A few scanning tips

by Wayne Fulton

One purpose is to offer some scanning tips and to explain the basics for photos and documents. It is about the fundamentals of digital images, about the basics to help you get the most from your scanner. How it works, for those that want to know.

Included here are the general questions that we've all asked about digital images, but unfortunately, that other sources don't answer. The material is about the basics, and is appropriate for the beginner. The content is certainly not superficial, but it is not at all difficult either, it is just simply about how it works. It describes in plain language the things we need to know to be efficient and get the most from our images, in the various ways that we can use them.

The material was written about scanning, but most of it is a basic primer on digital images in general, applicable to images from digital cameras too, about which there is a quick summary here. This material is intended for home and hobby users, and is not concerned with commercial prepress.

Many newbies want to scan a photo at the greatest possible resolution. We'll explain why that's the wrong answer, with tips about how to choose a more appropriate answer. That and many other scanning basics are covered here, and it's intended to be a fast jump start to aid newcomers to graphics and scanning. Scanners are easy and fun and very useful, and there's lots of artistic creativity possible too. There will be a little scanning technique to learn, but when you've seen it once, then it's rather simple.

Photography and Flash articles

Scanning Contents


Scanning 101 - The Basics

Never used a scanner before?

Evaluating Scanner Features

Some Typical Scanner Software
HP PrecisionScan LT
HP PrecisionScan
HP PrecisionScan Pro
Microtek ScanWizard 5
Microtek ScanWizard Pro 6
Minolta Scan Dual II
Umax VistaScan
Umax MagicScan
Scanning 201

A Simple Way to Get Better Scans


UnSharp Mask sharpening

Curve Tool

Clone Tool

Restoration of Genealogical Photos

Correction of Faded Slides

Scanning / Printing Calculator

A few Frequently Asked Questions - FAQ

A few Links to Other scanning sites


* START - The First Fundamental Concept

Video Resolution - How much to scan?

Say No to 72 dpi - It's a false notion

Images for television or for PowerPoint

Printing Resolution - Scaling and Resampling

Finding the Scaling and Resampling Menus

Printer Resolution - How much to scan?

Line art and Threshold - Copy and OCR, Printed Text

Line art and Grayscale

Scanning for Fax

Descreen to remove Moiré Interference
    Images in magazines/books/newspapers

Interpolated Resolution - 9600 dpi?

Photo Resolution - How much can we scan?

Image File Formats - Which format?

Video Boards

Transparent Media Adapter - 35 mm slides?

What about Film Scanners?

Dynamic Range - 24 bit or 36 bits?

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Web scantips.com

Video Screen Resolution Poll - Which settings do we use?

Vote in a popularity survey of your video screen resolution settings   

Copyright © 1997-2015   by Wayne Fulton - All rights are reserved.

I do try to help with questions about scanning basics or my material, but I cannot help with the "what scanner to buy" or "my scanner doesn't work" questions, so those email probably get no response.