When having your documents scanned, it is important to choose a file format which is suitable for your organisation. Amongst all of the technical jargon, it can be difficult to tell what the difference is so here's a short and simple guide to three of the most popular file formats.
TIFF is short for Tagged Image File Format and, depending on your experience with electronic files, you may or may not have already heard of it. While the TIFF format is a popular one to convert documents to, there are a number of factors you need to consider before choosing this format.
Advantages of Scanning to TIFF
The main advantage of using a TIFF format to convert your scanned files to is that this format is highly compatible with most systems and software. The file also remains uncompressed meaning you won't lose any image detail during the conversion or through frequent saves.
Disadvantages of Scanning to TIFF
There is a disadvantage to the uncompressed feature of the TIFF however and that is the file size. Because a TIFF file remains uncompressed, its file size can be really large. This can become a problem if you're wanting to share your files by email. If you just want your files to be stored and accessed from a document management system though, this can be done easy with TIFF files.
JPEG (or you may have seen if referred to as JPG) stands for Joint Photographic Experts Group. If you have anything to do with photography, you will almost definitely have heard of this as it is a popular format for photographic images and digital paintings.
Advantages of Scanning to JPEG
In contrast to the TIFF, JPEGs are compressed files which reduces the file size making it easy to share by email. The initial compression uses good enough ratios to still maintain decent quality images.
Disadvantages of Scanning to JPEG
Unfortunately, the compression will have an effect in the long run because when you save and edit the files over and over again you will experience something called generational degrading which means the images will begin to lose their quality over time.
The PDF (or Portable Document Format) is probably the most popular format to convert scanned images to. Whether you work with electronic documents on a regular basis or not, you will almost definitely have had some encounters with PDF, from downloadable brochures to online books.
Advantages of Scanning to PDF
The main advantage of a PDF file is that it preserves all of the formatting and layout of the original document. PDFs also offer customisable features and the ability to compress the file for storage and sharing purposes without losing any image quality. The PDF is also a highly mobile format and even lets you view documents on smartphone and tablet devices.
Disadvantages of Scanning to PDF
While PDF might seem like the perfect file format, it does come with some disadvantages. It can be very difficult to edit files stored as PDFs because the format captures the document exactly as it is and remains just that. Due to the nature of the ratio, you may also need to scroll and zoom on your computer to view the entire image.
So there we go, I hope this article has gone some way to explaining the good and bad points of the three main files formats to help you make the best decision
for your scanning project.
Here at Pearl Scan, we provide document scanning and file conversion services for companies and organisations in London and right across the UK. Our sales team can provide you with excellent consultation and draw up a free quote for your project including any one of the file conversion formats above. Contact us by email, call us or complete our online form and one of our experienced staff will be in touch.
The Scan-do Peopletm
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