What Is a Scanner Used For?

scanner-used Credit: Stephan Zabel/E+/Getty Images

A scanner is a device which transfers physical images, such as from photographs or books, into a digital format computers can read and display. There are handheld, flat-bed or feed-in types of scanner available.

There are many portable and handheld scanners available on the market that drag across the surface of the document or image. The image quality from a scanner depends on many factors, including the color depth, optical resolution and density range of the scanner. Digital cameras can be used for a similar purpose; however, their poor image quality can distort the image. Smartphone apps for scanning are also available.