Stop Scanned Documents from Filling Up Your Hard Drive

Use the correct scan settings when scanning to the Dentrix Document Center to prevent large scan files from filling up your hard drive.

Updated 6/30/20

You’ve seen a lot of patient information pass through your dental office, much of which probably ends up in the Dentrix Document Center. And with a simple document scanner, you can even scan printed documents right into Dentrix. But beware! If you’re not careful with your scan settings, you may be generating scan files that are unnecessarily large. Over time, your Dentrix Document Center may fill up your hard drive with hundreds or thousands of bloated scan files that are many times larger than they need to be.

For most needs, your scanner’s dots-per-inch (dpi) setting should be 600 or lower. How you set this depends on how you are scanning documents. There are three ways to scan documents into the Dentrix Document Center using a scanner, and I’ll cover each one.

Using Dentrix Quick Scan

Using Quick Scan makes it relatively easy to select the correct scan option and may be the easiest way to keep scan file sizes under control. To use the Dentrix Quick Scan method, open the Dentrix Document Center for a patient or provider. From the Acquire menu, point to From Device, and then click the scanner model to display the Dentrix Quick Scan dialog box.

Under Select Scan Type, select the setting that best describes the type of document you are scanning. Your selection determines the dpi setting that will be used for scanning, as follows:

  • BLACK & WHITE TEXT – 200 dpi
  • TEXT WITH GRAPHICS – 300 dpi
  • COLOR IMAGE – 600 dpi
  • BLACK & WHITE IMAGE – 600 dpi
  • HIGH QUALITY BLACK & WHITE – 900-1200 dpi, depending on your scanner

The larger the dpi setting, the larger the file size. So if you are scanning a document that is only black and white text (which will appear very sharp and easy to read at 200 dpi), you don’t want to choose Black & White Image (600 dpi), and you especially don’t want to select High Quality Black & White (900-1200 dpi). If you do, the resulting file will be three to six times larger than it needs to be, and you will be wasting space in the Dentrix Document Center (and on your hard drive).

Remember, if you’re concerned about saving disk space, the first two options in the dialog box (going from left to right) are your best options, followed by the next two. Avoid using High Quality Black & White unless scanning diagnostic images, so your scan files stay under 600 dpi. After selecting the scan type, click Quick Scan.

Using OEM Settings

This option uses the settings from your scanner to determine the dpi and compression settings, so you may need to refer to your hardware documentation to make sure your scanner is configured to use the dpi and compression settings you want.

From the Acquire menu, point to From Device, and then click the scanner model to display the Dentrix Quick Scan dialog box (Figure 1). Click Launch OEM dialog to open your scanner’s software. Use your scanner’s software to set the dpi, file format, compression, and other scan settings (remember to keep the dpi under 600) and scan your document.

Using Auto File Acquire

Using this method, your scanner settings again determine the dpi, compression, and so forth. Dentrix simply “watches” the directory specified for scan files that need to be imported into the Document Center. When they appear, Dentrix zips and saves them into the Document Center as .zed files similar to the other two methods mentioned above. The file size is based on the scanning method you use and the type of file selected when acquiring from your scanner (black and white, full color, and so forth).

To use the Auto File Acquire method, from the Acquire menu, click Auto Directory File Acquire. The Setup Acquisition Method Defaults dialog appears. Make sure Select Acquisition Method is set to Auto File Acquire, and under Set Default Scanner Import Folder, specify the folder you want to use to monitor and import scan files into the Dentrix Document Center. When finished, click Save and Close. Now any time you scan documents with a patient selected in the Document Center, they will be added to the patient’s Dentrix Document Center using your scanner’s settings. If the Document Center is not open when you scan the file, the file will be placed in Unfiled Documents so you can move it to the appropriate patient at a later time.

With each of the three methods discussed, if you take time to set your scan options correctly, you can keep scan file sizes to a minimum in your Dentrix Document Center.


Learn More

Discover how to send any document you have open on your computer to the Document Center. Read “Printing to the Dentrix Document Center.”

To learn more about scanning documents into the Dentrix Document Center, see the “Acquiring documents” and “Setting up auto file acquire” topics in the Dentrix Help.


By Brad Royer, Dentrix Product Manager

Originally published in Dentrix Magazine, Fall 2016