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General Chat Thread, Need to scan a book in General; I have an old book, written by my grandfather and the publisher has gone, we now have copyright for it. ...
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    Danp's Avatar
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    Need to scan a book

    I have an old book, written by my grandfather and the publisher has gone, we now have copyright for it. I would like to scan the whole thing to make an electronic version to release on Kindle but the books are too old to be squished onto a flat bed scanner so I have been looking at hand held scanners that read a line at a time but for it to OCR into Word, can you recommend anything for this?

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    witch's Avatar
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    How long is it? Might be cheaper to employ a secretarial service (the sort of people who type dissertations) to type it into Word or whatever.

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    Danp's Avatar
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    192 pages

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    ICTDirect_Dave's Avatar
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    You might well be better off getting it transcribed (or doing it yourself and having it professionally proof read) It's very likely that they would have to seperate all the pages out to get an acceptable scan, and I imagine you wouldn't want that?

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    plexer's Avatar
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    Record yourself reading it and then get it typed up from that?

    Ben

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    Ive had a similar problem before with a book of hand drawn maps and notes from WW2. The main part of it was the illustrations so I ended up photographing each page individually as it didnt require flattening out as such.

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    unixman_again's Avatar
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    This will do it for you but it will take a long time SIEMENS POCKET READER BOXED COMPLETE WITH MANUAL, LEADS & FLOPPY DISC | eBay
    I know this to be true as I have one and have done it. Works with Linux as well as Windows, although finding a serial port might be difficult. Luckily my old laptop has one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Danp View Post
    I have an old book, written by my grandfather and the publisher has gone, we now have copyright for it. I would like to scan the whole thing to make an electronic version to release on Kindle but the books are too old to be squished onto a flat bed scanner so I have been looking at hand held scanners that read a line at a time but for it to OCR into Word, can you recommend anything for this?
    Good typing practice? A decent typist isn't going to take too long...

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    Danp's Avatar
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    Good ideas there people, thank you. Gives me something to think about, maybe I should just type it up myself.

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    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by plexer View Post
    Record yourself reading it and then get it typed up from that?
    That's an excellent idea - then you have an audio version ready to go, too!

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    If it were me, I'd photograph each page individually (so as to not have to squash it onto a scanner), run it through OCR software and then proofread the results, modifying where needs be. It would be time consuming but allow full control over the finished product. But that's just me in a nutshell - I'd much rather it take longer but have control over it, there's no chance someone else can ruin it that way.

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    teejay's Avatar
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    If it's typed text, not handwritten, then any half decent camera mounted on a tripod so you get a steady image will take a good enough picture for any decent OCR software to convert the text.

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    We have, and there must be other places that have a device for doing just this. A V shaped table with adjustable angle, and a pair of cameras connected to a PC via usb. Software to assemble a composite image. Try a local museum?

    Sort of like this one.
    Last edited by Andrew_C; 19th November 2013 at 11:08 AM.

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    I had to do this myself recently for a similar situation for my next door neighbour. My solution which worked an absolute treat was as follows, which is to take a photo of each page:
    Get a reasonable camera - I used a DSLR, but doesn't need to be- and a tripod (or find a way to fix the camera in place) so that the camera looks down at the floor or a table, etc.
    Rest the book on something under the camera's view so that the page is fairly close to 90 degrees to the camera's view. Do the same for the other cover of the book.
    Get a smallish sheet of glass, nice and clean (no dust, etc) to rest on each page to keep it flat whilst taking a photo of each page.
    Put a lamp of some sort (angle poise would be ideal) fairly close so that the light shines nicely on the page, but watch for reflections visible to the camera.
    Photograph all the odd pages, then swap the book around and do all the even pages.
    Next download Scan Tailor (About | Scan Tailor). It is an amazing piece of software. Takes a little while to get your head around, but I can definitely recommend it. This will adjust your photos and remove any content you don't want, like the surface you have the book on. It can detect the area the text is in and do all sorts of post processing to get a really good output. It produces tiff files at the end. All I then did is to print these to PDF via windows photo printing and got a PDF version of the book.

    Meldrew

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    creese's Avatar
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    Reminds me of when I had one of these and OCR & stitching software.

    Free image of hand scanner

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