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Scan Multiple Photos in One Pass in Photoshop

You can often save a lot of time in Photoshop by placing multiple photos on the glass of your scanner and scanning them all at once. You don’t need to reopen the scanner software or generate a new preview every time; rather, you just scan one big picture and make individual little pictures from it later in Photoshop.

Photoshop’s File→Automate menu offers a neat time-saving feature named Crop and Straighten Photos, which generates a separate file for each photo it finds in the scan.

For best results, place the photos on the scanner’s bed with a slight gap between them. You might like to place a sheet of colored paper or plastic on top of the photos, between the backs of the photos and the scanner’s lid (as you see in this figure).

Use paper or plastic that is a very different color from any color found along the edges of the photos. This gives Photoshop a good idea about where each photo ends and the next begins.

Use a contrasting background to help Crop and Straighten Photos find edges.
Use a contrasting background to help Crop and Straighten Photos find edges.

After the scan is complete and the image is open in Photoshop, choose File→Automate→Crop and Straighten Photos. No dialog box, no submenus — just select the command and wait a few seconds while Photoshop identifies the individual scanned images and creates a separate file for each.

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