whatever you get, you need to
understand that scanning requires both hardware (the scanner) and software
(a computer program that makes use of the scanner). OpenBook is not a
scanner. Instead, it is scanning and OCR software that works with many

If I understand your post correctly, you are considering purchasing an
all-in-one printer, fax, and scanner. While such products work great for
sighted individuals, I'm not sure how many of them, if any, can be
nonvisually. For example, I know that some all-in-one devices have an
inaccessible touch screen, and it is not possible to control them from a
computer. That said, it may be better for you to buy two or three pieces
equipment if, of course, you can afford it. I also recommend scanners
an automatic feeder.

I hope this helps, and I'm sorry I cannot provide specific advice (e.g.
with regards to device models).


-----Original Message-----
From: Jfw [] On Behalf Of Carolyn
via Jfw
Sent: Thursday, June 25, 2015 2:49 PM
To: The Jaws for Windows support list.
Cc: Carolyn Arnold
Subject: Scanners.

When I get my new computer at the end of the year or beginning of next, I
intend to get a printer with fax and scanning capability.

So, I'm wondering, as a totally blind user of JAWS, is there a special
scanner I have to get for it to be accessible? Are some scanners out there
more accessible than others?

What is Open Book? I have heard of it. Would I be limited to getting that
something like that?


"Whether you think you can or you can't, you're probably right." Henry

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