Remark Office OMR Scanner Information
Information on scanners for use with Remark Office OMR
Information on scanners for use with Remark Office OMR
Remark Office OMR is a software product that works with most common image scanners on the market. Scanners are supported either directly through a TWAIN scanner driver, or through importing image files such as PDF, TIFF, JPG, which are scanned and saved to some folder for processing.
There are hundreds of scanners on the market and the price/performance of these peripherals continually changes. The scanner manufacturers mentioned here are ones that have been tested with our Remark Office OMR software and are popular with our current user base. We do not advocate one manufacturer over another but are simply trying to give you a feel for what is out there and what people are using. If you are looking for a scanner, your best bet is to do your homework. Talk to the manufacturers, read reviews, find the features you need, and then find the best price.
There are several acronyms and other terms associated with scanners and scanning.
TWAIN – Industry standard type of driver for image scanners. Most scanners ship with a TWAIN driver to run the scanner.
Duplex – A scanner with duplex capabilities scans both sides of a double-sided form in one pass. Simplex scanners only scan one side of a form at one time.
ADF – Automatic Document Feeder. Option on a scanner to allow the device to scan a stack of forms at one time.
DPI – Dots Per Inch. A measure of the resolution of the scanner. The larger the number the better the quality of the image but the larger the images become (and slower to process). 200-300 is recommended for Remark Office OMR.
B&W – Black and White. Also sometimes called bi-tonal. Remark prefers you scan in black & white rather than in grayscale or color.
PPM and IPM – Pages per Minute and Images per Minute. A measure of the speed of the scanner. The higher the PPM/IPM the faster your pages are scanned. IPM is typically used as the measure when scanning duplex forms (you get two images per page in this case).
MFP – Multi-Function Peripheral, or Multi-Function Printer. Larger copier/printer/scanners typically found in schools and businesses for handling printing needs of the organization. For Remark purposes, they also scan forms.
The scanners supported by the Remark Office OMR software are image scanners, ones that produce an image of the item that is scanned. For software applications such as Remark Office OMR, the software then looks at that image and outputs data. When purchasing a scanner, there are several items to consider, including speed, price (your budget), duplex capabilities, automatic document feeder (ADF), the size of paper that can be scanned, and how the scanner will be used. For Remark Office OMR purposes, you want a scanner that can handle document scanning well. An ADF is a must as it minimizes operator interaction by allowing you to scan a stack of forms at one time. Remark Office OMR only needs 300 DPI resolution, which can be produced by virtually any scanner.
The speed at which Remark Office OMR can process forms is largely tied to the speed of the scanner being used. The speed of a scanner is measured in pages per minute (ppm) and/or images per minute (ipm). If your scanner can only scan five pages per minute, there is no hope of Remark Office OMR reading more than five pages per minute. When choosing the speed, consider your overall form volume, as well as how many forms you will scan during a single scanning session. You can then determine the speed you require to do the job at hand.
Scanners are connected to the host PC through a cable, typically using USB. Communication between software and scanner is through a “driver.” Remark Office OMR supports the most common driver protocol, TWAIN. Most scanners currently used by Remark Office OMR customers ship with a TWAIN driver. When you connect your scanner to your computer, you install the manufacturer’s TWAIN driver. The scanner can then “talk to” software applications such as Remark Office OMR.
Scanners come in three basic categories: High-End, Mid-Range and Low-End. We consider a high-end scanner to be a scanner capable of scanning more than 60 pages per minute (ppm). They will often accommodate larger paper sizes as well, allowing you to create items such as 11×17 booklets.
The mid-range of the scanning world includes scanners in the 20-40 page per minute (ppm) range. Scanners in this class are very popular with Remark Office OMR users.
When it comes to low-end scanners, keep the old adage in mind, “you get what you pay for.” Low-end scanners likely scan at rates of 10 pages per minute or less. If your scanning volume is low, a low-end scanner may be all that you need. However, many (but not all) low-end scanners are geared more toward scanning graphics and are not necessarily well suited for document scanning. Many of these scanners do not even have an optional ADF, which makes them unlikely candidates for use with Remark Office OMR.
There are two main types of scanners, desktop scanners that are directly connected to your PC, and copier/MFP scanners that are typically scanning forms and saving image files to be read by Remark Office OMR. It is important to note that if you are looking for a dedicated scanning system, a regular image scanner connected to a PC running Remark Office OMR may be your best bet. However, if you are looking for a larger, automated solution or need to purchase equipment that can be shared across your environment, a MFP may be a good solution for you. If you already own an MFP, chance are it can handle your scanning as well.
There are many scanner manufacturers in the marketplace, and as with anything, quality varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. We test many scanners and get feedback from our customers about what scanners they are using. The following manufacturers are popular with Remark Office OMR users:
Most schools and businesses have copiers/MFPs that include the ability to scan forms. There are many multi-function printers available today. These printers can scan, fax, print, and copy, all from one unit. The scanning capabilities on these systems may vary. MFP devices are typically network-based or free standing devices that are not directly connected to a PC running Remark. If using one of these devices, you may scan forms and save them as image files (PDF, TIFF, JPEG) using the built-in scanning function of the MFP. Depending on the system, you can drop your forms into the scanner and with the push of a button, have the forms scanned and the resulting images sent to another location where Remark Office OMR can then read them.
While we support any MFP that can create PDF or TIFF image files, the following MFP manufacturers are popular with Remark Office OMR users:
If you plan to use your scanner for other applications, make sure that the scanner you purchase has the features needed by the other applications. Some popular scanning applications include graphics (scanning pictures), OCR/ICR (scanning and processing characters and handwriting such as invoices and other forms), and document management (scanning and storing paper documents). Most scanners are now color capable. While you do not need to scan in color in Remark Office OMR, it may make a big difference if you are going to be scanning pictures for a brochure, for instance, with the same scanner. The resolution of the scanner should also be considered. Resolution is measured in dots per inch (dpi). In general, as resolution increases, so does image quality.
For more information, it is advised that you contact the scanner manufacturer or your local reseller. Shop carefully, as price varies from store to store and website to website. If you are considering the Remark software and already have a scanner, try out our free trial.