Rice University logo

How Do I Scan A Document

The Controller's Office is entering the exciting new era of imaging this summer! Starting with payment documents on August 1 and progressing through the other areas of the office during the year, we will be scanning documents for retention. This will reduce filing and retrieval time and increase workplace efficiency. It has been - and will continue to be - a very educational experience for everyone involved.

In order to scan effectively, the documents must be properly prepared. Many practices that we have taken for granted in the past now present some surprising challenges. So, we need your help to minimize the rework required in order to create a legible scanned image. Whenever possible, please try to remember these tips as you prepare documents to send to the Controller's Office.

Presenting the Controller's Office Top Five List

Things we've learned about imaging...
  • Think yellow (and maybe light green) - Not because of that university in Waco, but because the lighter shades of yellow and green highlighters and colored paper scan beautifully (note: goldenrod is NOT light).
  • Wear blue and gray to sporting events, but don't use them for paper or highlighters - and forget about all shades of pink, red, orange, lavender, and purple! You might as well be highlighting with a heavy black marker or printing your documents in black ink on black paper.
  • Think "tiny" when you think staples - Regular weight staples are fine, but removing the heavy-duty staples designed for use on documents 20-100 pages thick causes significant damage to the document. Please use a binder clip instead.
  • Terminate the sticky note - Those things are the very bane of scanning, along with tape flags. The repositionable adhesive doesn't hold the notes to the page so they scrape off and foul the scanner. So just say "no" to the post-it note and all of its relatives (unless it contains essential information - in that case, see the next tip).
  • If you have a smaller item such as a receipt for petty cash or a settlement tape for a credit card deposit voucher, please affix the item to a standard size (8.5x11) piece of paper with clear tape on all sides. It is OK to tape more than one item on a page as long as all the data is legible. But remember....

    There is one real danger to clear tape
    The data underneath it doth scrape
    We no longer can read
    The data we need
    Tape gives it an amorphous shape

    We're accountants, not poets! Anyway, if the clear tape covers any of the essential data on the receipt or calculator tape or settlement report or whatever, there's a chemical reaction that can literally erase the data. Not the desired effect!

If you have any questions or comments, please call us and we will be happy to work with you to resolve any issues you may have. Thanks for your help in making this transition easier!

Please feel free to download the following files for your personal reference.