Help file and manual

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jcheriton
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Help file and manual

Post by jcheriton » Thu Mar 18, 2010 3:16 pm

Hi,

I have just bought Scanahand and have made my first font (albeit with a little help from Font Creator to clean it up) and am very happy with the product... however...

It seems to me that the help file and manual (which, after all is just the help file in .pdf format) could probably do with a little more information. I initially had a problem with generating a font from the scanned template. The font produced was complete garbage - no characters, only lines and parts of the template header. This turned out to be the way that Scanahand drives the scanner, leaving it in low contrast monochrome mode and producing a fairly grey scan, and so I eventually thought to tick the "Use scanner driver" checkbox and adjust the contrast in the scanner driver setup window. This produced a much better scan and resulting font.

Having searched the forum I find that there are some interesting and useful tips for scanning and generating fonts with Scanahand. Could these not be added to the help file and manual, perhaps in a "troubleshooting" section for confused and irritated users like myself to peruse when we find ourselves having problems?

Obviously I have now sorted my problem out and will (probably) remember the solution when making the next font but the lack of insight into what Scanahand expects from a scanned template didn't help with my initial effort.

Other than that little hiccup it's a very nice program that does exactly what it says on the tin.

Erwin Denissen
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Re: Help file and manual

Post by Erwin Denissen » Thu Mar 18, 2010 4:14 pm

I'm glad you solved the issue. I still wonder; do you have a bad scanner or are you using eco paper, or is Scanahand doing a poor job?
Having searched the forum I find that there are some interesting and useful tips for scanning and generating fonts with Scanahand. Could these not be added to the help file and manual, perhaps in a "troubleshooting" section for confused and irritated users like myself to peruse when we find ourselves having problems?
By several means (the welcome dialog you see when you start Scanahand, the email you received when you ordered the software, the Technical Support section inside the manual, etc) we try to direct customers to the forum, as we believe this is the best place to organize common problems and solutions.
Erwin Denissen
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jcheriton
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Re: Help file and manual

Post by jcheriton » Fri Mar 19, 2010 12:25 pm

The scanner I use is a Genius 1200X which does a very good job of scanning most media so I can't bring myself to blame it. The paper is standard white 75gsm copy paper which gives good contrast when used with the Genius driver.

No, I think that Scanahand is setting the scanner to grey-scale and reasonable guess of what the contrast should be but is lowering the scanner contrast to the point where the scanned pages are a sort-of mid grey. This is fair enough and, given that I have the option of using the scanner driver, is not too much of an issue. To be realistic this is a font generator not a scan engine so I guess that expecting it to be perfect for every one of the multitude of scanners out there is asking a bit much.

My problem really is access to useful information (like why the scanned images are not read correctly) without having to search the forum for it. Granted the forum is a very useful source of information but if this information was available locally in the help file I'm sure it would help first-time users like myself.

Just that one sentence "Scanahand failed to detect the template because the horizontal and vertical grid lines are interrupted." in this forum post viewtopic.php?f=20&t=2301 is all the explanation that I required to get underway again. Would it hurt to include this type of information in the manual?

Erwin Denissen
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Re: Help file and manual

Post by Erwin Denissen » Fri Mar 19, 2010 4:22 pm

I appreciate your efforts to help us make our software and documentation more user friendly.
jcheriton wrote:Just that one sentence "Scanahand failed to detect the template because the horizontal and vertical grid lines are interrupted." in this forum post viewtopic.php?f=20&t=2301 is all the explanation that I required to get underway again. Would it hurt to include this type of information in the manual?
We still don't understand why the scanned image came out too gray. Can you please send such a scanned template page to us, so we can take a look at it?
Erwin Denissen
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Proven Font Technology

jcheriton
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Mar 18, 2010 2:58 pm

Re: Help file and manual

Post by jcheriton » Tue Mar 23, 2010 2:19 pm

Hi,

Sorry for the delay. It's been a bit hectic here for a while.

I include a template scanned directly from Scanahand. As you can see it's extremely grey!

John
Attachments
ScanahandTemplate1.jpg
Scanned Template
ScanahandTemplate1.jpg (239.53 KiB) Viewed 4571 times

Erwin Denissen
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Re: Help file and manual

Post by Erwin Denissen » Tue Mar 23, 2010 4:42 pm

Thanks for the upload.

It looks like the raw scan (although it seems it was edited with Adobe Photoshop CS3), that has not been "post processed" by the scanner.

Several scanners do sharpen a scan, remove dust, scratches and restore faded colors. This covers the fact most scanners scan not as good as they make you believe.

Nevertheless I'll look into this and will try to find a way to "post process" such scans with Scanahand. Will be continued...
Erwin Denissen
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Proven Font Technology

jcheriton
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Joined: Thu Mar 18, 2010 2:58 pm

Re: Help file and manual

Post by jcheriton » Tue Mar 23, 2010 5:10 pm

Thanks.
The scan is as it was from the scanner except I had to reduce its size a tad because the forum here won't allow uploads greater than 512K and it was well over 1Mb.
I don't really mind using the scanner driver interface for scans but if you manage to force the scanner to output a corrected scan please let me know.

John

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