Large-format scanners are needed for reproducing documents that are either 11 by 17 inches or regular-sized double-page spreads. People who are more interested in scanning images can usually get by with regular-sized scanners, but these scanners are more useful when scanning documents, art and pages from books. They're more common in business use than in home use. Some of the best brands of large-format scanners include Epson, Cannon and Samsung. Black-and-white large-format scanners are comparable to the costs of normal scanners, but high-resolution scanners with advanced, automated settings can cost thousands. Available from online and standard electronic retailers, finding one to fit your needs isn't difficult if you ask the right questions. Here are a few questions to get you started on your search for the right scanner hardware.

Will this large-format scanner destroy what it scans?

No. Unlike traditional scanners, large format scanners are manufactured as to not overheat and destroy the documents or artwork. Also, it will scan the piece as to not cause any errors on the art work, preserving the original quality.

What format is the scanner's technology?

Large format scanners come in two different technology types: CIS and CCD. CIS (Contact Image Sensor) is mainly used for technical documents such as maps and CAD diagrams. CCD (Charged-Coupled Device) is used when scanning graphic images such as photographs.

What size of images or documents will you be scanning?

When considering the size, you need to account for all three dimensions of a document: the length, width, and thickness. This will determine what size scanner to purchase. If your materials are smaller than 8.5 by 11 inches, then you don't need a large document scanner. Or, if you only need a few large items scanned, you could always buy a normal scanner and then go to the copy shop for your loose ends.

Is the piece to be scanned in color?

Unless otherwise stated, a large format scanner is going to be a black and white scanner; meaning it is not intended to scan colored documents. If you will be scanning colors, ensure to purchase a scanner intended for color.

What is the warm up time of this large-scale scanner?

This will become important when you begin to use the scanner. Some are ready to scan in just a few minutes while others in half an hour. Determine how quickly you will need to scan a document and purchase accordingly.

Can this large-scale scanner attach wirelessly to a printer?

There are some scanners that can attach directly to a printer and others that can only be hooked up to a computer and then printed from there. Some scanners communicate with printers wirelessly. This is more of a preference choice on behalf of the buyer. If you want the ease of print, find one that hooks directly in.

What resolution does the scanner print at?

This will become important when it comes to the quality of the scan. The higher the resolution, the better quality scan that will be produce. However, the higher the resolution is, the higher the price goes.

Does the scanner have clean-up technology?

In most scanners today, there is an embedded technology that allows the scanner to automatically clean up the document it is scanning. This leads to being able to preserve documents that might have some slight damage.