Large (Format) Decision: Stay Single?

Aug 10, 2010 | Blog

Large Format Scanner

As anyone begins looking to implement imaging, it is an automatic understanding that a document file will typically be a single file with multiple pages, possibly with sections to separate the documents. For most of us, however, when you look at large format documents, it becomes a real dilemma.

When imaging large-format documents, we know it’s typically a TIFF G4, JPG or PDF format. We also know to scan at a minimum of 300 dpi resolution for monochrome images. What is unknown is whether the set of plans should be single page files or multi-page files.

Large Format Drawings

Over the course of the last 15 years, 97% of all projects I have worked on have had the large-format drawings scanned as single page documents. The benefits of a single page large format images are far more beneficial in my opinion that multi-page or “sets”. The obvious benefits are controlling what information is released when sharing and collaborating on a project. Not everyone needs to see all aspects of the ‘set’.

Another is the index can more specific by defining all revisions of a specific discipline. You can also see the revisions and have that be part of the index. You could have multiple vendors but how would you know by a single index that there were difference vendors without reviewing the document. The Content Management or Records Management application may require a bit more indexing but you can spend less time thumbing through images and extracting out the one page you are looking for.

While scanning large-format documents as a multi-page or set present challenges, large format scanners DO support the creation of these files but you must be on your BEST game. If you have a misfeed you may be required to scan everything over again. The issue here is that you can’t set a batch of documents in a tray and have them feed into the scanner. Large format scanning has been and continues to be manually feeding paper one page at a time.

Finally, the most important issue in deciding single page or multi-page is does your network have the bandwidth to work with the large multi-page files. Image if there is a color drawing in the midst of it all. Most networks don’t support viewing file that is 80mb across the network.

How you address this issue is one of many when working with large format documents. Watch for more on large format imaging with my blog next week.