If a scanner’s ability to transport an in-hand document to one that's onscreen seems like something too complicated to handle, weigh the pros and cons and advantages and disadvantages to implementing the equipment into your office. Once you have a scanner, you may find a million reasons to use it every day, but you’ll also need to consider its potential for problems in the office, as well. Scan your options and make a decision that best suits your company’s needs.

Make a Fake

Scanners can be used to fake documents. For example, one of the quickest things that can be faked with a scanner is an ID. All a scam artist needs is the framework (an old corporate ID badge) and a new photo. Within minutes, the photo is transposed onto the old ID and text changed, and for all purposes, someone who is not your employee can now look like one.

Size Restrictions

Although your corporate supply catalog may have several scanner types on offer, most scanners restrict you to the size of an 8.5 inch by 14 inch page of paper, or in some cases of photo scanners, even smaller. Larger flatbed scanners are expensive, and in most instances, you’d scan a big document, poster or other item in sections, perhaps even having to cut or fold it, to completely scan it. Putting together all of those pieces in a graphic design software would then require serious skills at alignment and retouching.

Unwanted Extras

Something as fragile and invisible to the eye as a speck of dust can wreak havoc when working with a scanner. Scanners, which don’t appear fragile, don’t need much to start producing unwanted extras on your documents. That single piece of dust may contribute to dots, lines and other pieces of unwanted designs showing up on your scans – and finding the little speck can be difficult when you’re trying to remove it. Other times, scanners produce unwanted extras such as striations and other lines on your documents, even without dust or dirt on the flatbed. You may get lines on your document from scanner problems such as poor calibration, defective electronics, a lamp that’s about to go bad and even a poor connection to the extension cord powering the machine.

Lamp Replacement

Although you may only see it when you close the flatbed lid and generate the scan, a lamp is often hard at work inside the scanner. When the scanner is operational, you won’t have to interact with the lamp, but when the lamp goes bad, several problems may occur. Lamps can shut themselves off if you unplug your AC adapter or power cord, for example. They may contribute to an over-exposed or under-exposed scanned image, as well. Your scanner manual will offer guidance on the proper lamp and accessories to use, but when your lamp goes bad, you’re also faced with several other problems. Replacing a scanner lamp isn’t as simple as reaching into your office torchier and switching out the bulbs. Old scanners may mean that your replacement parts – which include clamps and other accessories as well as the bulb – may not even be available, or may require an on-site professional or trip to a service shop.