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Apart from various other meanings, the term Imprinter or Imprinting also plays a role in digital archiving or in electronic Document Management.

Processing large amounts of paper

When processing large amounts of paper perfect organisation is essential. Otherwise it can happen very fast, that one loses sight of the pages or documents that have already been scanned or that still need to be scanned. This situation can be solved with the help of a Document Scanner that has an integrated Imprinter.

Imprinter is a miniature inkjet printer built inside the scanner that can be used to print specific text on papers while they are being scanned. The scanner driver controls the imprinter, which can print variables consisting of sequences of digits, letters, and special characters, such as the time, date, and batch number, in addition to incremental (fixed) values. The batch number can also be printed using the imprinter. This information will also appear in the scanned image if a pre-scan imprinter is utilized. A post-scan imprinter, on the other hand, would only print this information on the document after it has been digitized.

Imprinter – the printer in the scanner

The imprinter is a special printer built into the scanner. Every page that gets scanned receives a small overprint in a specified place (Imprinting). This can always be the same code, e.g. a date, a serial number or a combination of these possibilities.

Thus, the pages that have been scanned and the pages that still need to be scanned can be recognised at all times. The probability that information is lost is minimised. Double scanning as well as the resulting problems (e.g. bills getting paid twice) is avoided.

An imprinter can only be found in specialised Document Scanners, that are usually a lot more expensive than the common all-in-one printers.

Real Document Scanners offer many more advantages than just imprinting

Real Document Scanners offer many more advantages than just imprinting, for example: reliable indentation, automatic aligning, automatic format recognition and cutting to size, suppressing of drop-out colours, recognition of double indentation (otherwise lost documents!) and a general scan quality optimised especially for the use of Document Management Systems – such as the Open Source DMS bitfarm-Archiv Document Management – and their OCR. The additional cost of a specialised scanner usually pays off in the end.

Summing up, the keypoints for Imprinting are:

  • Integrated printing unit
  • Sequential numbers or letter combinations are printed on
  • Scans can be compared with the original documents, tracked or even indexed.

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