Is a Scanner an Input or Output Devices

In this post, we will learn about is a scanner an input or output devices with types, functions, uses applications, and examples.

Now the question that may have arisen in your mind about the scanner is which type of device the answer is scanner is an input device.

The scanner is a computer device used to scan hard copy documents; these scanned documents can be permanently stored on a computer hard disk for further use and modifications.

This input device stores data and information in digital format for further processing.

What is Scanner in Computer System?

The scanner is an input device of a computer system capable of storing data and information in digital form.

They can convert data and information into digital format—the data like images, pictures, documents, text documents, PDFs, Spreadsheets, etc. 

What is Scanner in Computer System?
What is Scanner in Computer System?

Once stored on the computer’s hard disk, the data can be further modified or uploaded online easily.

 For Example.

You can scan your document using the scanner as a soft copy and later can share the document via email with others.

Printers are used to print soft copy documents into hard copy, whereas scanners are capable of converting hard copy into soft copy stored in computer hard disk for further use.

The scanner, an input device, scans any document presented to them in an image format.     

They are also capable of scanning black as well as colored paper or documents.

The scanned documents stored on the hard disk can be viewed, edited, and updated using editing software.

The editing software allows users to configure and import scan documents, 

The majority of the scanners are flatbed scanner devices. It has a flat scanning surface capable of scanning documents, images, and magazines.

A scanner can be connected to a computer system using SCSI, or TWAIN, but the majority of scanners are connected to the USB {Universal Serial Port}.

Is a Scanner an Input or Output Devices?

Before answering the question related to is a scanner an input or output device? We must be aware of what are input or output devices.

Let us try to understand the term with examples and illustrative pictures.

1. Input Devices

The input devices of computer devices are electromagnetic electronic devices that accept information and data from outside the world in the form of raw data.

Later they translate this information and data into a machine-readable form for further processing and present the output in a human-readable form.

They act as the bridge of communication between computer and inputs,

The input presented to a computer system with the help of the input device can be saved or stored in the computer for further processing and modifications,

2. Different Types of Input Devices

Types of Input Devices
Types of Input Devices
  • Keyboard
  • Mouse
  • Scanner
  • Trackball
  • Joystick
  • Light Pen
  • Touch Screens
  • Optical Card Reader (OCR)
  • Magnetic Ink Character Recognition (MICR)
  • Optical Bar Code Reader (OBR)
  • Voice Recognition Devices
  • Optical Mark Reader (OMR)

3. Output Devices of Computer System

The output devices of a computer system are electromagnetic devices that accept data and information from the computer system and convert this data into human-readable form.

The output generated by output devices like printers is “Hard Copy”.

4. Different Types of Output Devices Computer System

Output Devices of Computer
Output Devices of Computer
  • Monitors
  • Touch Screens
  • LCD Monitors or LED Monitors
  • Printers
  • Speakers
  • Headphones
  • Sound Cards
  • Plotters
  • Projectors

We are now coming to our main point whether the scanner is an input or output device.

The scanner is a device that accepts data and information from outside the world in the form of a hard copy and converts this hard copy into a soft copy.

Therefore we can conclude that the scanner is an input device.

Different Types of Scanners in Computer Systems

  • Drum Scanner
  • Flatbed Scanner
  • Hand Scanner
  • OCR
  • OMR
  • MICR
  • BCR

1. Drum Scanner

The Drum scanners are considered to be the first used scanner.

They can scan high-quality pictures without losing quality. They are used in printing agencies or book and magazine printing.

2. Flatbed Scanner

They are versatile scanners and are therefore used in most modern computer systems.

3. Hand Scanner

They are similar to flatbed scanners.

4. OCR

The OCR stands for Optical Card Reader. 

OCR is a mechanical device that can translate images, pictures, documents, or manually written content into readable form.

5. OMR

The OMR [Optical Mark Reader] is an input device of a computer that is primarily utilized in the examination for solving multiple-choice questions.

The OMR converts these solved questions into machine-readable form.


MICR is an information device broadly used as a part of the banking sector where a huge amount of checks must be processed every day. 

The Scanner is Which Type of Device.

As we have discussed earlier, the scanner is a device that accepts data and information from outside the world, later converting this data and saving it to a computer hard disk for reuse.

The scanner is considered to be an input device of the computer system.

Uses of Scanner

  • Scanning
  • Copying
  • Archiving
  • Research

The scanners are used in checking answer sheets of examinations held offline. Nowadays, most of the examinations are held in MCQs, which stand for multiple-choice questions.

These answers are written on the OMR sheets.

In these OMR sheets, the correct answers are colored in black, representing that you have attempted the question.

The OMR scanner is used to check the correctness of questions that the students have attempted.

The online examination form demands students submit their details like pictures and educational documents to be uploaded on the websites to check their authenticity.

The scanner is used to scan the documents and save them in soft copy, which is easy to share and upload.

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Applications of Scanner

  • Admission Forms
  • Survey Forms
  • Examinations
  • Inquiry Form
  • Loan Form
  • Feedback forms
  • Subscription Forms
  • Terms and Conditions forms
  • Product Evaluations
  • Data Compilations

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