Microtek scanner prob..help please

  bof:) 22:29 19 Jan 2005

Hi All,

Brother-in-law has a Microtek Scanmaker 4900 scanner. He is using XPhome and Office 2000.

When he scans a document, it is saved as a .tif file. We placed it into 'My Documents' and it can be read using the 'Windows viewer' (I think it was called). But if you try to open it in Office 2000 using the 'files of type...all files' we only get squares on the screen.

We have so far...tried 3 different makes of scanner all of which open scanned letters up in office 2000 as blocks of squares on the page.

... tried uninstalling every scanner driver, going through the registery cleaning out all references to all scanners that we could find.

...downloaded latest drivers for XP from Microtek website, followed installation instructions. All without any success.

So it seems that no matter which scanner we use, when trying to view the scanned item in windows2000 all we get is a page full of blocks. Usually I'd say this was the drivers but we have installed the latest ones and nothing seems to work.

Could it be because the items are scanned in .tif format (what is a tif file?)

Or could it be a problem with Office 2000?

Thanks for all of your help its greatly appreciated.


  jules52 00:23 20 Jan 2005

Unlikely that you have a hardware problem with any of the scanners. For any image manipulation I always save files as jpg. They are small enough to manipulate and quality is excellent. If you were putting your tif files through a programme such as Adobe Photoshop you probably would be able to open and manipulate without any problems but MS Office is probably going to struggle with large image files which I suspect you now have.

  bof:) 00:57 20 Jan 2005

Hi jules52, thanks for your help.

Perhaps I did not make myself clear in my original posting, its a letter that we are scanning not a picture.

The only option we have in the scan program is to save the letter as a .tif file. I've found out that .tif format is a picture format so I find it odd because tha scanner is set to 'word document and black and white' before it scans.

The letter is viewable in the windows viewer but ou cannot edit any of the text.

When using Office 2000 all we get is a pageful of blocks and squares. There is no option to view as a .tif format or alter to a .doc file.


  bof:) 00:57 20 Jan 2005


Did you not get any ocr software with your scanner? This would be much better to copy and edit text documents.

  Sonic21 01:29 20 Jan 2005

Hi yeh i agree you need OCR software the pre bundled software does not sound very good.

  jules52 08:13 20 Jan 2005

I understand your problem now. I have a lovely non working boxed Microtex scanner sitting in my loft due to the fact that next to NTL, Microtek in my opinion, are the worst company in the world to deal with and I personally wouldn't touch any of their products with a bargepole. My first advice is to get your money back and buy a proper scanner from a proper company. If you still want to persevere I would say almost definitely that you have a software/setup problem and that possibly Microtek have been "lightweight". If I remember, I think I had a similar problem with setting up my wondrous machine. Even when set up I was never able to keep my default settings. The reason why you cannot scan and save in any format other than tiff is because you are scanning in black and white. If you scan in greyscale or colour you should be able to save in most formats. I agree with both Sonic + mc that you need to put your file through OCR software.

  jack 08:30 20 Jan 2005

Scanned images are always 'Pictures'
and can only be read by picture/photo editing programs.
Offic 200 is a word processor aand I guess the intention was to edit the scanned document[ which safed as a picture file]
You do need OCR [ which most scanners have as part of the package]
When scanned the images is saved as a TIF file [which is an uncompressed file] and is then processed into a word document by the OCR program.

There is a failry steep learning curve with these programs - of which there are several.
Some will only read a 'full' page there fore panels and coluimn on the original have to be treated as separate pages etc.
The copy has to be right eway up when scanned OCR will not convert 'upside down or unsquare images cleanly.
Have fun.

  bof:) 09:39 20 Jan 2005

Hi all, many thanks for the advice, we did install the ocr program that came with the Microtek scanner. But as you have mentioned we did not scan in greyscale.

Whats confused us is that the scanner was purchased via qvc and on the tv it did show a letter being scanned into Office (according to brother-in-law).

I have a Lexmark scanner (yes I know dont laugh) but its setup to scan into office 97 and it does. So we assumed the Microtek would also.

many thanks for your help, I've emailed your comments to b.o.l for him too read.


  wiz-king 12:48 20 Jan 2005

You need to run via the OCR program,this will automatically start the scanner. You should be able to tell the OCR prog to scan, reconise and output the text as a word doc.

  bof:) 11:57 23 Jan 2005

thanks evryone thanks for your advice. My brother in law has decided to send the scanner back to qvc and get a better one.

Thankyou everyone for your help once again,


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