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How to photocopy from a book, without the big black borders!

Picture of How to photocopy from a book, without the big black borders!

Making photocopies from books is a necessity for teachers or those doing research from reference materials that may not be checked out from their local  library.  However, the black borders that are printed around the edges of the page are a waste of toner, can jam up the photocopier and look gross. Here are some easy steps to keep from getting those black borders on your photocopies.

 When you photocopy a book without using these steps this is what your page will look like... yuck!

 
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Step 1: Insert Paper Between Pages

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Insert a piece of blank white paper behind the page you wish to photocopy. Make sure it is placed straight up and down, paralell to the edge of the book's cover.

Step 2: Place Book on Copier.

Picture of Place Book on Copier.
Lay the book on the glass with the page you want to photocopy facing down. The blank sheet of paper should still be slipped in behind that page.

Step 3: Adjust Paper Placement

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Adjust the paper so that it lines up with the 8 and 1/2 by 11 inch mark on your photocopier's ruler. It may look something like this.

The point is to make sure that the paper is right up to the edge of where your copier will copy (depending on the paper size that you have selected.) You want the copier to see the blank paper rather than the open space below your book cover's edge and beyond. This is what prevents the black border from showing up.

Step 4: Hit the Copy Button!

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Now hit the copy button. Make sure you keep your hand on the book to hold it in place. Using this method, you don't even have to try to close the copier's cover. However,  make sure you are pressing down firmly to ensure that you are able copy text that may be closer to the inside of the spine. Just be careful not to damage the book in the process.

Step 5: The Finished Product

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Now you should have a nice clean photocopy without the big black borders that waste toner and can jam your copier.

A note on copyright:
Be careful when you are attempting to photocopy anything. Books that are designed for schools make provisions for teachers who are attempting to reproduce book sections for enlarging, bulletin board displays or for homework packets. However, even teachers can go too far. Make sure with your textbook publisher that you have permission to make temporary photocopies. and destroy these copies when they have completed their purpose. Photocopying play scripts or novels is highly unethical due to the artistic rights of thier authors. Scripts are created with the purpose of selling multiple copies theater companies, photocopying these products is against the law. Please keep copyright law in mind when making photocopies for any purpose.
heathbar643 years ago
Great suggestion to solve a common problem. How do you get a clear and complete copy of the part in the crack (spine)? that's where I get a headache.
jakenet15 years ago
That's an awesome idea!  A great way to save ink, and make great copies too. Thanks for sharing this.
billkeil5 years ago
I have been using Scan Tailor for a month now and it does an excellent job of cutting out the black bars, straightening the text, splitting pages, and all for free.  The website is scantailor.sourceforge.net/, really awesome product.
He's using a photocopier, software would not be of any use. And good scanners will have good software anyway (mine does)

L