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Scan Tips

Paint Shop Pro users can follow our step-by-step Scanning Tutorial

Requirements & Tips for Scanning:

We have developed this tutorial in hopes that it will help you in scanning and sizing photos for use on the web. There is a huge difference between scanning for output to print media (paper) and scanning for output to a computer monitor for use on the WWW when viewed through a browser. When you are scanning for the Web, it is very important to keep the file size small (under 20k) so that they load faster.

Scanning Resolution
Always render for SCREEN RESOLUTION never for paper. So that means 72dpi is your final output NOT 300 dpi. Dpi mean Dots Per Inch.

Color Photos
When scanning color photos, scan them in 16 million colors (true colors). Color photos compress better and also render better quality as JPEG images at 16 million colors rather than GIF images at 256 colors.

Black & White Images
When scanning outlines (floorplans, plats) or any other black and white images, scan them in grayscale (sometimes called "sharp black and white photo" or "256 grays"), not black and white (sometimes called "bitmap" or "line art" or "drawing"). You'll get much cleaner lines with grays.

As with photos, the final file should be only 72 dpi in resolution, no matter what resolution you used to scan it.

Resizing the Image
Once you have the scanned image open in your graphic program, resize the image. If you are using Paint Shop Pro, go to the top menu and click on image resize. That will open up a resize options box, click on custom size, and enter the new size in the text boxes. Make sure the maintain aspect ratio checkbox is checked. The recommended size for images for our listing service is 350 pixels in width. Just type in 350 on the width box and the height of the image will automatically be scaled down. For vertical shots, change the height of the image to 350 pixels. The resulting file should be under 20k in size. No one appreciates using a 14.4 modem to load a huge image and not abiding by these simple rules will keep people from returning to your site.

Saving the Image
Save the image as a JPG with compression set to "good" or "medium" or "60ish" depending on the program you are using. File size is crucial, since many of our viewers are using modems from half the world away, and bandwidth is a luxury. Smaller is better. Try for less than 20k when the file is compressed. We will not accept a file larger than 20k. JPGs give you larger images in smaller files.

Black and white or grayscale images must be in "gif" format. When doing a file save as, if you can't find "gif" in the list of file types, thats probably because the image is in 16 million colors. To save a file as a gif, you must decrease the color depth to 256 colors first. To do this in Paint Shop Pro, go to the menu and click on colors, decrease color depth, and select 256 colors.


Please note there is no way we can possibly cover all photos, so you will need to use Other Image photo or one of the other codes to get as close as possible to your photos.

Scanning Programs:

You will need a graphic program and a scanner connected to your computer to get started on scanning images. The best inexpensive program (downloaded as shareware) is Paint Shop Pro. You may also purchase this program at a local computer store for about $50.00. Short learning curve required. This program will accomplish most of what you need for basic web graphic work. We use this program for almost all of our scanning projects as it is fast and accurate in rendering.

For a comprehensive description of using Paint Shop Pro to scan and prepare your images for uploading, follow the steps outlined in our online Paint Shop Pro Scanning Tutorial (this link will open a new window - simply close it to return to this site).

The best all round graphic program is Adobe Photo Shop, which retails for about $600. It has a fairly steep learning curve and is only necessary if you have artistic ability and the need to develop high level graphics. Excellent how to tutorials abound on the net for creating nifty things with Photo Shop.

A more modest choice with all the same features is Corel Photo Paint 5 Plus or 6. Retails for about $149 Also a fairly steep learning curve is involved here but it does almost everything Photo Shop does for a whole lot less money. There is a great Corel Photo Paint forum on the net at www.corelnet.com.

NOTE: You may email your properly formatted and named photos directly to our webmaster OR upload them to the site using the Photo Upload Program available to you after you login to list or modify a property.