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You have two options for scanning text. You may explore both of them and see which is better for you. Either way, you will have to make friends with manually changing the scanning settings, because simple presets often are not suited for every case.
First is to use Grayscale mode, and a minimum resolution of 200dpi. This should give you satisfactory text quality. If you want to print the text afterwards, 300dpi would be even better. You may want to increase contrast, to get the letters more defined and eliminate most of the background toning.
Second is to use Black and White (monochrome) mode, but in this case you need to set the resolution higher, preferrably to 600dpi. Also in this case you will have to play with the Black/White threshold in order to eliminate background "dirt" appearing as black artefacts.
If you scan the documents in order to process them with OCR software, usually the OCR application will give you suggestions on how to set the scanning parameters to obtain good results.
Uncompressed TIFF files are large in size. If you want Black & white and also small size save in TIFF G4 format. JPG files are small, but only color and grey files can be stored in JPG format.
A color scan will give real output as it is. If the background is grey, the output will also be grey. If you select 256 Color output, there may be small change in color, as compared to the original. If you select grey output, all colors will be converted to Grey. If these files are converted to PDF, it will be same, except in ODF format.
If you select B&W you can save the file in TIFF format. Unlike grey or color, each pixel can be either black or white only. To scan in black and white you must select right brightness. By doing os you can eliminate background (technically noise) and capture foreground(data)
We have been having this same problem when scanning Black and White as well. We have just played around and have changed one of our settings that has seemed to solved the problem for now.
Properties (on scan settings)
then click on - Detect Page Size - Image Width instead of Guide Plates
Hope this works for you to
Grey as you know is different shades of black. Uncompressed TIF can store this information. Compressed TIFF is not designed for this. Compressed TIFF is for blck & white only. Try JPG option. JPG can compress Color & Grey. For pure black & white chose TIFF compression.