Quick Tip:
Better Scanning

Scanners are great graphic design tools, allowing you to use images you might not otherwise be able to use. But results aren’t always what you hoped they would be. So here are a few quick and easy tips for getting the most out of your scanner.

  1. Cleaning the scanner

    Smudges and haze that you don’t usually see on the glass will still affect scan quality. Use glass cleaner and a soft cloth to clean the glass.

  2. Garbage in, garbage out

    Start with a good photo. Make sure there’s nothing on the photo that will affect the final image. Lightly wipe the photo with a clean, anti-static cloth first. If the subject is a pre-screened image such as that from a magazine page or book cover, use your scanner’s de-screening function.

  3. Gang-scanning

    If you are using several photographs that will appear together, try to scan them at the same time. Settings such as brightness, contrast, and shadows will be consistent, and you can adjust them all later with more accuracy.

  4. Cropping the photo

    Do not crop in the scanner. Crop later, with your image-editing software. Image previews are almost never accurate. Besides, you sometimes find you need more of an image than you expected.

  5. Understanding requirements

    If the image is screened, textured, damaged, or will need retouching, scan at twice the size you will ultimately need. This allows for corrections and down-sampling for greater clarity and sharpness. The larger the scan, the more detail will be retained.

    If you are scanning a page with images and text, you might have better results scanning the page once in color, then again at the very same size and resolution in line or grayscale. Merge the results later with your image-editing software. (Text almost never scans well when scanned as if it were a color photo!)

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Published: September 6, 2007

1 Response to “Quick Tip: Better Scanning”

  1. The emotions are subtle and go unnoticed to the uneducated viewer. Every image tells a story and the wrong font with a random color may convey something different than originally intended.

    KLS callSeptember 25, 2017 at 3:00 pm


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