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Solutions: Getting a scanned document to format properly

I purchased an HP Officejet pro 8600 all-in-one printer from Office Depot. The software that came with the printer indicated that it has the capability to edit a scanned document and it does indeed have an option to "scan as an editable text." It scans to the computer okay, but when you save the document and then open it, the formatting is all messed up — misaligned and such. You can edit the document, but it would take forever to put it in the proper format. The tech at Office Depot told me that the HP 8600 Premium comes with separate software (Readiris) that takes care of this formatting issue. He tested a scanned document and the format was okay and he was able to edit the text. The HP tech took control of my computer and had the same problem I had.

I am being told to buy a more expensive printer with the "correct" software or purchase expensive software. My computer is a Toshiba laptop Satellite with Windows Vista Home Premium, 32-bit.

It's frustrating when a problem is bounced, each party blaming the others for the issue. You've certainly received enough opinions, but I think you've been talking to the wrong people. Here's what I would do: Contact Readiris technical support (irislink.com) and explain your issue. They will know their product better than HP, Office Depot or anybody else. They should be able to tell you whether your PC has everything necessary to create and edit OCR (optical character recognition) documents or if you have to upgrade. That will be your decision.

Meanwhile, if you own Microsoft Office, check to see if you have Microsoft Office Document Imaging software (Programs, Microsoft Office, Microsoft Office Tools). I've seen this program solve a number of scanning issues that the packaged printer software could not. Remember, you still have the option of returning the printer and trying a different printer/OCR software combination of which there are many, and you shouldn't have to spend more than you already have to get something that works.

I have been told by my computer company (Dell) that, with the introduction of Windows 8, Microsoft will immediately no longer provide update service for their Security Essentials antivirus program on machines running Windows 7. Is this correct?

Incorrect. The sunset date for Windows 7 is 2020, and although it is possible they will end support and updates for Security Essentials before that, it is not currently on the Microsoft lifecycle support list, which is usually five years ahead of the sunset date (support.microsoft.com/lifeselect). And for those who don't already know, Windows 8 has a built-in antivirus (confusingly called Windows Defender), so there is no need to take any action right out of the box. It's already there. Can't get any simpler than that.

Send questions to personaltech@tampabay.com or Personal Tech, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731. Questions are answered only in this column.

Solutions: Getting a scanned document to format properly 01/25/13 [Last modified: Friday, January 25, 2013 9:00pm]
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