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TWAIN is a standard established in 1992 by Aldus Corporation , Eastman-Kodak , Hewlett-Packard and Logitech for the exchange of data between image input devices ( scanners , digital cameras, etc.) and programs for Microsoft Windows and Apple Macintosh .


An image processing program equipped with a TWAIN interface can receive data from any image input device, which in turn offers appropriate support. The current version of the TWAIN standard is TWAIN 2.4 and was published on December 15, 2015.

TWAIN consists of three elements: the data source , the application program and the source manager . The data source is created by the scanner or digital camera driver that is normally supplied with the device. The application program is the program in which the recorded image data are used, e.g. B. an image processing program. The source manager is usually part of the operating system . Several of the data sources and application programs can be present on one computer, which are then managed by the source manager.

In addition to the TWAIN standard, there are also other methods of connecting image input devices and application programs:

Etymology of the expression

The statement published by the TWAIN Working Group as the official answer to the question about the origin of the name is derived from the saying "Never the twain shall meet!" From Rudyard Kipling's The Ballad of East and West , which is so much means like "The two will never meet!". This is a reference to TWAIN as an intermediary between devices that cannot interact directly. The word “twain” in this saying goes back to Old English “twegen” (cf. early New High German “ two ”). It has been arbitrarily capitalized to make it look more distinctive.

Since the spelling TWAIN looks like an acronym , it is often traced back to suitable word groups, especially T echnology W ithout A n I nteresting N ame (Variants for T: T oolkit, T hung; for A: A ny, for I: I mportant), in German about technology (or: tool kit; thing) without (any) an interesting (or: important) name .

Other sources name TWAIN as the abbreviation for T ransmit W indows A dvanced In terface.

See also

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. [1]
  2. Specification & Tools. Retrieved September 18, 2017 (American English).
  3. ^ William Harrel Computer technology editor, writer, author, Instructor with Over 30 Years Experience: Using the TWAIN protocol to connect your imaging devices to your PC. Accessed February 28, 2019 .
  4. TWAIN (toolkit without an important name) :: TWAIN interface :: Retrieved February 28, 2019 .
  5. Twain. In: Pentadoc Radar. Retrieved on February 28, 2019 (German).