Large Format Scanners

A large format scanner allows a user to scan documents in A2, A1 or A0 size. They are unique due to their wide format scanning design.

In this post, we will discuss the various questions we are asked when discussing large format scanning and offer some solutions for those looking to purchase an A1 scanner or A2 scanner.

Buying a large format scanner – what does it look like?

It is important to note that A2 scanners and above are naturally a wide format so that they can scan the full width of the document. However, they can sometimes take up a smaller footprint within the office when compared to an A2 flatbed scanner, because their total surface area is lower.

A typical large format scanner will be sheet-fed, meaning it does not offer large flatbed style scanning. One document at a time is fed into the machine and scanned at a delicate pace in order to capture full document detail and also protect the document.

Finally, a dedicated large format scanner is different to a large format printer or MFP, as the scanning equipment within the machine is the main focus, so offers improved quality and output.

Best large format scanners in 2024

Colortac scanners provide some of the highest quality scanning available on the market. Colortrac offer the SmartLF SGi and SmartLF SCi series scanners.

The SCi range offers single sensor CIS technology, making it more suitable for technical documents. We would suggest this scanner for those in architecture or planning.

The SGi range offer CCD technology, offering greater image capture quality when relating to graphic documents with high-quality colour and design detail. These would be ideal scanners for artwork or those in the graphic design industry.

Both units offer units in monochrome, colour and express-colour versions. Monochrome units only scan black and white, whilst colour units scan full colour. Express colour units scan full colour with greater speed, for scanning departments or private scanning companies with high demand for document digitisation.

You can also purchase a range of wide format scanner accessories to improve your paperless office or scanning service work space.

Colortrac also manufacter two portable large format scanners that ship with a protective hard carry case, calibration sheet, charger and cables. The Smart LF Scan 24” A1 scanner and Smart LF Scan 36” A0 scanner are ideally to suited to users that need their large format scanning unit to be portable. Perfect for chartered surveyors and architects.

Contex Large Format Scanners

On the other hand, Contex scanners are the industry heavyweight in large format scanning and have been producing units for many years. We have recently added Contex SD One+ scanners to our catalogue and have seen great demand for them.

The Contex SD One 24 is a 24-inch-wide scanner, which allows for A2 scanning. It can be purchased alongside the Contex scanner stand and paper catch basket to further improve office ergonomics. On the other hand, the Contex SD One 36 is a 36-inch-wide A1 scanner. Again, this unit can be paired with accessories and is the type of scanner you would find in professional scanning services in the UK.


The Contex Apeiron 42 Contact Free Large Format Scanner is the fastest contact-free large format scanner on the market. A flexible solution; it improves workflows while ensuring superior quality. The hardware is designed to support correct ergonomics for the operator; this includes an adjustable arm with a large 22” touchscreen. The Contex Apeiron 42 is the perfect choice for museums, archive and heritage centres, high end interior design organisations, reprographics and textile businesses.

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Visit The Scanner Shop for a wide selection of large format scanners.