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Document scanning and digitization both play an important part in document workflows. While these concepts are related, they have distinct meanings and implications. Whether you’re looking to preserve old records, streamline your workflow, or improve accessibility, understanding the nuances of document scanning and digitization is important.

Read on to learn more about these concepts in detail and discover how they can revolutionize the way you manage your documents.

Document Scanning

Document scanning refers to the process of using specialized hardware (scanners) to convert physical documents, such as paper records, photographs, or drawings, into digital images. The primary goal of document scanning is to create a digital replica of the original document, preserving its visual content.

Scanning involves capturing the visual elements, such as text and images, and storing them as image files (such as JPEG, TIFF, or PNG).

Document scanning is commonly used for tasks like archiving paper documents, creating backups, and sharing visual information electronically. However, scanned documents are often still images and might not be easily searchable or editable as text.


Digitization is a broader concept that encompasses not only the conversion of physical documents into digital images but also the transformation of the content into a format that can be easily manipulated, searched, indexed, and retrieved. Digitization involves turning the content of a document, whether it’s text, images, audio, or video, into machine-readable data that can be stored, analyzed, and processed by computers.

Digitization typically involves several steps:

  • Scanning: Converting physical documents into digital images through scanning.
  • Optical Character Recognition (OCR): Converting scanned text into actual text characters that can be edited, searched, and analyzed. This makes the text content of the documents searchable and indexable.
  • Metadata Tagging: Adding descriptive information (metadata) to the digitized content, such as title, author, date, keywords, etc. This improves organization and searchability.
  • Storage and Management: Storing digitized documents in electronic repositories or document management systems, allowing for easy access and retrieval.
  • Text Encoding: Converting the text into a structured format like XML or HTML, which enables more complex manipulation and presentation of the content.
  • Integration: Incorporating digitized content into larger digital systems, workflows, or databases.

In essence, while document scanning focuses on creating visual replicas of physical documents, digitization goes beyond that by making the content of those documents fully functional in a digital environment. Digitization enables better searchability, accessibility, analysis, and integration with modern technology systems.

Both document scanning and digitization play crucial roles in today’s digital world. Whether you’re focused on preserving historical records or improving efficiency in your organization, a combination of document scanning and digitization can revolutionize the way you manage and access your documents.

About hubTGI

hubTGI is a Canadian-owned Managed Services provider that offers Print Services, Workflow Solutions, Managed IT, Cybersecurity Solutions, Cloud Services and VoIP to help their customers control costs, secure their data and make their people more productive. 

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