Digital cameras make sharing family photographs a breeze. The photograph is transferred from the camera to the computer through a USB port or card reader, and the images are saved as JPEG files. You can then share the files through email, social media or via text. However, if you do not have a digital camera, or you want to convert old photos to digital, the process involves a few more steps. Convert your printed photographs to digital to share with friends and family, or set as your desktop background.
Clean the glass of your flatbed scanner by spraying a microfiber cloth with eyeglass cleaner. Wipe the glass on the flatbed scanner to remove any hairs, dust or dirt. Let the scanner glass completely dry before proceeding by leaving the cover up and letting the glass air dry.
Place a photograph face down on the glass of the scanner, positioning it in the top left or bottom left corner, according to the scanner instructions. Follow the arrows on the scanner that indicate where to place the photo.
Close the top and press the “Scan” button on the scanner. This automatically opens the scanner software on your computer. Press the “Preview” button in the scanner software to preview the scanned photograph.
Set the resolution of the scan to 75 to 100 dots per inch, or dpi, if you are sending the photographs through email or posting them on a networking site or blog. If you are backing up the photographs and may print them later, set the resolution to 300 dpi. Set the dpi to over 300 only if you plan to make slides or enlarge the photo.
Press the “Scan” button. The computer scans and saves the file as a JPEG on your computer. Set the file to TIFF if you simply need a digital archive of the photo. TIFF files preserve more of the original color and provides flexibility for future use.
- Create a new folder on your desktop or in your Pictures folder, then click and drag the JPEG files into the folder.
- Some scanners are equipped to scan negatives. Place the negatives in the designated slot, then press the “Scan” button to open the scanner software. Select the “Negatives” option and select “Scan.”
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