Photocopiers are found as standard in nearly every office in the UK, and have been evolving in ability and function since the 1970s. Originally a single-use device, office photocopiers have become complex multifunction devices over time. Many people still consider a photocopier to be just that, but modern devices have built in scanners as well as a suite of additional functions, and being able to distinguish between the two is sometimes quite difficult.
As far as a user is concerned, there is no difference in the first stages of using a copiers photocopying and scanning functions. A person will place their document onto the flat glass surface on the top of the device, or if there are multiple documents, into the document feeder. They will the push either a button (colour or mono) and the machine acquires a digital image of their document.
Scanning and copying documents
If a device is a photocopier, it will simply print the digital image onto one or more blank sheets of paper. If it’s a scanner, a copy of the scanned image will be stored digitally, and then sent to a computer through a network or an email, or stores it onto a USB stick or memory card.
Photocopying documents is a simpler process than scanning, needing a user to simply press a button to produce what they need. Scanning on the other hand scanning needs a little more input from the user, such as selecting a scans final destination in a folder structure, or the file type you want to output, for example.
Scanners, photocopiers and MFP’s – which one should I get?
When choosing between these 3 devices, many people automatically concentrate on the function they need right away. If you need a scanner, you’ll look for a scanner, right? However, if you look for a device which combines scanning, photocopying, printing and several other functions, you’ll have something which you’ll be able to use for a long time, and not have to worry about sourcing more and more devices at a higher cost when you need them. Multifunction devices combine these functions and many more into one, concise platform, and provide their users with a fast, easy to use device which can perform many tasks quickly.