How do I scan art?

In D019, we are currently using Canon scanners. To scan with Canon scanners, you need to use the Image Capture utility software that has been installed for you.

1. Before using the scanner, you should clean the scanner glass with glass cleaner and then dry it off. Make sure you remove any loose dirt or fuzz that the scanner has collected before you begin scanning. An aerosol duster also works well for cleaning purposes. Then place the photo, magazine or whatever media you are scanning face down on the glass of the scanner and close the scanner cover. If possible, try to make sure the print area on the page is parallel to the edges of the scanner, and the image being scanned is flat against the scanning bed. Another thing to consider when scanning is to select the images carefully, because anything larger than the scan bed will have to be scanned in segments and reassembled in Photoshop (ie: 12" LP covers). Anything smaller than 2 inches will simply not scan well due to the resolution of the scanner.

2. Launch Image Capture (in the dock). Upon launch, the scanner will do an overview scan to preview the scan bed. Confirm that the settings match the screenshot below.


3. If "Use Custom Size" is selected, you can crop your scan by marqueeing around the area you wish to capture. This is beneficial because you can calculate your scan size more accurately.

4. Check the resolution. If you're scanning for print, 300 DPI is recommended. If you intend to blow up the image, increase the resolution accordingly (i.e. use 600 DPI if you intend to blow up the image to 200% of original size). If you're scanning for web publishing, change "inches" to "pixels." Target 1000px width for blog entries and email attachments.

5. Click SCAN. Your scanned image will appear on the desktop. Open the image in Photoshop for further editing.

  • Scan larger rather than smaller. Resampling down in Photoshop will not lose quality, but resampling up will soften your image.
  • Crop loosely and give yourself some elbow room. You can refine your crop in Photoshop later.
  • You do not need to rotate the scan while scanning. Images can be rotated easily in Photoshop later while cropping.
  • You do not need to do any image correction while scanning. Photoshop has better tools for image correction.
  • Always scan in color even if your original is in b&w. Photoshop has powerful tools to convert images to b&w.
  • For more information, see these articles about Scanning and Resolution and special techniques for Scanning Printed Pieces.