If you’re like most people, you have owners manuals and users guides collecting dust on bookshelves, in boxes or filed away. They can be hard to find when you need them.

It’s often possible to find digital PDF versions of such guides on the manufacturer’s website or elsewhere on the Internet. If you can find the identical documents and download them, putting these on your computer, they become easier to find and search. Even product packaging can be scanned offering useful information.

Some documents aren’t available online. In such cases you can scan your user guides and owners manuals into the computer. When you scan, if available, use the OCR feature that comes with your scanner software. This will recognize images of text and convert them into searchable PDF documents.

For documents that are hard to find online, especially those you scan, assuming they aren’t copyrighted, it’s nice to upload these to Scribd where others can find them. The Scribd website also makes it easy to read scanned documents on various devices, as well as making them easy to embed on websites and blogs.

The collection of documents uploaded under the ResourcesForLife Scribd account are a good example of the usefulness for such items. Some seemingly uninteresting documents have had thousands of interested readers.

Here are a few examples: