Scanning


DoNeatThingsWithYourStuff
Image viewer and collection manager.
© Thistle Cottage Software. All rights reserved.

Table of Contents:

1. Scope and Objectives
2. All scanners are different
3. Getting ready
4. Fire everything up
5. Choosing your scanner
6. Getting a preview
7. Find the resolution choice
8. Setting the output resolution
9. ...too small
10. ...too big
11. Just right!!
12. Choosing the scanning portion
13. Don't crop yet (normally)
14. Doing the scan
15. Saving the photo
16. Saving the playlist
17. Scanning subsequent photos.
18. Viewing the results
19. Reading from your camera

1. Scope and Objectives

In this session we will learn how to use a scanner to convert the contents of some of those shoeboxes to digital photos on the PCs hard drive using DoNeatThingsWithYourStuff.

2. All scanners are different

Bear in mind through this tutorial that every scanner ever built is, was, and probably always will be, different to every other!

spscannersvary.jpg

Sometimes the differences will be minor sometimes they will be major.

So please don't be distressed if you find yours doesn't quite "fit" with the text provided here.

We'll try to keep discussions to a level of functional simplicity where we can hopefully rely on a level of similarity between the devices.

3. Getting ready

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We'll assume that you have already installed the necessary scanner software into your PC and it's unpacked and ready to go.

In terms of care of your scanner, please observe all the obvious precautions:

Also, the more you can keep the lid closed and prevent dirt, dust and other contaminants from messing up the glass plate inside, the better the results you'll get.

4. Fire everything up

Make sure your scanner is plugged into your PC.

Turn on everything that needs to be turned on (some scanners get power from the PC, some don't).

Fire up DoNeatThingsWithYourStuff

Open the lid of your scanner and carefully place a photo, face down in one corner of the plate, lining it up as squarely as possible. Close the lid.

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[If you've already been through this process and have created a playlist into which you wish to add these scanned photos, then open that playlist now]

If you're still on the opening screens, press the button on the opening screen that says "Fetch from camera or scanner"

Otherwise, select menu item "1.File" then "b. Acquire images from camera or scanner"

5. Choosing your scanner

You should then be shown a list of available devices

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(If not, you have not correctly installed the necessary driver software)

Select your scanner and click on "Select".

Hopefully you will then be presented with a panel which interfaces with your scanner .

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This is one for a "Canon Lide"

It's worth exporing this panel (we will call it the "interface panel") a little bit.

sppreview.jpg

Note there is a button labeled "preview". Yours will probably have one also, although you may need to look in a menu to find it.

Find it and press it.

6. Getting a preview

Hopefully your scanner will whir into life and you will shortly be presented with a small-scale picture of the photo you placed in the scanner.

spsmallscanner.jpg

You will doubtless have an array of other buttons on your user interface which perform functions such as rotate, flip, zoom etc.

spscannerbuttons.jpg

Ignore all of those for now.

7. Find the resolution choice

The next important one to find is the one which controls "output resolution".

spresolution.jpg

8. Setting the output resolution

Output resolution is measured in dots per inch or "dpi". Very simply stated, the bigger the dpi number, the bigger the file you will create.

spresolution.jpg

Bigger does NOT necessarily mean better.

However powerful your pc and however much memory you have, really huge photo files can be significantly slower and less rewarding to work with, with zero gain.

For example, if your objective is to be able to enjoy your photos by viewing them on your pc or television, there is little point in making a file much bigger than your pc screen.

9. ...too small

Example:

Lets say your monitor is set to 800 * 600 pixels and your photo is 6" * 4"

If you choose a resolution of 100dpi, your photo will end up as 600 * 400 pixels, which is smaller than your monitor.

10. ...too big

If however you choose 1200dpi, your photo will end up a massive - 7200 * 4800 pixels.

Not only is this too big too fit on your screen (so it will be resized to a hundredth to fit, thereby effectively losing all the extra resolution) but ...

...it will also be a huge file for your pc to work with - and therefore slow - it it works at all!

This example shows that scanning the whole page at 1200dpi would result in a massive 409.8 megabytes file. This would be way too big to be of any practical use. In fact, more than a couple of megabytes would generally be overkill.

spscannerfilesize.jpg

Large ouput resolutions become useful when you want to blow up a small portion of a large photo, or when you are scanning negatives or slides.

11. Just right!!

In this instance 200dpi is probably going to be a good compromise.

It provides a photo 1200*800 pixels which is certainly small enough to work with comfortably, and will give good results on your screen and probably also your printer.

To summarise, generally when scanning normal photos, start off at around 200 dpi. If the files end up too big, try dropping to 150dpi, or if the images end up too small for you, try going up to 300dpi.

12. Choosing the scanning portion

If you have a 6 inch by 4 inch photo sitting in your scanner, that's the portion you want scanned. You especially don't want a huge photo, which is 90% white space!

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Make sure that your scanner preview is showing that your picture, and only your picture is going to be scanned.

Note that there is a dotted line around the perimeter of the photo shown.

13. Don't crop yet (normally)

Note that the "selection size" equates to the size of the photo.

/tutorials/spselection.jpg

If this is not the case, try the "Multi crop" button or its equivalent.

Except in special cases, we don't recommend you try cropping at this stage. It's much more easily and accurately done from inside DoNeatThingsWithYourStuff.

The exception to this is when you want to blow up, at very high resolution, a small portion of a large photo. So, in general: scan the whole photo but not the whole platen!!

14. Doing the scan

Final checks. Before we scan make sure that

spscan.jpg

Ok? Press the scan button.

You scanner should whir into life again.

You should see a progress bar as it scans.

You should then see a message like "transferring image 1/1"

15. Saving the photo

Once the photo has been scanned and sent to the computer, DoNeatThingsWithYourStuff needs to know what to do with it

spsave.jpg

This is a pretty standard "save as" panel. (It's actually called a dialog box but that's not really important).

Three things about it however are important: the directory you choose, the name you give the file, and the file type.

1. Choose the directory you want to place your scanned work into (this is shown in "Save in" box).

2. Type the name for your file in "File name" box.

3. Make sure the "Save as type" box shows "/tutorials/jpeg_.jpg"

4. When you're ready press the "Save" button.

16. Saving the playlist

Having saved the photo, the next step is to save the playlist.

/tutorials/spsavingpl1.jpg

Answer yes to this question, give the playlist a meaningful name and save it somewhere. It doesn't have to be in the same directory but to start with it's probably a good idea until you become more comfortable.

17. Scanning subsequent photos.

Ok, you've just scanned the first photo, saved it in your computer, and made a playlist to access it. Now you should see the scanner interface panel again, ready to scan your next photo.

Open the lid and remove the photo. Place your next photo in the scanner and repeat the process until you're finished. Note however that

Scan in half a dozen or so then we'll look at the results.

18. Viewing the results

Ok you've got a few photos successfully scanned in. Now lets have a look at them.

On the left hand side of your screen you should see something like this.

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To see (play) a photo click on its name in the contents panel.

To play another one, click on its name. It will be played in place of the first one.

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To step through all of them in sequence, you can use the up and down arrows on your keyboard, or the "<" and ">" buttons on the play control at the bottom right of your screen.

19. Reading from your camera

Reading photos direct from your camera is exactly the same process except that:

1. Your photos will be downloaded in batches rather than one at a time

2. When you assign a name, you will also be asked for a starting number. Your photos will then automatically be named in a sequence starting with that number.