Skills INDEX
imaging skills
web skills
print & scan

Scanning with a
Slide Scanner

Cynthia Beth Rubin

1. Place your slide (or mounted negative) in the Scanner

  • if you are not sure of the orientation, you can fix that later
  • make sure it is clean - dust shows!

2. Open Scanning Software

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


    • 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"
note: if you get a message like the one below, just hit "OK" and keep going.


3. Setup Scanning Preferences
(find options by pressing on little arrows)

  • Choose Settings: use Factory Default settings to start - later you can save your own

  • Choose "Positive" or "Negative"
    (positive for slides, negative for negatives!)

  • Choose RGB colors
    (only use CYMK -if you are advanced and understand color profiles)

4. Choose the Size for your scan

  • Click on the (too) discreet little buttons on the side

  • the Top one will bring up the size dialogue box


5. Set the SIZE of the Scan

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

  • If you plan to crop, 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.

  • Use the Percentage bar to increase the scale.

6. PREVIEW the image

  • If it is not in the right way, you can change it in Photoshop unless the image is being cut - (if so - just pop out the slide and put it in the right way!)

  • If you are doing a series of scans of identically sized slides, you really only need to preview once, as the Preview is time consuming. Just be sure to put the other slides in the same way.

  • Images can be flipped and rotated in Photoshop without loss of quality.



  • 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 for the Web