How to digitize large sizes of documents, paper, art and other media

Scanning A0, A1, A2 and other large format documents – what to consider

Need to digitize A0? A1? Arch E, D? ANSI? Or just random sized paper sizes?

Regardless of the size of your large format documents, the proper way to digitize them is by scanning with a large format scanner with a dedicated large format scanning software.

To scan A0, A1 or other large paper, documents and art there is a wide range of scanners to choose from and finding the right size scanner is only part of the work. The number of documents, the thickness of your originals, and any need to enhance or correct your images post-scanning are also things that needs to be considered.

Pair that with your level of desired productivity, and the choice of scanner suddenly gets much easier.

Explore Contex large format scanners and get ready to digitize: Large format scanners

Big ideas are often created on large format paper

Different types of large format documents

Scanner requirements are highly specific to application and document types. Find scanners that match based on type of original, size, thickness, volume and your way of working in Contex’ product selector.

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Scanning technical documents

Point-to-point accuracy, intelligent clean-up and unmatched sharpness are requirements that are important to keep the details exact from your original. High productivity and workflow efficiency are valuable when scanning technical documents.

Scanning GIS and mapping documents

High productivity is fundamental when scanning more than 200 pages per day – and by productivity we mean both the speed of the scanner and the transfer to file and of course the employees’ capability to speed up the process with a user-friendly setup and operation.

Point-to-point accuracy and powerful color manipulation capabilities are also key when scanning GIS and mapping documents. Also feature extraction together with intelligent image clean-up in the scanning setting.

Scanning graphics and art

The ability of the scanner to scan all media types is very important here, typically also thick sizes and maybe a contact-free scanner to not risk any damage to fragile originals.

Superior image quality and color matching is essential. Some colors and surfaces can be hard to reproduce and therefore a high-end scanner is key.

A plug-and-play printer connectivity can also be important for graphics and art scanning.

Read more about scanning artwork and paintings

Scanning other document types

The ability to scan all media types can be an important requirement in itself. High productivity as well as plug and play printer connectivity can be central when choosing a scanner.

Quality of the scan with superior image quality and perfect color match are also requirements to consider when choosing the right scanner.

e-book and large format scanning

Scanner sizes for large documents

An important question to ask yourself when choosing between scanners with different widths is:

Would I like flexibility and do I need to scan with speed and high productivity?

If yes, then consider a scanner that is wide enough to scan your A1 or even A0 documents in landscape mode as this will often increase your total scanning speed considerably.

Get help from the charts below where you can see how ISO, Arch and ANSI standard paper sizes match with the most common large format scanner widths.

ISO A paper sizes matched with large format scanner sizes

The ISO A (and B) paper standard is predominantly used in Europe by all kinds of industries and was developed by the International Organization for Standardization.

Which size large format scanner will scan ISO A paper sizes

  • A0: 84.1 × 118.9 cm (33.11 × 46.81 in)
  • A1: 59.4 × 84.1 cm (23.39 × 33.11 in)
  • A2: 42 × 59.4 cm (16.54 × 23.39 in)

ISO B paper sizes matched with large format scanner sizes

The ISO B (and A) paper standard is predominantly used in Europe by all kinds of industries.

Which size large format scanner will scan ISO B paper sizes

  • B0: 100 × 141 cm (39.37 × 55.51 in)
  • B1: 70.7 × 100 cm (27.83 × 39.37 in)
  • B2: 50 × 71 cm (19.69 × 27.95 in)
  • B3: 35.3 × 50 cm (13.9 × 19.69 in)

ARCH paper sizes matched with large format scanner sizes

ARCH is the standard US paper size for architectural drawings.

Which size large format scanner will scan American ARCH paper sizes

  • ARCH C: 18 × 24 in
  • ARCH D: 24 × 36 in
  • ARCH E1: 30 × 42 in
  • ARCH E: 36 × 48 in

ANSI paper sizes matched with large format scanner sizes

Paper sizes by The American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

Which size large format scanner will scan American ANSI paper sizes

  • ANSI C: 17 in. x 22 in. (432 mm x 559 mm)
  • ANSI D: 22 in. x 34 in. (559 mm x 864 mm)
  • ANSI E: 34 in. x 44 in. (1118 mm x 864 mm)
  • ANSI F: 28 in. x 40 in. (711 mm x 1016 mm)

What if your originals are custom-sized and maybe not even paper?

The large format scanning market also offers flatbed scanners for newspapers and posters, dedicated book scanners and the newest product group: contact-free scanners which are especially suitable for paintings, artefacts, textiles, artwork and other delicate originals.

Unlike the most common sheet-fed large format scanners, contact-free scanners will scan odd-sized and rather thick originals.

More about contact-free art scanning

From paper to scanner to file

Whether you’re an architect designing the skyline of a city, an artist crafting the next masterpiece, or an archivist preserving cultural heritage, large paper sizes are most likely part of your everyday. And whether you scan to preserve or scan to exchange or scan to showcase, a scanner will most likely be part of your digitization toolbox.

You provide the originals, we make it happen.

Do you want to know more?

Our worldwide network of skilled distributors will help you with more information, quotes and where to buy a scanner that matches your large format paper sizes.

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