Scanning in reading is a process of reading in which your eyes quickly run through a piece of text to find a piece of relevant information. Scanning in reading is a common practice to locate a word in a dictionary. We are not interested in understanding the summary of the text or what the text is about while scanning.
Scanning in reading is different from skimming in a lot of ways. Scanning is when the reader looks for a piece of specific information and in skimming, the reader would run through the text to get an overall understanding. In this way, skimming is different from scanning. The perfect example of scanning is when we try to find out the meaning of a particular word from a dictionary. In order to find the meaning of a word, we will not go through each and every word in the dictionary, but rather we would run our eyes through the pages.
Another example for scanning would be how we find a particular contact number from a directory. Scanning would let you save a lot of time as it enables you to quickly find the relevant information. When you scan a text, you will try to locate certain words or phrases. You will be using your hands to locate the information you are looking for when you are involved in the process of scanning. Hands can help you find the data more easily. You can scan effectively by using your peripheral vision.