Do you have hundreds of old photos that you would like to keep by saving them on your computer? Perhaps you only have a couple that you want to send to family members or you want to print copies. No matter how you scan your photos, wikiHow will help you take your scans and make them the best possible quality. Go to the first step to get started!
Part 1 of 3: Set up your scanner
Step 1. Turn on the computer and printer to make sure they are connected
If the system does not respond:
- Check power sources including wall and power outlets.
- Look for cable connections that may not fit properly.
- Confirm that the USB cable is connected to the correct port.
- Make sure you have the correct type of cable.
- Check the printer or scanner manufacturer's installation instruction manual.
- Send a "ticket" to the technical service or access the help page online.
Step 2. Go to the location of the scanner program
In Windows, click the "Start" button to see the active programs. If you're using a Mac, click the scanner icon. If the program is not installed or you cannot find the installation discs, you can use basic utilities already included in the computer or download some from trusted sites such as CNET.
On Windows computers, the basic utility is "Fax and Scan", which you can find using the search bar on the "Start" menu
Step 3. Run the scanning program
Find the scanning program. Activate and open it by double clicking on the program name or by pressing the scan button on your printer or scanner. Click the "Next" button to continue to the next step. You will be asked to place the image you want to scan.
Part 2 of 3: Scan the image
Step 1. Place the photo you want to scan
Place your documents face down on the flatbed of the printer or scanner. Align the photo with the arrows or grids on the device and close the lid (if you have one). Press the "Scan" button or use your computer's scanning program.
Step 2. Choose your scanning preferences
You will have the option to scan in color, black and white, grayscale, or custom. You can also choose the digital format in which you want your photo to be saved (jpg, jpeg or tiff).
Step 3. Choose the preview option
Clicking the preview allows you to see your selection before continuing and making any necessary changes to the settings. Use the preview to decide the type of format, orientation and resolution you want before continuing. Orientation allows the user to select the direction of the image (landscape or portrait), and the resolution determines the sharpness of the image.
Higher resolution will make image details better visible. For a sharper image, increase the resolution. Note: This will also increase the size of the image and significantly the size of the file. You may not be able to send the image as an email attachment unless you make it smaller. It does not need to exceed 300 dpi
Step 4. Click "Done" or "Scan"
Once you have selected the settings you want in the preview, click "Done" or "Scan" to continue and complete the process. The word you have to use depends on the program, and you may even use both.
Step 5. Use the included program to guide you through the process
Follow the "Scan Wizard" or other included program if you have problems. The wizard will show you step by step how to copy images from a scanner to a computer or web page.
Step 6. Save your photos
Some programs automatically save your photos in a cache within the program itself, but in most programs you will have to save them in another location on your computer or upload them to the Internet. Look for the "Save" button or use the "Save" window when it appears. Save the images in a location where you won't lose them.
You don't have to worry about renaming each photo. If you have a large number of photos it can take a long time
Part 3 of 3: Scan Like a Pro
Step 1. Take your time
If you really want your photos to look great once scanned you will need to employ a few tricks, but the most important part is the time you will have to dedicate to your project. Each photo has to be scanned and edited individually, so don't try to save time by scanning all of them at once if you want them to be truly perfect.
Step 2. Scan the original photo when possible
If you have the option, scan the original image using a slide scanner for much higher quality. These scanners are not cheap, but if you have a lot of photos that you want to save it may be a good idea.
Step 3. Do not rotate the photos in the scanning program
When you rotate the photos in the preview window of the scanning program (or even later in an image editor) it is possible to lose some image quality. Scan them from the beginning with the correct orientation and you will preserve all the quality of your image.
Step 4. Do the 24 bit scan
In the list of options that includes black and white scanning, color, etc., you will sometimes be given the option to scan in 24 bit. This is the best option for quality scans and you should choose it whenever possible.
Step 5. Adjust the levels and saturation
If your scanning program has options to adjust levels and saturation before scanning the image, do so now. Adjusting them later within the program can damage the image and cause it to lose a lot of detail. Levels and saturation change the colors, dark and light, in an image, helping to restore a photo that has lost these characteristics.
Step 6. If you are scanning for large reprints and large files are not a problem, save the file in tiff format
If you want compact files, save in png or-j.webp" />
Step 7. Use Photoshop to restore photos and not an automatic setup
Usually automatic settings don't do the same good job of restoring a person. You can learn to use a program like Photoshop or hire professionals to do the retouching on those photos that are so important to you.
- A scanned photo can be used as a screensaver or desktop background.
- Most software manufacturers offer free downloads of their programs for their older versions, while the newer versions are paid.
- To avoid viruses, always download your programs from trusted websites.
- Please read the terms and conditions of use for downloading programs carefully before downloading the files.