You may try different scanning options.
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You will get the best scan of text by scanning to TIF and importing the TIF. Even jpg is not a good choice, since it is a lossy format.
Michael, thank you very much for your time and efforts. Seems like a great solution (that is how i save my photo scans). The test scans of docs saved as TIF and converted to pdf seem to produce "truer" copies. However, the workflow will be slower.
Any idea what might have caused this change? For doc scans I had always used the default settings in Epson scan, probably made over 500 scans in the week before this "change", and then the "haze" appeared? I uninstalled/reinstalled drivers and Adobe reader, Epson tech support had me uninstall/reinstall drivers, i visited an authorized repairman that confirmed the differences in scans but saw no physical problem, i received a replacement scanner under warranty, tried scanning from a different computer, bought a new Artisan 835, yet still have the same "haze"?
This led me to think a software update may have caused the change?
Thank you again for the work around and any future input.