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One of my applications needed some scanner support. I thought it might be a good idea
to get into TWAIN and try it out. Well, here are the results.
NOTE: You need to have TWAIN_32.DLL installed on your system for this application to work.
Firstly, this is NOT a complete implementation of the TWAIN specification. I have followed
version 1.8 and have used just the basic functionality to get an image from a scanner,
actually, multiple images too can be acquired one after another. By the way - it will work
with digital cameras too - anything which exports a TWAIN interface is supported.
Well, lets delve a little further into it. Before we do that though, I would have to mention
that I will not be able to tell you all about TWAIN here. You can download the specification
at http://www.twain.org. They also have a sample Twain source, if you do not have a scanner
and wish to try out TWAIN.
For our purposes here, the important things are the Data Source Manager (DSM) and the Data
Source (DS) itself. The DS is the actual scanner or digital camera or any other source
which implements TWAIN. The DSM is the module that provides us an interface to the DSM.
And yes, this is a very simplistic view of TWAIN ( I shudder to think of what the TWAIN
designers would make of my description ).
Now for the class itself. First, the header Twain.h has to be included. I've called my
class, rather unimaginatively
CTwain. Now this class requires the TWAIN_32.DLL module
to be loaded. The way I have handled it is by keeping a static Module handle and incrementing
and decrementing the reference count. When the interface is released for the last time,
the module is unloaded.
The class is mostly independant of everything else. What it does require though,
is a handle to window to which the DSM can send messages. These messages are not meant
for the application itself but for TWAIN implementor, in this case
CTwain. This window
handle can be passed either to the constructor, or if as is more likely if the window isn`t
ready yet, in a call to
CTwain class is an abstract class as it has one pure virtual method. So to use this
class you will have to derive from
I will now explain the important methods - the ones which will let you start scanning.
CTwain(HWND hWnd= NULL)
The hwnd is optional. If a non Null value is given,
the Twain interface is initialized using this handle.
This is called by the constructor if the handle passed
to the constructor is not null. Else, it can be called later . Loads the Twain
Dll and initializes it.
Releases Twain interface
NOTE : If TWAIN has been initialized, this must be
called before the window handle passed to it is destroyed. Not doing so will
result in resource and memory leaks.
This is called by InitTwain to initialize the
TW_IDENTITY structure. Please refer to twain.h for the structure memnbers and
to CTwain::GetIdentity for an example as to how to fill these members. As for
now, you need not implement this as long as the default behaviour suits you.
Returns true if the Driver was loaded successfully
Returns true if a source was selected successfully
Returns true if a source is enabled
In TWAIN parlance, a source being enabled means a scan
is in progress.
Selects the default source for the current machine
Shows the Select Source Dialog box and allows the user
to select one
Starts image acquisition
This does not necessarily mean the scanning process is
started. All it actually means is that the Source has been enabled and
typically a Scanning parameters dialog box has been opened. Scanning typically
starts from there. numImages is the number of images that the application can
handle or TWCPP_ANYCOUNT for any number.
Processes messages from Twain
This should be called from the message loop of the window which is intially
passed to the class.
NOTE : All messages can be passed to this routine. It
ignores all Non-Twain messages and will not act on them unless the source is
enabled - so it is not a performance botte-neck either.
This is called every time an image is to be scanned. It should return one of
the following values:
- Cancel this image transfer
- Abort all transfers
- Continue with transfer
The default implementation returns TWCPP_DOTRANSFER.
CopyImage(HANDLE hBitmap,TW_IMAGEINFO& info)
This is a pure virtual method which will get called
everytime an image is transferred from TWAIN. How the image is to be used is
upto the application.
Well - these are the routines you would typically use . You can probably do a lot more
too, but the TWAIN specification can probably help you a lot more there than I can.
Now for the demo application.
What I have done is used mutiple inheritance with regard to
CMainFrame. I figured that would
be the simplest way to handle things. So
CMainFrame is derived from
called from the
OnCreate member of
CMainFrame. Though the destructor would automatically
be called when the window closes, the window handle would not be valid at that time. So
ReleaseTwain from the
OnClose member function of
The two additions to the File Menu are
Select Source shows the default dialog which lists the TWAIN sources available.
Acquire starts the actual acquisition process.
CTwain::ProcessMessage is called from the
PreTranslateMessage member of
CopyImage. This in turn calls
creates a new document along with a frame and assigns the bitmap scanned to that document.
So as new images are scanned new documents are created.
I guess thats it as far as explanations go. I will now very briefly just go through the
steps required to start scanning.
First, create a class derived from
CopyImage to handle bitmaps.
Bitmaps are sent as a handle to a Device Independant Bitmap. In the demo app ,
this is handled with a class -CDIB.
Now in the pretranslate member of the window`s class,
insert this line :
Add the two menu items - Select Source and Acquire as done in
CMainFrame in the demo app.
And well - you`re done. Thats it - the only thing you
really have to work on is