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Microfilm Reader/Printer Cheat Sheet for Salem State University : Using Microfiche

How to use the microfilm reader/printer.

Don't panic if...

Is your text backward?  Your film is in the machine incorrectly, pull the carriage out and reverse your microfiche.

Is your image white text on a black background?  It will scan and print with black text on a white background.  This will be covered in Using Capture Perfect Software.

Can't see anything clearly?  Are you using the correct lens for your format?  Microfilm and microfiche use the same lens, ultrafiche uses a separate lens.

Microfiche

Microfiche, like microfilm, is content that has been photographed and reproduced in a space-saving, condensed format.  Microfiche are flat sheets of flexible film, rather than the rolls of microfilm.  These flat sheets are placed in between the glass of the reader, but instead of using the reels to advance to the next image, you will manually move the film forward and backward.  Note in this photo, the title of the microfiche is facing forwards.

Loading microfiche

Loading Microfiche:

PLACE THE MICROFICHE IN THE READER, IN BETWEEN THE GLASS PLATES WITH THE "BACKWARDS" SIDE OF THE FICHE FACING UP.  Push the carriage to close the glass.

Save

Moving carriage

Once your microfiche is in the machine, and under the lens, you are ready to start looking for what you need.  In the same way that you push and pull the film "carriage" towards and away from yourself to open and close the glass, you will use the same motion to orient each row under the lens for viewing on the screen.  You will also move the carriage to the left and the right to move from page to page (little rectangle to little rectangle).  The carriage will also move at "angles" if you have placed the film in a little crooked, or if the original was photographed askew . You can "correct" the image by adjusting the carriage.  You can use one hand, or both hands by the arrows on the carriage.  Don't over-think which direction you need to move.  Watch the image on the screen, and move in the direction that works with what you are seeing. 

Ready to go

Go to the tab for Using Capture Perfect Software for help with orienting, formatting, scanning and printing from microforms.