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To get the best image from your scanner, try scanning a sheet of white opaque paper that is large enough to cover the entire bed. Set the resolution to 72 dpi and scan into an image-editing program. Use the "equalize" control to exaggerate minor differences within the image area. You will see an area (hopefully) that doesn't have any blotches. Once you've determined where your scanner's "sweet spot" is located, make a cardboard template to aid your positioning for any future scanning.