Department of Engineering


Scanning is available on the Xerox/papercut system units, situated around the Department. There is also a small epson flat bed scanner in the helpdesk room (previously known as the Operators room), which does high quality scans. As a rule of thumb, photos that need to be a high quality, slides or negatives should be done on the epson scanner. All other scanning can be done on the Xerox units. In brief:

The Xerox/papercut system scanners:

  • scans A4 or A3
  • scans in monochrome, greyscale or colour
  • scans in bulk (from a multi-page feeder)
  • scans as a flatbed scanner
  • resolution up to 600dpi
  • scans single or double sided
  • automatically emails the document to you
  • creates the following document types:
    • pdf
    • pdf/a
    • jpeg
    • tiff
    • xps

The epson scanner (in the helpdesk room):

  • scans A4 and slightly larger (but not to A3)
  • scans in monochrome, greyscale or colour
  • flat bed scanner only (no document feeder)
  • resolution up to 12,800dpi
  • scans slides and negatives
  • scans 48-bit colour (281.5 trillion colours/tones)
  • creates following document types:
    • pdf
    • jpeg
    • tiff
    • bmp

Use of the scanners are free of charge. The xerox units are available 24/7. The epson scanner is available during helpdesk hours. Users MUST remove staples, paper clips or anything that may scratch the glass surface before use. The glass is easily scratched, and all subsequent copying/scanning will be detriorated in quality.

More information on scanning from the xerox/papercut units:

The multifeeder can jam easily, and paper put through the multifeeder can get damaged. The more compromised the sheet of paper is, or the the lower quality (weight) it is, the more chance it has of being ruined in the feeder. So think carefully before you use the feeder, and for the most reliable results:

  • use only business quality paper (not writing pad paper or card)
  • The leading edge of the paper (the edge of the paper that is fed in first), should be the least compromised. Ie, if one edge has been used for stapling and/or hole punching and the other edge has no holes, use the edge without holes; or if one edge has slightly folded or curled corners, use the edge that has the straightest corners.
    Note: this may result in a document that appears upside down when viewed, however this can easily be rotated. Fixing a ruined document/broken feeder will typically be far less straightforward!
  • As stated previously remove all staples and fixings
  • If the document can't go through the multifeeder, you can create a multipage document by:
    • Placing the document to be scanned on the document glass.
    • Selecting "Job Assembly" (top right hand tab).
    • Change "Build Job" to "On"
    • Select "OK"

By default scanning is single sided. To ensure that you have a double sided scan touch "2 sided scanning" (at the bottom of the "Email" tab screen), and select "2-sided".

By default the scan will be sent to on your hermes email. You can change the subject of this email, by selecting "Subject" (right hand side of the screen, on the "Email" tab). You can change the filename of the scan by selecting "Filename" (bottom right of the screen, when in the "Email" tab). The option to send to another person has been removed, in order that you can check that your scan has been successfully created and sent, before you forward it on.

Note, hermes email has a message size limit of 50Mb, although in practise this is often smaller (as binary files must be encoded, and will therefore typically be a 1/3 larger when sent over email than the size they appear on a file listing). So in practise it's useful to think of hermes having a message size limit of approx 30Mb - 35Mb.

There isn't an easy approximation of knowing what size your scanned document will be, however the following hints may prove helpful:

  • a document scanned in colour will use more space than a greyscale or monochrome document.
  • By default the Xerox unit will select whether your document is colour or greyscale, you can override this setting.
  • Obviously larger documents will use up more space. Less obviously a very large (many hundred page) document scanned in monochrome or greyscale setting, is likely to use up less space than a couple of very colourful pages on a high resolution (dpi).
  • Monochrome setting will use the least amount of space, so if your document is just text and/or monochrome line drawings, select monochrome.

By default the scan is pdf. If you wish to rotate the resulting scanned file, contact helpdesk. The helpdesk can also help you convert a pdf file to editable text, which can then be imported into word processors, spreadsheets etc.

At the time of writing, we believe that in the near future documents will be able to be sent to a file on the teaching system (as an alternative to email). This should prove useful to those with very large documents to scan. Contact the helpdesk to find out the current status on this.

© Cambridge University Engineering Dept
Information provided by helpdesk
Last updated: 7th August 2015