scanning

How can I scan a lot of slides?

Episode 1244

Arnie from Palm Springs, CA

Arnie has a bunch of slides that he wants to digitize. Is there something that will take a carousel tray and one by one feed the slide and scan it? Leo says that would be an interesting product, for sure. Leo says he can do that, but taking them to a service like ScanCafe is a better option. Not only is his time worth something, but they'll take the time to clean them up and remove dust. If it's an issue of cost, remember that he'd be buying an apparatus and spending the time. In the end, he's probably paying just as much.

How can I digitize 35mm slides?

Episode 1232

Leslie from Los Osos, CA

Leslie has a bunch of slides and negatives and wants to scan them all into her computer. She's looking at a pair of scanners by Epson and Canon that can do it. Leo says that it will take a very long time to do that. If she wants to take the time to do it, then she can. But why not have a service do it instead? Her time is worth something and Leo advises a service like Scan Cafe. They would send her a box, she'll stuff it and ship it to them. And it's cheap at $0.22 an image.

How can I scan a lot of documents and pictures?

Episode 1232

Glenda from Orange, CA

Glenda wants to know how she can scan multiple documents quickly. Leo says that a mobile phone is a fast way to capture documents and images. The key to good scans is light, though. Glenda will want to hold it as still as she can. There are tons of apps on both Google Play and iOS that can do it. Leo likes Evernote. It'll even do optical character recognition with the paid version.

Why can't my scanner work in Windows 8?

Episode 1192

Bret from New Jersey

Bret has an old scanner that he can't get to work with Windows 8. It looks like Canon doesn't have any new drivers for it, nor does Microsoft. How can he get it to work in Windows? Leo says that the Windows 8 driver isn't much different than Windows 7, and there's no reason why he shouldn't be able to install the Windows 7 driver. A TWAIN driver is generic, and if the scanner supports TWAIN, he may be able to use that.

How can I scan old photos?

Epson Perfection Scanner

Episode 1186

Peter from Azusa, CA

Peter has been spring cleaning and he's got thousands of photos that he'd like to scan and digitize. Leo says that's a great project. But he'll have to be sure he has several backups. Print photos are tough and time consuming. He can get a scanner and do it, but after factoring in his time, it's better to just use a service like Scan CafeEpson Perfection Series. It may actually be faster and better to use a good still camera to shoot the photos.

What's the best resolution and file format for scanning images?

Episode 1184

Marty from San Juan Capistrano, CA

Marty is conflicted over whether to scan to the TIFF file format or not. What's the best setting to do scans of images and documents? Leo says that there are two basic categories of image format: Lossless (every bit of data) or Lossy (compressed). TIFF is ideal as a lossless format, as are Bitmaps and PNGs (but compressed). JPEGs and GIFs are compressed or lossy. If he wants to future proof his scans, then lossless TIFF is still the king. Bitmap and PNG will also be around for awhile, though. Image formats will be supported for a long time.

How can I scan my photo at 72 dpi?

Episode 1177

Jim from Los Angeles, CA

Jim wants to enter pictures in a photo show and the show wants them as JPEGs at 72 dpi. He has to scan his images to do it. Leo says that 72 dpi is at very low quality and it's obviously an online gallery. But he can scan his images at the highest resolution possible and save it in TIFF. That would be lossless compression. He can always open it in a photo editor and then lower the resolution to JPEG. Leo recommends Irfanview.

How can I scan to my Mac?

Epson WorkForce Printer

Episode 1164

Kathy from Oxnard, CA

Kathy has an Epson Workforce printer and she can print to it, but she can't scan from the front panel and output it to the computer. Leo says she can scan to Google Drive, but to scan to her computer, she would probably need to scan from the computer itself. It works on her Windows computer, just not her Mac. Leo says that may be a driver issue. Epson has an FAQ on its support site, though.

(Disclaimer: Epson is a sponsor)