Image Requirements for Using a Scanner with Photoshop Elements 10 - dummies

Image Requirements for Using a Scanner with Photoshop Elements 10

By Barbara Obermeier, Ted Padova

All scanning software provides you with options for determining resolution and color mode before you start a new scan. You should decide what output you intend to use and scan originals at target resolutions designed to accommodate a given output. Some considerations include the following:

  • Scan the artwork or photo at the size and resolution for the final output. If you have a 3-x-5 photo that needs to be 1.5 x 2.5 inches on a web page, scan the original with a 50-percent reduction in size at 72 ppi.

  • Size images with the scanner software. If you have a 4-x-6 photo that needs to be output for prepress and commercial printing at 8 x 12 inches, scan the photo at 4 x 6 inches at 600 ppi (enough to size to 200 percent for a 300 dpi image).

  • Scan properly for line art. Line art is 1-bit black and white only. When you print line art on a laser printer or prepare files for commercial printing, the line art resolution should match the device resolution.

    For example, printing to a 600 dpi (dots per inch) laser printer requires 600 ppi for a 1-bit line-art image. When you’re printing to an image setter at a print shop, or when an image is going directly to plate or press, the resolution should be 1200 dpi.

  • Scan grayscale images in color. In some cases, it doesn’t matter, but with some images and scanners, you can get better results by scanning in RGB (red, green, and blue) color and converting to grayscale by using the Hue/Saturation dialog box or the Convert to Black and White dialog box.

  • Scan in high bit depths. If your scanner is capable of scanning in 16- or 32-bit, by all means, scan at the higher bit depths to capture the most data.

Photoshop Elements doesn’t support scanning on the Macintosh as it does for Windows. On the Mac, you have a few different options. You can use your scanner software and open the resultant scan in the Elements Editor, or you can use Image Capture.

With Image Capture, you can complete a scan and open the file directly in Elements. Image Capture provides options for saving scans as JPEG, TIFF, PNG or PDF. Quite often you’ll find best results when saving as PNG.