Keep the Instructions/manuals Without Wasting Space!




Introduction: Keep the Instructions/manuals Without Wasting Space!

Ok, I know that all you Instructables guys are the ones who get a new toy, figure out how it works, and MAYBE refer back to the instructions if you have a very specific and/or mind-boggling question. Other than that they get lost, thrown away, wet, burned, or subjected to some other form of brutal annihilation. Here's how you can keep those instruction manuals, without the above stated risks, and also without a file cabinet..

Step 1: Get Your Scanner Ready.

You may have to adjust a few settings. I'll show you how to do this with an Epson printer/scanner combo. Open up the Epson Scan program from the All Programs menu in the Start bar. It should open to a window such as the one below. Click on the Customize button, and then on the Save Settings button. Click Browse, create a new folder somewhere called "Instructions". Click OK twice.

Step 2: Scan the Instructions

Place the instructions in the scanner and click Scan. This is a very hard step, so pay close attention.

Step 3: Name Them!

Scanners usually assign generic names,such as img025. Give them a descriptive name, such as DishwasherPg1. Or, to reduce typing, create a Dishwasher folder and add the pages with just page numbers.

Step 4: Relax and Recycle!

Now you can enjoy some peace, knowing that your instructions are safe on your hard drive. Pat yourself on the back for a job well done. Then, get out of your chair, gather up all the instruction manuals or sheets, and go to your local recycling center and drop them off. Or, put them in your recycling bin that goes out by the curb. Please rate this instructable!



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    14 Discussions

    I just put the manual in a ziploc bag and duct tape somewhere on the appliance where it doesn't show much. My printer manual is in a bag on the bottom of the printer. The spare filters for my shop-vac are in a bag taped to the side of the shop-vac.

    You can also go online and see if you can find the manual that way. Usually it will be in a .pdf format, easily downloaded and saved.

    That's a good idea! I love to scan things so that I have a digital copy. But for now, I'm fine with filing away instruction manuals in my made-over file cabinet. There are usually too many pages to bother scanning them, but I'll keep that in mind for shorter manuals, etc. 

    I have never experienced hard drive failure before, and I have lost or damaged instruction sheets. Also, as for what to do with the hardcopies, recycle! I have modified the instructable to reflect the recycling idea.

    Good on the recycling. Hard disc drives do fail, and if they do you "lose" your documents if they've not been backed-up. However, if you've had your devices for a little while you're unlikely to need them. L

    I agree with you on the fact that hard drives do fail. I said that I have never experienced hard drive failure. I think that instructions are safer on a hard drive(or at the very least easier to find) than in a box or other methods of storage.

    Easier to find yes, but easier to be completely & irretrievably lost. Still, who looks at instructions (after a day) anyway? L

    Hard drive failure is my recurring nightmare - as in, it recurs with frighteningly frequent regularity. So far (knock on wood!) my backup hasn't joined that club. That doesn't mean I don't backup the backup! What do you do, however, if the manual in question is more than a couple of pages thick? I'd never get anything done, except scanning! Some of mine are quite lengthy - like the digital camera - which came with two books (NOT booklets!), each (separately) in two languages, making for a total of FOUR books. Easier than scanning? Download from the manufacturer's website. Most come in .pdf rather than .jpg format. Scanning is good, though, for the shorter ones, the warranty information, and - most important - the purchase receipt!

    1 reply

    The receipt! That's an excellent idea. I wonder if a store would accept a printout of the scan as a proof of purchase. I think they probably would. As far as the books in other languages go, obviously you could skip them.

    You can't be serious. Scanning in a large manual takes hours. I'd rather "waste" the space.

    1 reply

    Although I realize now that my example was a large manual, it should not have been. This was more intended to be applied to shorter instruction sheets, like the ones that come with a new watch or a children's toy. These products often don't have PDF's, too.

    Most new products nowadays from big companies have their product manuals all online for download in .pdf format. So you can just download it without even scanning!

    This is a great idea. When i found my dad's old SLR in the basement, I looked online for the manuals, which helped boatloads with figuring it out.