Scanning documents and photographs

Paul N Daniels, Heritage Genealogical College

1. Buying and installing a Scanner : Each scanner works a little differently, but typically when you install a scanner you will need to:

a. Make sure that you read the minimum requirements on the side of the scanner box to see if you computer will work with the scanner

b. You may see something like the following on the scanner box as the minimum requirements (for a Windows type of operating system):

i. Pentium equivalent processor or higher.

a. Unless your computer is very old you will probably have a Pentium computer.

ii. Windows 98/2000/Millennium/XP

a. The only Microsoft operating system that won’t work in this case would be Windows 3.1 or windows 95

iii. 64 MB of RAM (128 MB for Windows XP)

1. It is possible that you computer has less if it is an older computer, but most computers will have the minimum amount of RAM (Random Access Memory)

2. In windows 98 to find how much memory you have do the following;

a. Left click the Start button (bottom left corner of the screen)

b. Move button up to the settings button and the over to the words Control Panel and left click it.

c. In the next window right click on "System" icon and then highlight the word "Open" and left click it. This will open up a box. At the bottom of the window you should see something like 64MB RAM , 128MB RAM, etc.

iv. 200 MB of available Hard Disk Space

1. Older computers may not have this much space and will not work with newer scanners.

2. On windows 98 Find the "My Computer" icon on your desk top (Main screen on the computer)

a. Left click the icon and highlight the "Open" word and left click the mouse.

b. Put the mouse arrow over the (C: ) alone with the computer icon above it. And right click the mouse button.

c. Move it down to the word "Properties" and right click the mouse button. This will bring up a box with a pie chart at the bottom and some small boxes above the pie chart. To the right of one of the colored boxes there will be the words “Free Space” Next to this will be a number like 14,000,000,000 bytes. To the right of this will be and other number (in this case) 14 GB.

3. If there is a number higher than 200 MB or any number with GB next too it then you have enough memory.

v. CD-ROM drive (for installing software on your PC)

1. Most computers now have a place to put your CD disks in. If you don’t then you may need to talk to a computer store or someone about having one installed.

vi. Color Monitor.

1. The monitor is how you view anything on your computer.

vii. USB Port

1. Older scanners and computers use something called a serial port. If you don’t know what a serial port is or don't know if you computer has a USB port then you may need to ask one of your children (who usually know a lot more about computers than adults) or take your computer into a computer store and ask them if they could find out if you have a USB port. If you don’t have one they can usually install a (PCI) Card in you computer that will have USB ports on it. NOTE A USB port is a slot in your computer that allows your Scanner to connect to your computer.

2. When you get the scanner, it will usually come with a CD that you will need to install some programs onto your computer. The CD may have Drivers (software that goes in the computer that helps you scanner talk to or work with your computer) and some basic photo software that allows you to manipulate or work with your pictures. The Scanner should have an instruction booklet that will describe how to connect it to your computer and how to install the software on the CD to the computer

3. What you need and don’t need in a scanner

a. If you are just going to scan pictures (no slides)

i. The average person will do great with a 2400 dpi scanner.

ii. If you are going to change the brightness, contrast or adjust you pictures very much then a 36 or 42-bit color scanner is better.

iii. Each time you adjust your picture, information in that picture is lost.

iv. Most printer and Scanners can pick up to 24-bit color so if that is all you have and information is lost then the results will be less that 24-bites of color. If you start out with 36 or 42 bits of color even with a loss of information your picture will come closer to the 24 bit-color that the printer can do.

v. How detailed of information a scanner picks up is shown as DPI (dots per inch). On the Scanner box it will usually list something like 1200 x 4800. 

1. The higher the numbers the better the resolution or detail that the scanner picks up. The scanner has sensors along the lighted bar that moves under the glass as a picture is being scanned. When the bar has moved all the way down the glass the picture will have up to 1200 pixels wide by 4800 pixels long.

2. MORE It is rare that you will ever use 4800 pixels of resolution. If you tried to set the resolution to 4800 megapixels the size of one of your pictures would be over 6 GB (gigabites). Most printers on the best paper will only show a difference of quality below 300 MB (megapixels). At 300 megapixels this same picture would only take about 25 MB (megabites). That is still a lot of memory and usually a lot bigger than you need.

To put pictures into PAF you will either need a digital camera or a scanner. These pictures can be stored on your hard drive On a floppy, or ZIP drive on a CD or DVD. Pictures can also be gotten through the Internet by using E-Mail from a family web page. Each photo whether scanned into your computer or it from a digital camera will have its own name. Depending on the resolution of a picture it will take up different amounts of memory wherever you store it (Hard drive, floppy, ZIP, CD or DVD).

It is better to keep all of the pictures you put in PAF in one folder.

The main folder can be divided into subfolders

It is easier to find your pictures later when they are all in the same place if you move a picture PAF will have to be told where the picture is again to show it steps to putting a picture into PAF. Create a Sub-File under "My Documents" in Windows. Right click you mouse over the "Start" Button. A box will then appear with the word "Explore", in it

Left click on Explore. This will bring up a window with files listed on the left side and icons in a window on the right side. Find the folder “My Documents” on the left hand side of the screen and left click the mouse button with the arrow over the "My documents" folder icon.

This will bring up another window where you should move the mouse arrow over the word "Open". Once "Open" has been highlighted left click the mouse. This will bring up a larger window. Position the Arrow (mouse pointer) anywhere in the white section (not over any folder icons) of the window and right click the mouse. A box will open up with a list

In the box highlight (put the arrow over) the word 'New."  This will bring up another box with a manila (yellow) folder icon and the word "Folder" next to it. With you arrow located over "New" slide the arrow to the right into the next box and then up to the word "Folder" and left click you mouse. This will create a new manila folder with the words "New Folder" highlighted underneath it. You will also see a blinking line on the right side of the highlighted "New Folder" words

You can change the name of this folder by: Typing in a new name while it is highlighted. This will change the words “New Folder” to what ever you type in there If “New Folder is not highlighted then; Right click the mouse while the arrow is over the folder. The folder and title underneath will be highlighted (with a darker color.) A box will open up. Move the arrow down the entries in the box to the word “Rename” and left click it.

This will highlight the name box under the manila folder. You can then type in a new name. If you are putting different families’ pictures in PAF and you want to keep the family pictures separated then you can make subfolders in the folder that you just made. The name of the folder should be descriptive of the items i.e. pictures that you put in it. Some examples of folders names may be “Scanned Pictures for PAF”, “Family Pictures”, or the name of your Family i.e. Smith Family.

NOTE At the top right of the Explorer window that you have been working in (about 4 lines down from the top) you should see the word “Address” This will let you know where your pictures are located. The address that should be there at this point should look like (a manila folder icon) C:\My Documents\ New Folder (If you changed the name of “New Folder” then it will be what ever name you changed it to)

To make a sub-folder (a new folder in the one you just made)

Right click the mouse over the “New Folder” icon

This will highlight the “New Folder” icon and also open up a box next to it. Move the arrow down the items listed in the box to the word “Open” (which will then be highlighted) and then left click the “Open” word. This will open up another window with nothing in it.

Right click on the white space and another box will open. Move the arrow down to highlight the word “New”. 

Another box will open up. Move the arrow over to the folder icon (next to the word “Folder.”) Right click “Folder” and a new manila folder will appear with “New Folder” words underneath. Refer to 2.vii step above to change the name of the folder. If you left click over the new folder and right click “Open” you will be able to see the new file listed in the “Address line” next to the previous folder that you made before.


Last modified: Saturday, September 16, 2006, 06:14 AM
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