PDF vs. JPEG - What output to scan to?

People and companies company scans many documents daily.  Some output files to JPEGs, while others output to PDFs. For those outputing to JPEGs we suggest switching to PDFs. Here's why:

Scans are scans, or are they? The JPEG file format is a lossy format and will generally look worse than most other scan types. For instance, if you are scanning in photographs the JPEGs look good, but if you are scanning in crisp text, JPEGS will have lots of artifacts and just look bad.

We come across people and companies all the time that aren't sure which is the best format to output their scan to. We find that in most to all cases, it is best to convert documents to PDFs. Some of the advantages of converting to PDF opposed to JPEG below:

* PDFs are generally a much Better Quality for taxt based documents
* PDFs can have Multiple pages per document vs one for JPEGs
* PDFs can be viewed from any of 500,000,000 computers
* PDF can be editied using readily available tools
* PDF Files can be marked-up with comments without affecting the original data
* PDF Files are secure (can be password protected and locked for viewing and editing)
* PDF Web optimization allowing downloads to open immediately
* PDF Text Searchability with text within the document using OCR
* PDF Compression up to 1/100th the size of JPEG without loss of quality
* PDF Metadata with info about the document travels with the document
* PDF Portability to any OS/Hardware
* PDF has additional file control using advanced tools.


For those that do not have dedicated scanners or All -in-One printers with built in scanners, there are smart phone apps that can be used as scanners. One of the better ones, CamScanner (which can be downloaded from your app store), has a free app that can be used for this purpose. The only limitation of the free version, is that it puts a watermark at the bottom of the page which is not a problem for most users. If you prefer to have the watermark removed, the app can be purchased for the regular price of $4.99 and is often on sale for as little as $1.99.

So next time you are ready to scan in your document, consider using the PDF output format.