Guide to Bound Book Scanning

April 14th, 2020

We have put together the following guide to help you decide the most suitable option for having your books scanned and digitised. Depending on your objectives, you may wish to choose a service based on cost, technical requirements or commercial use.

Our book scanning services are bespoke, so feel free to contact us for any special requirements.

Here are the three options for having your bound books scanned without having the binding removed and keeping your originals intact.

  1. Spread-Scan – Both left & right pages are scanned as one image. This service is an entry level service and suitable for projects where the business is looking to safeguard their books, magazines and catalogues, etc. It is not the most user-friendly format, specifically if there is a lot of text on documents as two pages are imaged as one.
  2. Single Page Scan – Each page (left & right) is scanned and saved as a separate image. This is a more traditional and user-friendly method.
  3. Single Page Scan (With Image Processing) –  As above, with enhanced features including removal of black boarders, de-skew, de-speckle, background smoothing, page size consistency and a more sleek look. 

Spread scan:

In this method a book is laid flat on our specialised overhead book scanning system, which use a linear scanning technology with L.E.D lighting. Both pages (left & right) from the book are scanned onto one image (as shown below);

Choose this option if you are looking for a digital backup of your valuable books or any archive which does not require frequent access, as constant reading from two-page image may not be very user-friendly, however this is the cheapest option.

Single page scan:

As above method, however both left and right-side pages are split into individual images during the digitisation process by finding and adjusting the centre of the book as it is being scanned.

Depending on how the book is bound some digital images may contain some black borders as seen in the picture below and may also contain a shadow in the book gutter.

This option is suitable for online publication of your archive material for any research, historical archiving and for a general use.

Single page scan (With Image Processing):

As above method 2, but with manual post-scan image processing. Our post scan processing of the books is specifically tailored for a professional and commercial use, as shown in the example below.

This Enhanced service includes the following features:

  • Removal of black borders.
  • De-skew – straightening of any skewed pages.
  • Orientation – ensuring all pages are facing the correct way in the book.
  • Pictures – setting up all pictures to be in a grey-scale format for extra detail and quality (pictures can be colour OR greyscale depending on the original. We don’t convert all pictures to greyscale by default).
  • Covers – inserting front and back covers in colour where necessary.

Here is an example of the image from the method 2 as above which has been processed by applying the above image processing features.


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