Difference Wiki

Printers vs. Scanners: What's the Difference?

Edited by Sumera Saeed || By Sara Rehman || Published on January 27, 2024
Printers create hard copies from digital files, while scanners convert physical documents into digital format.

Key Differences

Printers are devices that produce physical copies of digital documents or images. Scanners, in contrast, create digital versions of physical documents or images.
Sara Rehman
Jan 27, 2024
In an office setting, printers are essential for creating hard copy reports, letters, and presentations. Scanners are used to digitize documents for emailing, archiving, or editing.
Sara Rehman
Jan 27, 2024
Printers operate by applying ink or toner onto paper, reproducing the digital file's content. Scanners use light-sensing technology to capture the image of a document and convert it into a digital file.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 27, 2024
Printers come in various types, such as inkjet, laser, and 3D printers, each serving different printing needs. Scanners also vary, including flatbed, sheet-fed, and handheld models, tailored to different scanning requirements.
Janet White
Jan 27, 2024
Modern printers often feature wireless connectivity and can print directly from smartphones or cloud storage. Scanners require software to process the scanned image, often providing options for format conversion and editing.
Sara Rehman
Jan 27, 2024
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Comparison Chart

Primary Function

Producing hard copies
Converting documents to digital
Sara Rehman
Jan 27, 2024

Output

Physical document or image
Digital file
Sumera Saeed
Jan 27, 2024

Operation

Uses ink or toner
Uses light-sensing technology
Sara Rehman
Jan 27, 2024

Common Types

Inkjet, laser, 3D
Flatbed, sheet-fed, handheld
Sara Rehman
Jan 27, 2024

Connectivity

Often wireless, cloud printing
Typically requires a computer
Janet White
Jan 27, 2024
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Printers and Scanners Definitions

Printers

A person whose occupation is printing.
The printer delivered the custom brochures today.
Sara Rehman
Dec 18, 2023

Scanners

Equipment used to scan the body for diagnostic purposes.
The MRI scanner provided detailed images of the patient's brain.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 18, 2023

Printers

A device that creates three-dimensional objects.
He used a 3D printer to make a prototype of his invention.
Janet White
Dec 18, 2023

Scanners

A device for scanning or monitoring various radio frequencies.
The police scanner helps them stay informed about local emergencies.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 18, 2023

Printers

A machine that prints text or images onto paper.
The office printer is out of ink again.
Sara Rehman
Dec 18, 2023

Scanners

Software or tools used for detecting viruses or vulnerabilities.
The antivirus scanner detected a threat on my computer.
Harlon Moss
Dec 18, 2023

Printers

An establishment where printing is carried out.
We're visiting the printer to check the proof of our book.
Janet White
Dec 18, 2023

Scanners

A device that captures the physical shape of an object in 3D.
The architect used a 3D scanner to model the historic building.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 18, 2023

Printers

A driver or program that controls the printing process.
I need to update the printer software for better performance.
Janet White
Dec 18, 2023

Scanners

A machine that scans documents and converts them to digital format.
I used the scanner to digitize our family photos.
Sara Rehman
Dec 18, 2023

Printers

One that prints, especially one whose occupation is printing.
Sara Rehman
Dec 18, 2023

Scanners

One that scans
A scanner of newspapers.
Sara Rehman
Dec 18, 2023

Printers

A device that prints text or graphics on paper.
Sara Rehman
Dec 18, 2023

Scanners

A receiver that continuously broadcasts signals it detects from specified radio frequencies
Heard about the robbery over the police scanner.
Sara Rehman
Dec 18, 2023

Printers

A 3D printer.
Sara Rehman
Dec 18, 2023

Scanners

An optical scanner.
Sara Rehman
Dec 18, 2023

Printers

Plural of printer
Sara Rehman
Dec 18, 2023

Scanners

A device, such as a CT scanner or PET scanner, for observing internal organs, tissues, and other parts of the body.
Sara Rehman
Dec 18, 2023

Scanners

Plural of scanner
Sara Rehman
Dec 18, 2023

FAQs

What is a printer?

A printer is a device that creates hard copies of digital documents or images.
Sara Rehman
Jan 27, 2024

What is a scanner?

A scanner is a device that digitizes physical documents or images into electronic format.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 27, 2024

Do scanners also print?

Typically, scanners only digitize documents and do not have printing functions.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 27, 2024

Can printers also scan?

Some printers, known as all-in-one printers, have scanning capabilities.
Sara Rehman
Jan 27, 2024

What are the main types of printers?

Common types include inkjet, laser, and 3D printers.
Harlon Moss
Jan 27, 2024

Can printers connect to mobile devices?

Many modern printers support wireless connectivity with smartphones and tablets.
Janet White
Jan 27, 2024

What are the common types of scanners?

Popular types include flatbed, sheet-fed, and handheld scanners.
Sara Rehman
Jan 27, 2024

Are 3D printers common in homes?

3D printers are becoming more common in homes, especially among hobbyists and professionals.
Sara Rehman
Jan 27, 2024

Are laser printers better than inkjet printers?

It depends on the need; laser printers are faster and more cost-effective for text, while inkjets are better for color and photo printing.
Harlon Moss
Jan 27, 2024

How do I choose a scanner?

Choose based on the volume of scanning, the type of documents, and desired features like resolution and speed.
Harlon Moss
Jan 27, 2024

Do printers come with scanning software?

All-in-one printers often come with software that includes both printing and scanning functions.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 27, 2024

Are inkjet cartridges expensive?

Yes, inkjet cartridges can be costly, especially for printers that are used frequently.
Janet White
Jan 27, 2024

Do scanners need special software?

Yes, scanners usually require software to process and manage the scanned images.
Sara Rehman
Jan 27, 2024

Can flatbed scanners scan multiple pages?

Flatbed scanners can scan multiple pages but typically one at a time.
Sara Rehman
Jan 27, 2024

How do wireless scanners work?

Wireless scanners connect to computers or networks via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, eliminating the need for wired connections.
Janet White
Jan 27, 2024

Do printers need regular maintenance?

Yes, printers require regular maintenance, like cleaning and replacing cartridges or toners.
Sara Rehman
Jan 27, 2024

Can scanners convert text to editable format?

Yes, with Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology, scanners can convert text documents into editable formats.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 27, 2024

Are scanners accurate in color reproduction?

High-quality scanners are quite accurate in color reproduction, but it can vary based on model and settings.
Harlon Moss
Jan 27, 2024

Can I print photos with a regular printer?

Yes, but the quality depends on the printer's resolution and the type of paper used.
Janet White
Jan 27, 2024

How long do scanned documents last?

Digital scans can last indefinitely if properly stored and backed up.
Janet White
Jan 27, 2024
About Author
Written by
Sara Rehman
Sara Rehman is a seasoned writer and editor with extensive experience at Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Information Technology, she combines her academic prowess with her passion for writing to deliver insightful and well-researched content.
Edited by
Sumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.

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