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Scanning fax quality multipage TIFFs

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Anonymous
June 1, 2005 1:44:01 PM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.scanner (More info?)

For years I have been faxing stuff to myself from a conventional fax machine
to my computer. The faxes are received and saved as multi-page TIFF files
that are of decent quality and only take 30-40 kb per page. I especially
like doing it this way because I can shove several pages into the machine at
once and walk away.

This worked fine on my old Brother fax machine, and works even better on my
new Samsung SCX-4216F. However, I recently moved and am deciding not to
install phone lines at the new location in favor of using cell phones and
VoIP phones exclusively. I can still send faxes over the internet using a
service I subscribe to. But, I can't send faxes to myself the same way I did
before.

I would like to be able to use the document feeder to scan multipage
documents the same way I did before and have them saved in the same level of
quality and same approximate file size as they were with the fax machine,
except now using just my scanner and some type of software. I have tried
this with many different programs and many different scanners over the years
and I simply have never been able to get comparable results. To achieve the
same quality I typically end up with file sizes of approximately 4-5 times
as large as it is when I use the very same scanner/fax machine to fax
instead of scan.

What is the best program to make this work well?

-Jeff
Anonymous
June 1, 2005 6:15:15 PM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.scanner (More info?)

"Jeff P" <jeffpNO@SPAMruralramp.net> wrote in message
news:119ret9gunp5tff@corp.supernews.com...
> For years I have been faxing stuff to myself from a conventional fax
> machine to my computer. The faxes are received and saved as multi-page
> TIFF files that are of decent quality and only take 30-40 kb per page. I
> especially like doing it this way because I can shove several pages into
> the machine at once and walk away.
>
> This worked fine on my old Brother fax machine, and works even better on
> my new Samsung SCX-4216F. However, I recently moved and am deciding not to
> install phone lines at the new location in favor of using cell phones and
> VoIP phones exclusively. I can still send faxes over the internet using a
> service I subscribe to. But, I can't send faxes to myself the same way I
> did before.
>
> I would like to be able to use the document feeder to scan multipage
> documents the same way I did before and have them saved in the same level
> of quality and same approximate file size as they were with the fax
> machine, except now using just my scanner and some type of software. I
> have tried this with many different programs and many different scanners
> over the years and I simply have never been able to get comparable
> results. To achieve the same quality I typically end up with file sizes of
> approximately 4-5 times as large as it is when I use the very same
> scanner/fax machine to fax instead of scan.
>
> What is the best program to make this work well?
>
> -Jeff
>
Maybe you need to know what a multi-page TIFF fax is.

Faxes are usually scanned at 200 DPI text mode.
Of course the Multi-page TIFF is simply software that combines each page
into one file.

The text mode is a 1 bit file, On or Off (white or black) which make the
smallest of files as 8 bits are stored in one byte.

If you already have software that creates a Multi-page TIFF, then scan the
documents at 200 DPI B&W or Text mode or sometimes called bitmap.

--
CSM1
http://www.carlmcmillan.com
--
Anonymous
June 1, 2005 6:15:16 PM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.scanner (More info?)

"CSM1" <nomoremail@nomail.com> wrote in message
news:Tpjne.1113$RV5.237@newssvr30.news.prodigy.com...
>
> Maybe you need to know what a multi-page TIFF fax is.
>
> Faxes are usually scanned at 200 DPI text mode.
> Of course the Multi-page TIFF is simply software that combines each page
> into one file.
>
> The text mode is a 1 bit file, On or Off (white or black) which make the
> smallest of files as 8 bits are stored in one byte.
>
> If you already have software that creates a Multi-page TIFF, then scan the
> documents at 200 DPI B&W or Text mode or sometimes called bitmap.
>
> --
> CSM1
> http://www.carlmcmillan.com
> --
>
>

I've tried 200 dpi black & white and all that but was never able to achieve
comparable results. If I use monocrome / black and white modes to scan and
save the image, the file size becomes closer to (but still not quite as
small as) my fax machine. However, the quality suffers tremendously. If the
document has any type of logo or picture that includes any shading of color,
the monocrome mode merely blackens the entire image to a solid black mess or
white washes it to a solid white snow storm. The fax machine still yields a
true black or white image with no gray pixels. But, its image looks
remarkably better because it dithers the grays to patterns of black and
white dots. The result is that the image still appears to have gray scale,
but maintains the reduced file size of a solid black or white image because
each pixel is solid and only uses 2 bits (black or white, nothing
inbetween).

So, how do I achieve comparable results on a scanner using software instead
of faxing?

-Jeff
Related resources
Anonymous
June 1, 2005 6:53:00 PM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.scanner (More info?)

In article <Tpjne.1113$RV5.237@newssvr30.news.prodigy.com>,
nomoremail@nomail.com says...

>If you already have software that creates a Multi-page TIFF, then scan the
>documents at 200 DPI B&W or Text mode or sometimes called bitmap.


Right, B&W is also commonly called line art mode. 200 dpi in line art mode
duplicates fax. 200x200 dpi is High/Fine fax quality. Normal fax (less
quality than High) is 200x100 dpi, half size in the file, but which the
scanner wont duplicate, and which is only properly viewed with fax software
anyway.

But regarding file size, compression is a big part of it too. North American
fax uses G3 compression which substantially reduces the file size.
8.5x11 inches at 200 dpi line art is nearly 1/2 megabyte per page, and this is
simply how large the data is. But G3 can reduce the file size to nearly 1/10
size (if line art), in the range of 50K/page (smaller if much of the page is
blank, or larger if the page is crammed with fine detail). G3 is sometimes
called CCITT Fax 3 compression.

If only LZW compression is available in your software, it is almost as good as
G3 for line art (maybe to 1/5 size). But the point is that for smallest file
size, you want to use 200 dpi line art (to duplicate fax), and TIF format for
multipage, and whatever compression is available for line art, G3 if you have
it.

You do NOT want convert to grayscale and use JPG compression, because both
image quality and file size suffers.

Irfanview is a free program from www.irfanview.com which offers G3 compression
(called CCITT Fax 3) in line art mode (called 2 color B&W there). It is not
an actual document program, but it offers multipage TIFF for this too,
however not as conveniently as an actual document program.

--
Wayne
http://www.scantips.com "A few scanning tips"
Anonymous
June 1, 2005 6:53:01 PM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.scanner (More info?)

"Wayne" <nospam@invalid.com> wrote in message
news:gZjne.33178$GN3.10437@trnddc04...
> In article <Tpjne.1113$RV5.237@newssvr30.news.prodigy.com>,
> nomoremail@nomail.com says...
>
>>If you already have software that creates a Multi-page TIFF, then scan the
>>documents at 200 DPI B&W or Text mode or sometimes called bitmap.
>
>
> Right, B&W is also commonly called line art mode. 200 dpi in line art
> mode
> duplicates fax. 200x200 dpi is High/Fine fax quality. Normal fax (less
> quality than High) is 200x100 dpi, half size in the file, but which the
> scanner wont duplicate, and which is only properly viewed with fax
> software
> anyway.
>
> But regarding file size, compression is a big part of it too. North
> American
> fax uses G3 compression which substantially reduces the file size.
> 8.5x11 inches at 200 dpi line art is nearly 1/2 megabyte per page, and
> this is
> simply how large the data is. But G3 can reduce the file size to nearly
> 1/10
> size (if line art), in the range of 50K/page (smaller if much of the page
> is
> blank, or larger if the page is crammed with fine detail). G3 is
> sometimes
> called CCITT Fax 3 compression.
>
> If only LZW compression is available in your software, it is almost as
> good as
> G3 for line art (maybe to 1/5 size). But the point is that for smallest
> file
> size, you want to use 200 dpi line art (to duplicate fax), and TIF format
> for
> multipage, and whatever compression is available for line art, G3 if you
> have
> it.
>
> You do NOT want convert to grayscale and use JPG compression, because both
> image quality and file size suffers.
>
> Irfanview is a free program from www.irfanview.com which offers G3
> compression
> (called CCITT Fax 3) in line art mode (called 2 color B&W there). It is
> not
> an actual document program, but it offers multipage TIFF for this too,
> however not as conveniently as an actual document program.
>
> --
> Wayne
> http://www.scantips.com "A few scanning tips"
>

Wayne,

Sorry, I read your other post before this one. Thanks for the advice. I
think you are right. The programs I have been using seem to compress in LZW
instead of G3. That is probably why I could never get comparable file sizes.

I'll check out that Irfanview program you suggested. Do you know of any
programs that might have the capability of taking a multipage ADF greyscale
scan and automatically dithering the image to line art before saving it? I
don't know why the scanner can't do this internally in hardware as it does
with its own fax functionality. But none the less, this is the result I wish
to achieve such that I only have to launch the program, push a button, and
have it scan all the pages and merely prompt me for a file name. I don't
want to have to fuss with all the settings each and every time.

Thanks,
Jeff
Anonymous
June 1, 2005 7:29:25 PM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.scanner (More info?)

In article <119ri5q6kctnncd@corp.supernews.com>, jeffpNO@SPAMruralramp.net
says...
>
>
>I've tried 200 dpi black & white and all that but was never able to achieve
>comparable results. If I use monocrome / black and white modes to scan and
>save the image, the file size becomes closer to (but still not quite as
>small as) my fax machine. However, the quality suffers tremendously. If the
>document has any type of logo or picture that includes any shading of color,
>the monocrome mode merely blackens the entire image to a solid black mess or
>white washes it to a solid white snow storm. The fax machine still yields a
>true black or white image with no gray pixels. But, its image looks
>remarkably better because it dithers the grays to patterns of black and
>white dots. The result is that the image still appears to have gray scale,
>but maintains the reduced file size of a solid black or white image because
>each pixel is solid and only uses 2 bits (black or white, nothing
>inbetween).
>
>So, how do I achieve comparable results on a scanner using software instead
>of faxing?

Fax really is not designed for pictorial images. Dithering can be used to
simulate gray tones, but the 200 dpi fax resolution is too low to allow very
good results (a magazine printing press probably uses 2400 dpi). Fax is line
art, but if you are not faxing anyway, then maybe you want to simply use
grayscale to retain the pictorial images. File size will become huge (and JPG
becomes more necessary), and moire patterns will likely be a problem then, if
scanning printed material.

The scanner line art mode just uses a threshold to differentiate black and
white. What your stated goal needs is to scan in grayscale, and then use
software to dither the patter differently if you need line art mode.

For example, Adobe Elements wont do multipage files, but it offers the choice
(in conversion of grayscale to bitmap) of 50% Threshold, dither, or pattern.
Dither is "random" dots simulating different densitys of gray, and pattern is
halftones like used in ink press printing.

--
Wayne
http://www.scantips.com "A few scanning tips"
Anonymous
June 1, 2005 7:29:26 PM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.scanner (More info?)

>
> Fax really is not designed for pictorial images. Dithering can be used to
> simulate gray tones, but the 200 dpi fax resolution is too low to allow
> very
> good results (a magazine printing press probably uses 2400 dpi). Fax is
> line
> art, but if you are not faxing anyway, then maybe you want to simply use
> grayscale to retain the pictorial images. File size will become huge (and
> JPG
> becomes more necessary), and moire patterns will likely be a problem then,
> if
> scanning printed material.
>
> The scanner line art mode just uses a threshold to differentiate black and
> white. What your stated goal needs is to scan in grayscale, and then use
> software to dither the patter differently if you need line art mode.
>
> For example, Adobe Elements wont do multipage files, but it offers the
> choice
> (in conversion of grayscale to bitmap) of 50% Threshold, dither, or
> pattern.
> Dither is "random" dots simulating different densitys of gray, and pattern
> is
> halftones like used in ink press printing.
>
> --
> Wayne
> http://www.scantips.com "A few scanning tips"
>

The fax quality was perfect for my needs. All I am doing is scanning bank
statements, utility bills, etc. Just documents. They look much better with
the dithering that is automatic in the fax machine than with a monocrome
black/white-only scan in software. They also only take up about 30-50 k per
page, which is excellent because I have thousands of pages I have scanned
and will probably scan thousands more.

I understand that I can take an excellent scan in gray scale and then reduce
it down to the balance of quality verses file size that I want in software.
But, this is a number of steps that must be clicked through for each page. I
simply don't have that kind of time. With the fax machine all I had to do
was shove the whole document in the machine, even if it was 10 or 15 pages,
hit "redial" and walk away. Later when I came back it was already saved to a
TIFF file on my computer and I merely needed to rename it and file it in the
appropriate folder.

I need software that is capable of making this process as hassle free as
possible. Otherwise I'm going to have to pay for a phone bill every month
for the sole purpose of being able to use my scanner in fax mode instead of
in scanner mode, since it seems too convoluted with software features
otherwise.

-Jeff
Anonymous
June 1, 2005 9:04:12 PM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.scanner (More info?)

In article <119rnnnad7msi6b@corp.supernews.com>, jeffpNO@SPAMruralramp.net
says...
>
>
>
>Normally I wouldn't reply to my own post, but I was just thinking that maybe
>I am stuck in a bit of blind thinking because I have had good sucess with
>the fax machine in the past. Maybe I should take a new look at what I am
>trying to accomplish by going back to the original goals, and disregard what
>success I may have had in the past with a fax machine.

Your goal is very unusual. You want to scan pictorial images that require
grayscale, but you want to save it in line art, which is 2 colors, black or
white. This can be done, it is how magazines and newspapers are printed, but
probably not best as an automatic one button job, and the 200 dpi of fax is an
order of magnatude less than is needed. Fax machines typically try to do this,
because people put grayscale pages through them, but fax is designed for B&W
text.

But... Irfanview also has a File - Batch Conversion menu, and it will
automatically process many files in one folder according to your setup
parameters. YOu can specify 2 bit B&W, and you can specify dithering (however
there are no options for control). You can specify TIF with G3 compression .
One click can convert many grayscale images according to those parameters.
Whether or not it is acceptable quality, I dont know (but suspect maybe not).
It may be your most convenient first try. I think Irfanview's multipage will
have to be another operation following this.

Irfanview also has G4 compression (CCITT Fax 4), which is even a smaller file.
Note that multipage and G3 and G4 possibly can be a future problem if the
original program is not available. Most image programs cant open any of that,
but "document programs" typically handle all of it. For example, PaperPort or
the XP Picture and Fax viewer, or Imaging in Windows 9x.

--
Wayne
http://www.scantips.com "A few scanning tips"
Anonymous
June 2, 2005 1:57:05 AM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.scanner (More info?)

"Wayne" <nospam@invalid.com> wrote in message
news:gUlne.7165$vK5.1251@trnddc03...
> In article <119rnnnad7msi6b@corp.svpernews.com>, jeffpNO@SPAMrvralramp.net
> says...
> Yovr goal is very vnvsval. Yov want to scan pictorial images that reqvire
> grayscale, bvt yov want to save it in line art, which is 2 colors, black
> or
> white. This can be done, it is how magazines and newspapers are printed,
> bvt
> probably not best as an avtomatic one bvtton job, and the 200 dpi of fax
> is an
> order of magnatvde less than is needed. Fax machines typically try to do
> this,
> becavse people pvt grayscale pages throvgh them, bvt fax is designed for
> B&W
> text.

I svppose it is vnvsval. Bvt, the only reason I have svch a goal is becavse
this is what in my experiences has proven to be the mvst svitable trade
between qvality and file size. I'm mostly scanning text docvments, so yov
wovld think that black and white line art wovld be svfficient. However, I
have noticed that the ovtpvt when printed on a laser printer is horrendovs
compared to merely having the exact same file vsing a grayscale image
dithered to line art as the sovrce. Yov get abovt the same file size and
still only vse solid black or white pixels (2 bit), bvt the qvality of the
ovtpvt especially when printed on paper is mvch more clear and easy to read.
It is as easy as a first generation fax, where as scanning in line art mode
often resembles a second or third generation fax of a fax of a fax. The
edges of text are jagged and it is jvst not as easy to read.

>
> Bvt... Irfanview also has a File - Batch Conversion menv, and it will
> avtomatically process many files in one folder according to yovr setvp
> parameters. YOv can specify 2 bit B&W, and yov can specify dithering
> (however
> there are no options for control). Yov can specify TIF with G3 compression
> .
> One click can convert many grayscale images according to those parameters.
> Whether or not it is acceptable qvality, I dont know (bvt svspect maybe
> not).
> It may be yovr most convenient first try. I think Irfanview's mvltipage
> will
> have to be another operation following this.

Hmm... This sovnds nifty bvt is still an additional step to fvss with. I
wovld prefer that I only have to start the scan, select a file name for the
whole docvment, and be done with it. Typically as I save files I pvt them in
the appropriate folder and svbfolder as I go. With this I'd have to first
scan a bvnch of stvff and then go back and rvn the batch conversion before
finally naming it and sorting it into the proper place. This means I have to
review the contents of the docvment twice. Instead of simply looking at the
sheet of paper and figvring ovt that it is my Team One Credit Union personal
checking accovnt statement for Jvne 2005, naming it as svch, and letting it
be, I wovld have to instead scan the variovs docvments, rvn the batch
conversion, and then open vp each file to identify its contents before
renaming it and moving into the D:\docvments\2005\finance\team one\personal\
folder. Bvt, it is a step toward the right direction in eliminating the need
for a phone line.

>
> Irfanview also has G4 compression (CCITT Fax 4), which is even a smaller
> file.
> Note that mvltipage and G3 and G4 possibly can be a fvtvre problem if the
> original program is not available. Most image programs cant open any of
> that,
> bvt "docvment programs" typically handle all of it. For example,
> PaperPort or
> the XP Pictvre and Fax viewer, or Imaging in Windows 9x.
>
> --
> Wayne
> http://www.scantips.com "A few scanning tips"
>

I have noticed that if I open vp a TIFF file that was generated from a
received fax in Imaging for Windows, and merely so mvch as rotate the image
to be facing the right way and save it, the file size svddenly becomes
anywhere from 3-5 times as big as it was before. I've always wondered why
this was, and I think yov have explained it. I gvess Imaging for Windows
will open the G3 files bvt not save them the that way.

Well Wayne, thanks for all yovr help. I will keep tinkering arovnd with this
and see if I can come vp with something that works.

Oh before I forget, somebody jvst told me that the newer version of
Microsoft Office has some kind of docvment scanning featvre that I shovld
try. I cvrrently am rvnning Office 2000 and I don't believe it has this
featvre. Has anyone here vsed it? Is it any good? I don't want to spend the
$$$ only to find ovt that it doesn't do what I want. I think I'll have to go
tinker with it at the vniversity lab or something to find ovt how it
operates.

-Jeff
June 2, 2005 2:25:45 AM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.scanner (More info?)

ScanOut is a small scanning application that uses G4 compression for B/W
with its own scanning interface
http://www.scanout.net


"Jeff P" <jeffpNO@SPAMruralramp.net> escreveu na mensagem
news:119ret9gunp5tff@corp.supernews.com...
> For years I have been faxing stuff to myself from a conventional fax
> machine to my computer. The faxes are received and saved as multi-page
> TIFF files that are of decent quality and only take 30-40 kb per page. I
> especially like doing it this way because I can shove several pages into
> the machine at once and walk away.
>
> This worked fine on my old Brother fax machine, and works even better on
> my new Samsung SCX-4216F. However, I recently moved and am deciding not to
> install phone lines at the new location in favor of using cell phones and
> VoIP phones exclusively. I can still send faxes over the internet using a
> service I subscribe to. But, I can't send faxes to myself the same way I
> did before.
>
> I would like to be able to use the document feeder to scan multipage
> documents the same way I did before and have them saved in the same level
> of quality and same approximate file size as they were with the fax
> machine, except now using just my scanner and some type of software. I
> have tried this with many different programs and many different scanners
> over the years and I simply have never been able to get comparable
> results. To achieve the same quality I typically end up with file sizes of
> approximately 4-5 times as large as it is when I use the very same
> scanner/fax machine to fax instead of scan.
>
> What is the best program to make this work well?
>
> -Jeff
>
Anonymous
June 2, 2005 10:17:17 AM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.scanner (More info?)

Sorry, I was first to say "2 bit" but that's quite wrong of course, my brain
not engaged. Line art is 1 bit and 2 colors.

Imaging for Windows is a document program, and is organized very differently
than photo programs. It has G3 and G4, but it may not be your selected
default. For opened existing images, see menu Page - Properties for
compression and resolution and mode. I think your save is going to be
whatever that says instead of what you may expect. (These choices also appear
at File - New and at Tools - Scan Options for those cases). You may want to
get 3rd party confirmation of how your file actually ended up, for example
with IrfanView menu Image - Information... it will show compresson.

I dont know if there may be document oriented scanning software that does what
you want, but it doesnt seem to come with consumer scanners. Their line art
is determined by threshold, some models are 50% and some are variable. Some
scanners do have a halftone scan mode to create halftone screens, but its
pretty rough on text clarity at 200 dpi... comes out better at much higher
resolutions.

I think it is sort of a fax thing... probably more to try to recover when
users dont understand that fax is line art. Printing to PC fax software often
has such dithering options for grayscale material, but that output wants to go
to a phone number, and the file will logged with a fax log header that
prevents it being opened by image programs, short of an export, which is not
always offered.

--
Wayne
http://www.scantips.com "A few scanning tips"
!