Get quick tips for scanning photos
Simple tricks for getting fast, top-quality photo scans
Support & Drivers
Whether you want to restore vintage family photographs or create a digital archive of your favorite snapshots, scanning is the first step in preserving your photos for years to come. Find tips and techniques to help you scan like a pro with HP Scanners or All-in-Ones and their included HP scanning software.
Fine-tune your scanner settings
Although the default values usually provide optimal results, you can fine-tune the settings in your software.
Your HP scanner comes with a software CD for your computer that you will need to use to adjust your various scan settings, including output type, resolution, sharpening, exposure, and color. Experiment with these software settings to perfect your scan.
For example, if you're scanning a treasured snapshot that has faded over the years and was a little blurred to begin with, you can sharpen the scan (from low to extreme) and restore faded color with a click of your mouse.
Use pre-scanning effectively
You have an opportunity to edit and adjust the image before you scan.
If you choose to Prescan or Show Preview (exact language will vary from model to model), the scanner will take a quick pass of the image and display a rough version on your screen.
This is your chance to see your scan is straight, complete, and free of dust and lint. It's also your chance to make corrections and improvements.
Customize your scanner button shortcuts
You can customize your HP Scanjet shortcuts buttons.
Many HP Scanjet scanners, such as the HP Scanjet G4050 Photo Scanner, come with one-touch scan buttons. Just touch a button to quickly scan, as well as make reprints, copy documents, and save images.
Customize your shortcut button settings with the scan settings that you use most often. For example, you could change the default scan settings so that each scanned image was also automatically printed.
Choose the right resolution
Scanning a master copy of your image at 300 dpi gives you flexibility if you want to use the image in different ways.
Scanner resolution is measured in dots per inch (dpi). More dots translate into a sharper image.
Resolution: 75-100 dpi Used for: Sharing via e-mail or posting to the Web.
Resolution: 300 dpi Used for: Printing or archiving
Resolution: Over 300 dpi Used for: Slides, negatives or prints larger than 5" x 7" or enlargements
Choose the right file format
Think ahead. You can always save a copy of a TIFF file as a JPEG, but you can't create a high-quality TIFF image from a JPEG.
After you scan an image, you can save it in several different file formats. Choosing the right format depends on how you'll use your image.
- JPEG: If you're just e-mailing or posting your image online, save it as a JPEG, which compresses the file size to decrease download times. This format loses some image quality, but the loss isn't too noticeable onscreen.
- TIFF: If you're printing your image—or if you're uncertain how you'll use it in the future—save it as a TIFF. This format preserves detail and color information, which will give you maximum flexibility.
Forgot where you saved a previously scanned photo? Discover tips and tricks to help you find your scanned images.
Scan several photos at once
Scan multiple photos at once to save time.
Most scanners let you scan up to four 4" x 6" photos at once. Arrange the pictures that you want to scan on the HP scanning device glass.
For the best results, leave at least 0.25 inches (6 mm) of space between the edges of the pictures.
Crop your photo to size
Limit file size and save hard drive space by cropping to scan only what you need.
If you only need a small portion of your image, don't scan the whole thing. Your scanner software has tools to preview and select only the part you want.
Alternately, you can scan the whole image and then crop to size in your image editing software after you've made any other adjustments.
Flip photos before you scan
Scan your photo in the orientation in which it will be used.
Scan your photo either vertically or horizontally, depending on how the image will be used. You can always flip it after you scan, but some image-quality is lost when you rotate the photo in your image-editing program.
Scan slides and negatives
Convert 35 mm slides and negatives into easy-to-store digital files.
Most HP Photo scanners, such as the HP Scanjet G4010 Photo Scanner, come with a built-in transparent materials adapter (TMA) for scanning 35 mm slides and negatives and turning them into digital files.
Depending on the HP device, you can scan up to 16 slides or 30 negative frames at once. Use your scanning software to remove dust, scratches, and red eye; restore faded color; and automatically enhance color in dark areas. Then, archive your photo files directly to disc.
Auto correct photos—or not
HP scanners like the HP Scanjet G3110 Photo Scanner can automatically correct your pictures or restore faded colors in old pictures.
HP scanners can automatically correct your pictures or restore faded colors in old pictures, but some people prefer to control this process themselves.
To turn picture correction on or off, select Auto Correct Photos from the Basic menu of the HP Scanning software, and then choose the options you want.
Archive and share your photos
Once you’ve scanned your photos, make sure you save them! Archive your images on an external hard drive, or burn to DVD to easily share with friends and family!
- One of the easiest ways to archive your photos
- Preserve thousands of photos on one disc
- Includes 25 (5GB) discs on an easy-to-store spindle
- Offers high speed, double-layer recording
- Preserve, edit, and share up to 8.5 GB of data
- Quickly store, back up, and transport files onto DVD or CD
- Store photos, plus video and music
- Compact design still holds up to 500GB of data
- Portable—connect via USB cable to any PC
In this article:
- Fine-tune scanner settings ›
- Use "pre-scanning" effectively ›
- Customize scanner shortcuts ›
- Choose the right resolution ›
- Choose the right file format ›
- Scan several photos at once ›
- Crop your photo to size ›
- Flip photos before you scan ›
- Scan slides and negatives ›
- Auto correct photos—or not ›
- Archive and share your photos ›
- Learn more ›