Online Training Tutorials
Scanning - TWAIN? What is it?

If you find yourself often wondering, "what is TWAIN?", look no further. 
 
TWAIN is a software standard that all the scanner manufacturers agree to use, so that all image programs can operate all scanners. It wasn't always that way, not so long ago you could use only the one image program that came with the scanner. Today you have your choice of any. (TWAIN is said to be an acronym for Technology Without An Interesting Name, but the organization says it is not an acronym for anything.)  
 
The TWAIN driver itself is simply the software provided by the scanner manufacturer to operate the scanner (the user interface), and it is also the interface between the imaging editing software and the scanner hardware. It will always have another name too, Umax has two, VistaScan and MagicScan, and Epson calls theirs Smart Panel.  
 
The TWAIN driver comes with the scanner, and knows how to operate this one brand of scanner hardware. Each scanner manufacturer provides their own TWAIN driver for their hardware. You can use any image editing software, but you typically must use the provided TWAIN driver.  
 
Basically, the TWAIN driver ordinarily has the controls that we use to specify the scan; we set the mode (Color or B&W or Line art), we set 100 dpi or 200 dpi resolution, we set the area on the flatbed glass that we wish to scan, and there are controls to help correct the tonal quality and color balance of the scanned image.  
 
After the scan completes, the TWAIN driver transfers the image into the image software memory. That is, the new image just appears back in the image program. Then you can tweak the image more, or print it, or save it to a disk file.
   
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