Scanning nowadays is a usually much more reliable way of digitizing text than keyboarding. After scanning (which produces a ‘photograph’ of the page), the file is translated into text by an OCR program (optical character recognition). But typefaces being many and various, actual printed type sometimes not well-formed, and OCR programs not being perfect, the result will often contain typical scanning mistakes (‘scannos’).
Scannos can sometimes provide light relief to proofing – the ‘Prankish’ inhabitants of Gaul, the cooing of ‘cloves’, ‘a grizzly bean’… Sometimes the scanno produces results that are difficult to see: the wrong spacing before or after punctuation, for example, or the number “1” for the letter “l” or zero for the captial letter “O”.
Now Distributed Proofreaders have developed a font called DPCustomMono2 that has distinctive characters for one and zero, exaggerates inter-character spaces and separates dashes so that the more difficult-to-spot scannos stand out better. Here’s a comparison between Times and the new font:
This news item comes from Lesley Graham.