Scanning Microfiche

THL Toolbox > Scanning & OCR > Scanning Microfiche

Scanning Microfiche Documents

The following instructions are for digitizing texts from microfiche documents.


1. Go to the third floor of Alderman Library, to the microfilm/fiche lab. Use the machine labeled Canon 6.
2. Make sure Canon 6 and the desktop computer to the left of it are turned off; then turn on Canon 6 before turning on the computer. This computer is where the scanning program is located.

Setting Up the Microfiche Viewer

3. Push the microfilm carrier back so as to allow room for the microfiche slide tray. Set the microfiche sheet to be scanned face down beneath the glass cover on the fiche tray, and slide the tray under the microscope, thus shutting down the glass cover.
4. The minor settings below the large viewer must be as follows: set Print Mode to F1, set Standby Mode to F6, light the LED next to Positive, set the Print Area to the top most option (center), and set Paper Size to LTR.
5. Use the control knob to position the scan area you want. If you are scanning images of pechas, rotate the scan area so that the length of the pecha(s) are vertical, thus filling the central scan area optimally. Use the zoom feature of the control knob to fill the central scan area with the image up to the area borders so as to get the highest resolution possible. Use the focus feature to achieve the sharpest focus.


6. On the computer desktop, open the program entitled Canon MS800 Scanning Utility.
7. Go to File > Scanner Settings. Set Mode: to GrayScale - 245Level; set Resolution to 300.
8. Go to File > Scan Batch to File. Select a file name and a saving location. Save the file type as BMP for greatest quality. This batch feature will allow you to scan multiple images without needing to repeat the Save File process. Click Save.
9. A dialogue box will appear entitled Start Scanning. Click the button Start Scanning. The fiche image within the scan area will be scanned and its digital image will appear on the computer screen along with the Start Scanning dialogue box again. Peruse the image quickly for any obvious problems (i.e., brightness) or scan errors (i.e., incorrect area scanned). If the scan is satisfactory, readjust the microfiche tray in order to fill the scan area with the next image to be scanned. Once that is placed properly, click the Continue Scanning button on the computer screen to scan again.
10. Continue this process until you are finished scanning the microfiche, then click the Stop Scanning button on the Start Scanning dialogue box. Close the program when you are finished.

Converting the Images to PDF

11. Unfortunately, this scanning program lacks an automatic PDF converter. Wherever you choose to save this batch of scans (preferably onto a flash drive), it will do so as a series of BMP files that all have the initial filename you provided followed by numbers enumerating their place in the scan sequence. To convert these separate images into a single PDF, the full Adobe Acrobat program with PDF conversion capabilities will be required. The use of this program is available in the Digital Media Lab on the third of Clemons Library.
12. At the Digital Media Lab, use one of the computers and click the Adobe Acrobat 7.0 icon found on the desktop on the right-side taskbar to open it. Go to File > Create PDF > From Multiple Files.
13. A dialogue box will open entitled Create PDF from Multiple Documents. Click the Browse button under the Add Files category. Go to where you have saved all the microfiche scans and highlight them all. Click Add. Press Okay.
14. A PDF of all the images as one document will appear as well as a Save As dialogue box. Give the document a file name and save it.

Additional Features

15. If you are familiar with the full Adobe Acrobat program, you can use the Crop and Rotate features under the Document menu to crop unnecessary space from your document and rotate it to an appropriate position.
16. If the document is a large file, you can reduce the file size some by going to File > Reduce File Size. Make it compatible with Acrobat 7.0 and later.

Scan Times

  • Scanning a full nartang microfiche sheet (40 dpe cha sides): approx. 20 minutes.

Provided for unrestricted use by the external link: Tibetan and Himalayan Library