How to Scan, Copy and File Documents

By Pamela Mooman; Updated July 05, 2017
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file image by Byron Moore from Fotolia.com

Manila folders and filing cabinets aren't necessary for keeping and organizing a complete record of important documents. Papers can be shredded after being electronically filed or even eliminated altogether as more companies and government offices are moving toward more environmentally friendly, paperless businesses, eschewing hard copies for electronic versions. Electronic paperwork reduces the need for storage, thus reducing costs, saving time and benefiting the environment. Scanning, copying and filing documents is easy with minimal hardware and software investment. Scanners are sold online, at office product stores and even in department stores, and they are affordable. Some machines combine printing, faxing, scanning and copying capabilities.

Scanning Documents

Connect the scanner to your computer with the included USB connector cable. Install any drivers using the installation CD or by visiting the manufacturer's website.

Lay the document print side down on the glass bed frame.

Align the edges according to the indicator marks on the glass bed frame.

Scan one page at a time by closing the lid and pressing the “Scan” or “Start” button. The document will be converted into a digital file. The greater the dots per inch, or DPI, the greater the detail the scanned document will have. However, with more detail, the file becomes larger and will take longer to download.

Copying Documents

Place a hard copy of a document on the glass copier, with the edges aligned as indicated on the machine.

Press the “Copy” or “Start” button.

Right-click on an electronic document and select “Copy.”

Copy the electronic document into the same folder, into an existing folder or into a new folder.

Filing Documents

Click on the icon on the upper right side of your "My Computer" menu that looks like a folder with a star on it. This will open a new folder.

Name the folder appropriately for the type of documents that will be stored in it.

Drag a file into the new folder by holding the left mouse button over the folder, moving your arrow into the folder and releasing the left mouse button.

Tip

Do not keep unnecessary files. Use a consistent method for naming files and folders for most efficient filing. Keep related documents together. Keep ongoing and completed work separate. Avoid overfilling folders. Instead, break down large files into smaller, precisely named subfolders.

About the Author

Pamela Mooman has been writing and editing for more than 19 years. Her stories and work have appeared in numerous publications including "Texas Parks & Wildlife," "San Antonio Woman," the "San Antonio Express-News" and for the news organization Reuters. Mooman holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Texas A&M University and is studying at Goddard College for her Master of Fine Arts in creative writing.