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A flatbed scanner is usually composed of a glass pane (or platen), under which there is a bright light (often xenon or cold cathode fluorescent) which illuminates the pane, and a moving optical array in CCD scanning. CCD type scanners typically contain three rows (arrays) of sensors with red, green, and blue filters. CIS scanning consists of a moving set of red, green and blue LEDs strobed for illumination and a connected monochromatic photodiode array for light collection. Images to be scanned are placed face down on the glass, an opaque cover is lowered over it to exclude ambient light, and the sensor array and light source move across the pane, reading the entire area. An image is therefore visible to the detector only because of the light it reflects. Transparent images do not work in this way, and require special accessories that illuminate them from the upper side. Many scanners offer this as an option.

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