Scanning – Do it right the first time!

I’ve taught many scanning classes and  I’ve answered many questions. I will offer more scanning suggestions and tips as this blog grows – just a spoonful at a time.

Here’s a scanning tip I consider the most important.

Scan all images using the following settings:

Image Size = 8 x 10 inches or 10 x 8 inches depending on the shape of the photo.

TIP – When scanning only enter one half of the image size number (8 or 10) and then click in the other image size box. The scanning software will automatically compute the other number keeping your image proportional. This will avoid creating distorted photos of tall / skinny or short / fat relatives! Be nice – this is not the way to get even with uncle Herman.

Resolution / DPI = 150 -350 DPI depending on the quality of the photo.

TIP: Avoid using a high DPI on poor quality images. All you will get is a very large image file with no improvement in image quality.

TIP: You are using your scanner as an enlarger. You will need to use the advanced settings option in your scanner in order to change the output or image target size as recommended above.

WHY? I know you all think I’m nuts!  In my classes I always get raised eyebrows or eyes rolled up toward the ceiling (like my kids used to do) until the attendees (too old to be students) hear the following reasons.

Most of us have no idea how we will be using our scanned images in the future. Don’t make the typical mistake of thinking your computer is magic and will allow you to stretch or enlarge photos later.

TIP: Stretching photos is a great trick for making scary Halloween photos with the pointed teeth, funny looking eyes with a little pixelization thrown for a spooky appearance – be nice to uncle Herman.

Someday you may decide to create a beautiful hardbound book, print out a calendar or engage in another project requiring large photos. Photos are never larger than 8 x 10 inches in a family history book so your scans will enhance interest and help create a professional looking book. You will be able to “shrink” your large scans to the desired size with a minimal amount of image quality loss for use on other pages in the book or calendar.

Don’t worry about filling up your hard drive with large image files. Move your scans to an external drive or to CD/DVDs for storage later use.

You may only have one change to scan some old photos so please do it right the first time!!

Need more scanning help? Purchase my Easier Scanning Tutorials or consult chapter two, “Easier Scanning,” in the Digital Family Guidebook that also comes in PDF with Heritage Collector.


One Response to “Scanning – Do it right the first time!”

  1. Writing a History? Use Open Office – ITS FREE! « The Heritage Collector's Blog Says:

    […] The Heritage Collector's Blog Family History. Tips and suggestions to make it fun and easier. « Scanning – Do it right the first time! […]

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