Skills INDEX
imaging skills
web skills
print & scan

Scanning on a Flatbed Scanner

Cynthia Beth Rubin

1. Open Scanning Software

  • Using Adobe Photoshop, Launch Photoshop, Go FILE on the Menu, then Down to IMPORT, and select appropriate scanning software.

  • Choose the Import method by looking at the make of scanner in front of you (is it an Agfa? UMax? etc.)


    • NOTE: You are using an interface that temporarily takes you OUT of Photoshop and into a "Plug-in" Software. Every Scanner uses a slightly different interface,
    • By going through Photoshop to use the Scanner, your scan will automatically appear in Photoshop as a new Document.


  • Open the Scanning Software Directly in Applications. To later manipulate this in Photoshop or Painter, you will need to Launch the Application and open the image under "File"


2. Place your image on the Scanner

  • Make sure that it is STRAIGHT - orientation is less important (this can be changed easily)
  • Some Scanners miss edges -- it is best to put it in the Center if possible

3. Setup Scanning Preferences

  • Choose "Reflective" or "Photo" -- even if you image is a line drawing
    NEVER choose line art

  • Choose RGB colors or GRAYSCALE - do not choose Black and White (you can adjust later)

  • Choose "No Filter" and "No Descreen" if you are using Photographs -- you can filter in Adobe Photoshop.

4. PREVIEW the image

  • SELECT the Scan area by Drawing a Rectangular Selection around the PREVIEW

  • NOTE: BE GENEROUS - you can crop more later!

  • You should not have to use the magnifying glass to get closer - the selection does not have to be perfect

5. Set the SIZE of the Scan

  • Leave the image at 100%, unless you have a reason to change it.

  • Preview the image before choosing final size, so that you are selecting the size of the actual scan area.

  • To figure the DPI and total image size, refer to this size chart.


  • Set Contrast, levels, color balance to Default or Mid-Points unless you have a reason to change them.

  • Because you have access to Adobe Photoshop, you can make many adjustments in Photoshop.
    • Often information that you do not see in Preview is there
    • Photoshop offers many possibilities for subtle manipulation color -- more than scanning software

  • If Image is very Dark or Light, adjust accordingly - but only if you really need to

  • The Eyedroppers for "Levels" will allow you to scan with white points and black points -- (not necessary for beginners)

NOTE: Scanning Software is written so that it can be used without Photoshop.
Since you have access to Photoshop, make most adjustments later.

7. SCAN the image


8. SAVE -- the image is not yet SAVED

  • Under FILE, go Down to SAVE.
  • The first time that you SAVE, you need to be sure to save in YOUR FOLDER
  • Give your image a nice easy SHORT name.
  • Choose the right format: PSD or TIFF should appear after the name.
  • Never save as a jpg, eps, or pdf unless you have a reason to do so.


9. Transfer the image to your own computer

  • Go out of Photoshop and out to the Finder by going to the Finder icon in the upper right (under the Photoshop icon)

  • Look for YOUR FOLDER in Temporary Work.

  • Put your ZIP disk into the ZIP drive and copy the image onto your ZIP
  • Under the Chooser, select the Transfer Station. Login as a GUEST, and then Copy as you would to a disk.
  • Under the Chooser, select Academic_02. Login with your name, put in your password, and then Copy as you would to a disk.

  • Return to your own computer to manipulate the scanned image.

10. Now you are ready to make adjustments!

Click Here for Filters

Click Here for Distortions

Click Here for Cropping