Scanners reproduce your life in the digital world...Yes, there are many types of scanners, but most of them (except for, perhaps, the drum scanners used in the publishing industry) “capture” data—be it text documents, business graphics, or photos, including film, transparencies, slides, and negatives—the same way, which is the topic of this article. Just how does a scanner take a hard copy page, reproduce its content, and then transfer that data to a computer file that you and I can do with as we please?

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About Printer ResolutionNowadays, there are several ways to “render,” or image and display, output— printers, monitors, tablets, and smartphones (and I’m sure I’ve left a few out). In one way or another, they all gauge output density with some sort of resolution measurement, such as dots per inch(dpi) or pixels per inch (ppi). Typically, though, we use dpi when referring toprinted resolution, and when we use ppi, we’re talking about image, or display, resolution.

It’s also important to point out that laser-class printers turn out entirely different size and shaped dots than do their inkjet counterparts. For example, a good, appropriately configured laser printer’s output is so clean, in terms of screen frequency and halftones, that you can (theoretically) use it as camera-ready art, i.e.color separations, for reproduction on a printing press. (However, most designers would use the laser output for proofing, and then go one step further and output the color separations to film for printing on a high-end, high-resolution imaging, or typesetting, machine.)

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