Imaging begins with document preparation as each sheet of paper is prepared for scanning. The procedure depends on the equipment and software being used. Most require removal of all paper clips, staples or glue-like materials that could damage the scanning equipment or interfere with the document feeding process. Most scanners need paper smaller than a full sheet to be taped or copied onto a full sheet to obtain a quality scan. Thin, onion skin paper or fragile documents may need to be copied prior to scanning to avoid being damaged by the scanner.
Between each batch of files, divider sheets with bar codes are used to identify each group. Once these files have been scanned, the card is removed and then made available for the next batch of files with the same identification.