September 25, 2023   6:48pm

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If you’ve got the energy, here’s the most efficient way to move those papers out of your physical files and into your digital ones …


From the The New York Times*:

Q. I want to convert a lot of old paperwork to PDF files on my PC. Can I use my current scanner?

A. Many scanners and multifunction printer-scanner-copier units include software that lets you save a scanned image as a PDF file. If the scanner’s software includes this ability, your task may be as simple as choosing to save the image as a PDF instead of a JPEG or other image format.

Even if the scanner’s own software won’t save the image as a PDF file, plenty of other programs will, including Nuance PDF Create or A-PDF Image to PDF ( The ScanStore site has information on software and equipment at Freeware programs like Scan2PDF are also available.

If you have a huge amount of paper to scan on a flatbed scanner, an automatic document feeder attachment can help speed things up by letting you scan about 50 sheets in one session. Document feeders can cost around $200, and you need to make sure you get one that fits your scanner model.

Other options include getting a scanner designed to convert documents to digital files, like the NeatDesk system ($400 at Portable document scanners like the “Fujitsu ScanSnap”, “the Visioneer RoadWarrior Sheetfed Scanner” or the “Pentax DSMobile 600” (starting $113 on Amazon) are out there as well.

Personal Tech invites questions about computer-based technology, by e-mail to You may also be interested in Tech Talk, a weekly New York Times podcast on making the most of technology.  Go to:  nytimes/com/personal tech.

SNOETY Note: If you don’t have Adobe Acrobat on your computer, you’ll need it.   You can download the reader here. For the Adobe Acrobat family of products, click here.


*The New York Times, PERSONAL TECH, Q&A, “Converting Paper Into PDF Files,” by J.D. Biersdorfer, August 6, 2009, pg B8

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