Always Listening To Our Customers: Clarification On Scanning Issue

Editor’s Note: Xerox has new information on this issue. Please visit this blog post.

By Francis Tse, principal engineer, Xerox

Recently there have been articles about Xerox devices randomly altering numbers in scanned documents. We take this issue very seriously.

The problem stems from a combination of compression level and resolution setting. The devices mentioned are shipped from the factory with a compression level and resolution that produces scanned files which are optimized for viewing or printing while maintaining a reasonable file size. We do not normally see a character substitution issue with the factory default settings however, the defect may be seen at lower quality and resolution settings.

The Xerox design utilizes the recognized industry standard JBIG2 compressor which creates extremely small file sizes with good image quality, but with inherent tradeoffs under low resolution and quality settings.

For data integrity purposes, we recommend the use of the factory defaults with a quality level set to “higher.”   In cases where lower quality/higher compression is desired for smaller file sizes, we provide the following message to our customers next to the quality settings within the device web user interface: “The normal quality option produces small file sizes by using advanced compression techniques. Image quality is generally acceptable, however, text quality degradation and character substitution errors may occur with some originals.”

Xerox is totally committed to customer satisfaction and with this feedback we will look for ways to help our customers better manage their scanning application needs.

For more information, contact Xerox Support at



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  1. Jan August 6, 2013 -

    Xerox use to be known as a copying device. They’ve redefined the word “copy.” As a new Xerox customer I simply cringe at my choice of a company with such a lame clarification. If you can’t replicate what needs to be scanned/copied or printed then don’t claim to have it as a feature…..and yes, they should be held accountable.

  2. Nik August 6, 2013 -

    Exactly which models are affected by this problem? We have a WorkCenter 5335. Does that have the same problem?

  3. Jopi Harri August 6, 2013 -

    In general, Xerox Workcentres seem to have little to offer to customers who prefer maximum quality scans no matter how big is the file size.

    In addition, the user interface is confusing, as changing one option in one place changes some other options in another place, even without notifying the user. This is very frustrating, even more so since nothing of this behaviour has been documented in the user manual.

    Furthermore, it is not clearly stated what are the exact scan resolutions with different presets (normal, higher, high, whatever).

    Why not just offer the user the possibility to set the resolution (dpi), colour mode (color, grayscale, bw) and compression algorithm manually, as is the case with most other equipment I have been using?

    (Is it a technical limitation that the 7435 seems to be unable to scan colour documents with a resolution more than 200 dpi? If yes, has this been overcome in subsequent models?)

  4. Colin Whitehead August 6, 2013 -

    Like most, i was pretty shocked when i first read this story. But having now read a few articles (including the one above) it looks like the photocopier actually tells the user that character substitution is likely when they select the setting. So im not sure what all the fuss is about

  5. Eric Hutcheson August 6, 2013 -

    It would nice if the effected machines were listed and customers notified. Is Xerox hoping this will not get noticed and blow over quickly? Seems like that when one learns of this in the media and not from the company we pay good money too for scanners and MFD’s.

  6. Harry Parker August 6, 2013 -

    The original web posting mentioned Xerox WorkCentre 7535 and 7556.

  7. Jon W August 6, 2013 -

    So, either JBIG is flawed and other manufacturers will have the same problem, our Xerox has some special implementation flaw. If JBIG is flawed, let’s find other culprits, abd then fix the standard. If no other implementation has this problem, Xerox may have more fault than this clarification suggests.

  8. S. Basinger August 7, 2013 -

    I wonder what will happen when people start to investigate and find that engineering documents are released for construction with numbers switched around by Xerox’s machines, or medical documents have used with numbers switched around by these machines.

    A lame response like this suggests that some of the ignorance of the consequences may be willful and that your senior leadership is hoping that this will somehow go away.

    Heaven forbid as time continues to tick away and you delay a proper recall that people die as a result of your inaction. All the while time ticks away and numbers critical to engineered works’ safety and medical decision-making continue to be silently and undetectably swapped by an available setting on a Xerox document station.

    God help you and your company.

  9. Jeffrey August 7, 2013 -

    This is all? This issue has the potential to comppletely destroy the reputation of your gigantic company, and a 1/4 page blog post dismissing the issue is the best you can do?

  10. Mat August 7, 2013 -

    What about if I ask the refund of my WorkCenter sending a copy of the invoice of $ 6,000 ops, $ 8,000?

  11. N. Simon August 7, 2013 -


    It would be nice to have a list with the affected firmware versions of the machines.
    As far, as I know and analyzed the info found over the internet the wc series 73/74/75 and also the ColorQube 92xx/93xx are affected.

  12. Chris Ansell August 7, 2013 -

    Saw this in the paper this morning so knowing we have one of the mentioned machines i checked to see if it does say, “The normal quality option produces small file sizes by using advanced compression techniques. Image quality is generally acceptable, however, text quality degradation and character substitution errors may occur with some originals.”
    But after checking my machine does not warn you of this !
    will there or is there an update to warn users of this??

  13. bill August 7, 2013 -

    Wish my company would use these when printing my paychecks to add a couple of zeros to the end!!

  14. stewartwb August 7, 2013 -

    The most serious issue is that the default settings can generate errors at reasonably high resolutions, such as 300dpi. I know few IT professionals who recommend scanning full page documents at 600dpi, which is apparently the minimum required to avoid this issue when compression is set to Normal (default).

    If Normal compression requires 600dpi, then that should be the default resolution setting as well.

    It sounds to me like Xerox was trying to beat the competition in scanning speed and file sizes to woo customers, and they chose these defaults to the detriment of said customers.

  15. Michael Altmann August 7, 2013 -

    There are much more severe errors in Xerox’s multifunction devices (we have some 6605DN here, but other MFCs may be affected as well).

    E. g., for received faxes, there is no E-Mail forwarding. Only E-Mail forwarding AND printing is possible.

    This breaks the environmental compliance of the device and renders it unsoldable in Europe.

    Another example: The device generates a self signed certificate for dealing with SMTP servers via STARTTLS.

    The expiration date of the certificate can’t be adjusted and there is no option for generating a CSR and import signed certificates.

  16. David August 7, 2013 -

    So happy I called customer support as was suggested at the end of the release. They know nothing about the issue.

  17. Peter Barnes August 7, 2013 -

    I work for the UK’s 2012 number one Xerox Concessionaire, Advanced Business Equipment. We were certainly surprised to learn of this potential issue yesterday and since then have been working with our client’s with the 75** range of machines to ensure that they will not be affected in the future.

    If you follow the advice from Francis Tse above then you should not have any issues. I have found that some of my client’s machines were already set at higher (600dpi) for scanning anyway so would not have had any issues.

    If you go into your “Admin” settings on your device and check your scanning is set at higher (600 dpi) then you will not have any problems. If you are not set at higher (600dpi) then change the setting and you should be fine in the future too

    Most of the Xerox devices are customisable in the “Admin” settings. You can change your defaults to whatever you wish for all of the settings mentioned above by Jopi Harri.

  18. ScRapy August 7, 2013 -

    Why did we have to learn this from the BBC website and not from Xerox!!!!!!!

  19. Tony Blair August 8, 2013 -

    Inspires confidence that a multi national company such as Xerox can have these issues and not warn their customers. Disgusting that customers have to find out from the press. All customers winning contracts with Xerox should re-consider whether it was such a good move to deal with them. Changing to 600dpi is not a great solution as file sizes will be so much bigger.

  20. kenericson August 8, 2013 -

    From Francis Tse, principal engineer, Xerox

    Thanks to everyone who has provided input on this blog post and on the scanning situation in general. We’ve certainly been listening, and as you can see above in the editor’s note we have a new blog post that we hope addresses the vast majority of your questions and comments.

    We have two new solutions I want to make you aware of right from the start:

    • Reset Scanning Defaults: Xerox is providing a guide demonstrating how to check the current device scan settings and how to return them to factory default.

    • Apply a Software Patch: Xerox is developing a software patch that can be remotely downloaded to each device. The software patch will disable the highest compression mode thus completely eliminating the possibility for character substitution. Xerox will begin rolling out the patch within a few weeks.

    So, here are responses that address the majority of questions:
    • It is important to know that Xerox devices shipped from the factory are set with the right compression level and resolution settings to produce scanned files appropriate for viewing or printing—while maintaining a reasonable file size. You will not see a character substitution issue when scanning with the factory default settings. There was some confusion about that point within the comments.

    • The following product families are impacted: ColorQube 87XX / 89XX, ColorQube 92XX / 93XX, WorkCentre 57XX, WorkCentre 76XX, WorkCentre 58XX, WorkCentre 77XX, WorkCentre 5030/5050, WorkCentre 6400, WorkCentre 78XX, WorkCentre 51XX, WorkCentre 7220/7225, WorkCentrePro 2XX / BookMark 40/55, WorkCentre 56XX and WorkCentre 75XX.

    • However – regardless of product family – it’s also important to note that based on customer feedback, the vast majority of our customers use factory default settings so they would not experience this issue. Additionally, our customers primarily use our devices for printing, copying and traditional faxing—none of these functions are affected.

    • Scanning to digital files is the only function affected, and scanning to digital files are only affected when the factory default settings for “Quality/File Size” and “Resolution” are modified to the maximum compression level. All of that said, we also recognize that ANY document and user disruption is too much disruption, which is why we’re working so quickly on the patch.

    Again, we truly appreciate your business, your input, and your patience as we address these issues. Please continue to follow the blog for further updates.

  21. Scott August 9, 2013 -

    Anyone who uses JBIG 2 for compression on financial documents is asking for trouble regardless of the capture device. Xerox is not to blame whatsoever. It’s actually nice that they include this compression method which is great for text documents. This is completely overblown.

  22. William Tucker August 15, 2013 -

    This topic is very troubling, you have a company that prides themselves on quality and print. And have something like this come out and so it’s not a big deal. “I WAS A XEROX FAN”

  23. Tarek August 18, 2013 -

    You had 1 job Xerox, 8 job.

  24. Daria Huddy January 10, 2014 -

    I too admired Xerox, the legacy of a passionate man, who loved both people and machines, who saw a need for a system that would help make work life easier, he was poor, alone, but through sheer determination, Xerox was born. I also admire his humility and contribution to helping the poor and needy, as this was where he was, taking nothing for granted. His name was Chester Floyd Carlson. But I feel no real connection with Xerox, at present, human lives are at stake. But I still care about Xerox, and it’s customers, and wish Xerox all the best – In the future.

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  26. Chulang June 8, 2015 -

    There are more scan problems. Machines that scan to folder that run XP would not wokr in windows 7. Then at times scan to email stop working. Even when the local Xerox rep comes he cant even get the problem fixed

    • Gregory Pings June 9, 2015 -

      Chulang: I’m very sorry that you’re having trouble with your scanning function. Ricardo Hernandez Conde, one of our support managers, will send an email to the address that you provided. He is in the best position to find the solution to your problem.

      Best regards,


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