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Scanning made Easy
Posted by: Flora on 12-31-1969.

"Troubled about scanning a photo for manipulation/printing? ... Read on... :)"


nothing special here .... just a basic 'step by step' explanation on how to scan an image without being a 'Pixel Guru' or a 'Professional of Resolution'....

After reading miles of articles and tons of tips on the subject I came to the following conclusions:

  • scan at 300 dpi is the right thing for printing... from what I've read, scanning at higher resolution just gives you a bigger file size and not increased quality.
  • scan at higher resolutions for manipulation if the size of the original image is very small or if the conditions of the original are very poor.
  • Use the Scanner's Tools sparingly, but use them...

I use a jurassic HP Scanner... so... I'm quite confident that my Tutorial will reach a vast number of people who, like me,  have been or are confused on the 'how to'...

Well, here is how I do it:

  • Place your picture on the scanner bed, and click whatever or wherever you have to, to open the scanning Dialog Box...
    There, click on 'Start a New Scan' or whatever your software offers you.... Mine looks like this:

Image 1

  • I could make some adjustment even before starting the scanning, but I prefer not to .... so... after some whirring I get this:

Image 2

  • The scanner is proposing a Greyscale image... No go!! ...
    Even if the original is in Greyscale, it's always better to scan in colours since the colour channels may contain precious details otherwise lost...
    So I change to True Color.

    Next step here, is to define the 'boundaries' of my scanning ... because by proceeding now, the whole scanner bed would be included in the image saved...
    This would result in a big file, but a small image since most of the space in my saved image would be taken up by the  scanner bed!

    To crop the scanner bed away,  I simply need to click on the image and the cropping frame appears ... Not perfectly around the image, but by moving the handles, I get it exactly as I want. (See Image 3)

Image 3

  • Resolution next .... My picture isn't very big, but in good conditions so, I decide to scan at 300 dpi (for later printing) because I am quite confident that it will be good enough (meaning visible details) to be worked on.

Image 4

  • ....The above were the vital parts of scanning... now, let's get to the refining...
    As I said before, my original isn't very big, so, having decided on the resolution, now I would like to increase its size as well...
    In my HP Menu Bar, I click on Tools

Image 5

  • After having selected Resize from the cascading menu, I get the following Dialog Box

    Image 6
  •  Here I can change the dimension of my image in different ways:

1) Indipendently
2) Locking the Proportions
3) Scaling ... in %

What About Color, Contrast, Sharpness etc.??
Well I find all that in the Advanced Menu

Image 7

  • Well, usually I rather do this kind of corrections in Photoshop, but the 'Descreening' tool can be very helpful particularly if the original is printed on textured paper.

    Nearly there ... I just have to click on the Save as button now...and I'm greeted by the following Box asking me if I really know what I am doing...

Image 8

  • I stand by my decision and select to scan with the current resolution .. 

    Last decision I'm asked to take is the format in which save my image... Well, no doubt here... If I want to work on it I definitely go for Uncompressed TIF Image ....Otherwise I would select JPG.

Image 9

Well This is it... I do hope to have helped clear some doubts and mysteries about basic scanning .... I fear that the 'Profis' will be on the path of riot .... (I actually hear them coming...) ... but this is how I do it and I am quite happy with the results!!!

Ciao, ciao...


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