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Digital Microform Scanner Instructions

The Canon MS400 Microform Scanner has been connected to a computer which allows users to create digital images from microfilm or microfiche, and then either send those images via email or save them to a disk.

NB: If you would like to scan a book, document or photo instead of microfilm or microfiche, a BookScan Station is available next to the Canon MS400 Microform Scanner.

Quick Steps:

  1. Turn on the Canon digital scanner, then the computer next to it.
  2. Load the microfilm/microfiche onto the Canon digital scanner, center what you want to scan between the left and right "LTR" markings, focus and/or zoom as needed, then have a seat at the computer.
  3. Open the eCopy Desktop program by double-clicking the eCopy icon.
  4. In the eCopy Desktop program, click the Scan button.
  5. Adjust the view of what you've scanned by clicking the Fit Length, Fit Width, and/or Rotate buttons as needed. You can also zoom in and out by clicking the numeric keypad's "+" and "-" keys.
  6. Mark up the image, move or copy pages, and/or rescan with new settings as needed or desired (see detailed instructions below).
  7. Do one or more of the following:
    1. Click File, then Export File to save the image to a disk.
    2. Click the Mail button to email the image.
    3. Add another "page" to your image file by going back to the Canon digital scanner, lining up something new to scan, and repeating the above from Step 4.

Warning! The file size of scanned images can be quite large. Many email providers place a limit on how big individual messages can be. Also, most email providers set quotas on how much mail they will store for you at any one time. If you attempt to email an image that exceeds either of these limits, that email may by rejected. For this reason we recommend that you save scanned images to a disk whenever possible. If you prefer to email, it is a good idea to reduce the file size of your scanned images by scanning at a lower resolution, breaking up large image files into smaller ones, and by cropping your images to include only the content you wish to send. For more information, see below.

Detailed Instructions:

1. Turn on the Canon digital scanner, then the computer next to it.

The PC needs to "recognize" the scanner when it boots up. For this to happen the scanner needs to be turned on before the PC. If both machines are already on when you go to use them and you are unable to scan, restart the PC. The Canon digital scanner's power switch in located near the bottom left corner of the front of the machine. The PC's power button is a large oval button on the front of the computer.

2. Load the microfilm/microfiche onto the Canon digital scanner, center what you want to scan between the left and right "LTR" markings, focus and/or zoom as needed, then have a seat at the computer.

For microfilm (reels), load on the left spindle, with film feeding from the top of the reel, and pass the film under the black roller and between the glass plates, left to right. [insert more instructions]

For microfiche (flat 4x6" transparencies), push the film carrier all the way to the back, then slide the fiche carrier from left to center. Pull forward, raising the top glass. Put fiche on lower glass face down, then push carrier under lens. In most cases the pages run from top left to bottom right, in rows. Each page has to be positioned and copied manually, one at a time.

There are three sprocket wheels surrounding the lens which control the display:

  • top: rotates the display
  • middle: adjusts magnification (zoom)
  • bottom: controls focus

Adjust the magnification so that left and right edges of what you want to scan line up just within the left and right "LTR" markings.

Note: If you want to print, there is no need to use the computer. The print button is green, located near the upper right corner of control area.

3. Open the eCopy Desktop program by double-clicking the eCopy icon.

If someone before you used the eCopy Desktop program, you may want to restart the PC in order to restore all controls back to their default settings.

4. In the eCopy Desktop program, click the Scan button.

If you are unable to scan, the PC is not recognizing the scanner. Be sure the scanner is turned on and restart the PC.

5. Adjust the view of what you've scanned by clicking the Fit Length, Fit Width, and/or Rotate buttons as needed. You can also zoom in and out by clicking the numeric keypad's "+" and "-" keys.

If your image file comprises multiple images (see 7c below), you can also toggle the View All button or cycle through the available images by clicking on the Next Page and Previous Page buttons.

6. Mark up the image, move or copy pages, and/or rescan with new settings as needed or desired.

You can mark up your scanned image just as you might mark up a paper document (i.e., with a pen, a highlighter, correction fluid, etc.). You can also stamp your documents with any of a number of "rubber stamp" graphics available.

To begin marking up your image, click the Markups button.  A Markups toolbox will be displayed containing all your markup options.  In general, click the markup option you want to use, then click on that portion of your image you want to apply it to.

For specific information on the different markup option and how to use them, click on Help, then Contents...., then Viewing and modifying documents, then Marking up a document.


If you have created multiple pages (see 7c below), you may want rearrange the order in which those pages appear.  You may also want to create (or edit) a new file so that you can move or copy selected pages to it from other files.  To do either of these, see the documentation on Moving and Copying pages by clicking on Help, then Contents..., then Viewing and modifying documents, then Moving and copying pages.


To rescan with new settings, look in the eCopy Desktop menu and click on Scan (the menu item, not the button), then choose Scanner Settings. In the Preferences window, change Resolution to 400 DPI for a clearer image, 200 DPI for a smaller file size. Adjust the Brightness setting if you wish, then click OK.  (Note that 400 DPI will result in a larger file size and 200 DPI will result in a smaller file size.

7a.  Click File, then Export File to save the image to a disk.

When you export a file, you are displayed a dialog box that allows you to choose where you want to save it to, what you want to call it, and what format type you want to save it as. 

Near the top of the dialog box, the Save in: window shows where the file will be saved.  If you wish, you can change this by clicking on the downward-pointing arrow to the right and choosing another drive or folder.  (Note: The Desktop is a good place to save files, as they can be copied conveniently from there to a disk later.  Be aware that all files saved to the hard drive of the computer will be removed when the PC is restarted.)

Name your file in the File name box.  There is no need to add a file extension in this box.

In the Save as type box you can choose the format type for your file.  If you are saving the file to a disk to be viewed later on a different computer, be sure to choose a file type that can be opened by that computer.  In other words, be sure that the computer you will be using has software installed that is capable of opening files of the format type you are choosing. 

If you do now know which file type to choose, use the following as guide:

PDF Files (*.pdf) can be opened by any computer that has Adobe Reader installed.  Most computers already do, but if yours doesn't, it can be downloaded and installed for free by visiting http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html.  Images saved in PDF format tend to have a smaller file size than those saved as JPG files.  In most cases, this is the best choice.

JPG Files (*.jpg) can be opened by almost all computers without having to do anything special, although saving images in this format may make for large file sizes.

TIFF Files (*.tif) are image files that compress well (i.e., result in a relatively small file size) and can be viewed by nearly all Windows computers and many Macintosh computers.  If TIFF viewing software is not available on your computer, you may be able to find some at http://lcweb2.loc.gov/ammem/amviewer.html.  

eCopy Files (*.cpy) are built on the PDF format and can be opened by Adobe Reader, although you may need to instruct your computer to use Adobe Reader the first time you attempt to open an eCopy file.  eCopy files can also be opened and viewed with the eCopy Viewer software, which is available for free at http://www.ecopy.com/products/ecopy_viewer.asp.  eCopy files compress as well as PDF files; their only advantage over PDF files is that, on a computer that runs the full eCopy Desktop program (not just the eCopy Viewer), markup layers can be edited.

(Tip: If you are still unsure about which format to save your file as, you can export the same file multiple times, each time with a different format!)

If you have exported or saved your file to the Desktop or a folder on the hard drive rather than directly to a disk, you can copy or move your file to a disk by following the directions here

7b. Click the Mail button to email the image.

The file size of scanned images can be quite large. Many email providers place a limit on how big individual messages can be. Also, most email providers set quotas on how much mail they will store for you at any one time. If you attempt to email an image that exceeds either of these limits, that email may be rejected. For this reason we recommend that you save scanned images to a disk whenever possible. If you prefer to email, it is a good idea to find out what your email provider's message size and mailbox storage limits are. These size limits vary widely and change often.  By way of illustration, as of August 2004, the following limits exist for these popular email providers:

email provider storage space message size limit
MSN Hotmail (free version) 2 megabytes (MB) 1 MB
Yahoo! Mail (free version) 100 MB 10 MB
AOL Mail 20 MB 16 MB
Comcast 250 MB 10 MB
Earthlink 10 MB 5 MB

The message size limit pertains to the size of the total message.  That is, the text of the message, the attachment(s), plus the "overhead" created by the process of encoding the attachment.  This "overhead" can increase the overall file size of your email by up to 30%, so even though an email provider may state (for example) that your maximum message size can be 10 MB, in fact you may not be able to attach a file larger than 7.6 MB.

Last updated: October 01, 2012
URL: http://www.mhl.org/about/computers/ms400.htm
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