An Introduction to Overhead Book Scanners

Overhead Book Scanners are taking the document management market by storm. Recently, we have seen a surge in sales to the home user market. If you are thinking of purchasing a new document scanner, an overhead style scanner may be the perfect solution. Here is our introduction to the product type.

What is an Overhead Document Scanner?

An overhead scanner is shaped like an old-school projector, in that its scanner lens is mounted on a stem.

The scanner lens then looks over a dark mat on which a document is placed. Once the “scan” button is pressed, the scanner performs this from a heightened position. This allows some overhead models to scan A3 documents.

See example image of IRIS Desk 6 PRO below (pictured right).

ISD6Pro-docs-situation-face smaller x4.jpg

Which type of documents can I scan with an Overhead Scanner?

You can scan a wide variety of documents using an overhead scanner, just like you can with a flatbed. Photographs, business documents; business cards, and even artwork can all be scanned.

The added advantage of an overhead scanner is that the documents are not touched by the scanner itself, meaning that holders of old documents and archivists can benefit from this style.

We think that they are proving popular currently because of their sleek design. An overhead scanner can perform the same task as a flatbed A3 scanner, but takes up nowhere near the same amount of space. In fact, these units can be packed away and placed in a draw when not in use.

They are perfect for home office users who scan occasional documents or who have a lot of media that cannot be fed through a sheet-feeder.

Best Overhead Scanners

Some of the best overhead scanners are the Fujitsu ScanSnap SV600 and the IRIS Desk range. Both are supplied with compatible scanning mat and mount and come with everything you need to set up and start scanning right away.


The IRIS Desk 5 PRO is an A3 scanner. It features many of the same design features as the A4 version, the IRIS Desk 5, including lens quality and image capture. However, the added advantage of scanning A3 documents is a huge incentive to spend a little extra.

Fujitsu ScanSnap SV600

The SV600 is a more established unit, coming in at a higher price. However, Fujitsu are the market leader in global scan sales and therefore offer some of the best support available. This ScanSnap unit works alongside ABBYY FineReader for document scanning and is well adept at scanning photos or business cards too.

A2 Scanning

Unfortunately, the units indicated above will not scan above A3 size. Therefore, if you need an A2 scanner or above then we recommend looking at our large format scanning page and selecting one of the Colortrac or Contex units available

If you need any further assistance with overhead scanning, artwork scanning, and large format scanning then please do not hesitate to contact us.

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