Should I Scan to TIF or PDF?

We’ve been asked this a number of times and there are differences and advantages to each document scanning format. Here are just a few-


Advantages to PDF

Can contain multiple pages

True Black Text – Better Print Quality, good OCR

Embed into web pages, readable in a web browser

System wide integration Adobe Acrobat reader is commonly pre-installed on most pc’s

PDF files can contain vector and raster graphics or no graphics at all


Advantages to TIF Files

Capture Graphics and Colors Well at Higher Resolutions

More changeable than PDF files, PDF files require special software to change the contents

Can be manipulated with most image editing or page layout programs


It really comes down to personal preference, and/or software dependence by your company. Typically we scan in minimum 300 DPI to PDF format, but it is not uncommon for us to scan to TIF. Given that Adobe Acrobat reader is installed on most computers so users can view PDF files without a problem, we recommend scanning to PDF if you are not sure. Also, PDF allows for fully searchable text (take advantage of Optical Character Recognition), as well and true black print capabilities, so your scanned documents will print clear like the original. If you have a system-wide software that integrates with specific file types and prefers TIF for example, that may be the way to go.

Contact Us today for a no obligation document imaging quote and/or consultation.

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