Copy of a handwritten notebook?

Have any of you made a copy of a handwritten engineering notebook? We have over 150 pages in a hardcover bound engineering notebook including handwritten pages, pictures, copies of code, etc. and more will be added through this month and next. I’m looking for the best way to make at least one copy, maybe more. A PDF scanning app doesn’t do the pages justice so it would have to be jpg photos or some other type of image file. The only thing I can think of at this point is a photobook but wanted to see if someone had a better idea. Thanks!

Have you tried the Office Lens app?

I haven’t seen it but I’ll take a look. Maybe then I can have it printed and bound rather than photobook.

I’ve never done it for a VEX engineering notebook, but I’ve been involved in projects where we did it for thousands of engineering notebooks. Sometimes we’ve done it with expensive scanners dedicated to the task with automated page turning devices, other times with inexpensive mounted digital cameras and hand turned pages. With the hand-operated rigs some of our good scanner operators could do as many as 50 or so page spreads (two pages of an open book) a minute. So a typical notebook would take longer to set up than it would to actually scan.

An inexpensive flatbed scanner with a reasonable operator could do hi-res color scans of that few pages in a couple of hours. Less time that it takes to rebuild a drive base, for instance. A color camera that outputs in a lossless format would work as well. If at all possible, avoid JPEG for this kind of thing.

PDF format is by far the most common method to store that sort of scanned information. JPEG is a truly terrible format for any image containing medium to high frequency, high contrast information. Which is what you find in a notebook.

I’ve used many dozens of scanning applications. I’ve written several such systems from scratch, been the software development manager for several companies that build, sell, and/or use that kind of software, and worked with scanning systems that stored hundreds of millions of pages. Don’t use JPEG for this kind of information. PDF is by far better.

It would be a fun exercise to make a VEX robotic system to turn pages and operate a camera/cell phone for page capture. Might look in to doing that sometime. Good off-season project.

[edited for typo and clarity.]

You are right in that a PDF is better. I was just hoping to capture what the original “looked” like, not just the data. PDF scans tend to reduce everything to blank background and ink. But it is probably better to keep the quality even though you lose some of the authentic look and feel of the original.

Yes! This would be a fun project for the off season. Though, is there ever really an off season in VEX? We’ll definitely have to save this for after the state tournament for sure. Thanks for your help.