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Scanning

General

There are lots of ways to use your printer/scanner. You can control the operation from the scanner itself, or use Cannon's software on the PC, or "Windows Fax & Scan" or any of a number of other programs. 

The instructions here are for using IrfanView for overall control and editing, and Canon ScanGear as the "driver" (the bit that does the actual scanning). The next section describes making a straighforward scan - no enlarging or any other foyle shtik. We'll discuss more advanced options later.

Simple scanning with IrfanView

 
Run IrfanView
 
IrfanView icon on the desktop
Choose File=>Acquire/Batch Scanning (or press Ctrl+Shift+A)  
File=>Acquire
ScanGear will now open.

3. Click on the "Basic Mode" tab.

At this point, you follow the numbers:
1. Choose whether the scan should be in colour or in grayscale.

Also, select the type of item scanned: Document (i.e. text etc); Magazine (with colour photos) or Photo (photographically produced).

This is important because the scanner uses different filters to clean up the image according to the type of document.

2. Click [Preview] and wait for the image to show up. If necessary, make changes (e.g. straighten the image on the scanner). Then...

3. Click [Scan].
 
ScanGear Basic Mode panel
 When Scanning is complete, the image will open in IrfanView  

Correcting the image and saving it to disc

IrfanView's Paint Panel
In the example above, there are a few things that can be improved. Let's do that:

Straighten the image
  1. Press F12 and a "Paint" toolbar should appear on the screen (see screenshot on right).
  2. Click the Straighten  tool (circled in the screenshot)
  3. Draw a line along the "horizon" of the picture (usually the top or bottom edge of the image). The picture will be rotated accordingly.
  4. Press F12 again to remove the Paint panel.
Crop the image
To remove the excess border, simply draw a rectangle around it (you can readjust the sides of the rectangle as necessary until they're perfect), and choose Edit=>Crop Selection (or press Ctrl+Y).

Improve the colour range

Image, Auto Adjust Colours
To make the pictures less "flat", you can try to "Auto adjust colors" option. It usually improves the tonal range of the picture, but not always.

Simply choose Image=>Auto Adjust Colors. If you don't like the result, choose Edit=>Undo.

Save the file to disc

  1. Choose File=>Save As...
  2. Navigate to the folder where you want to keep the image 
  3. Name the file
  4. Click [Save]

Save As dialogue box

Notes: 
  • The folder's name is shown in (A). You can move "up the way" (i.e. to the folder containing it) by clicking on the arrow on the right and choosing from the menu.
  • You can create a new folder by clicking the "new folder" icon (B) and naming the folder.
  • The file's name goes in box (C). Use only Latin letters, IrfanView doesn't like Hebrew!
  • The picture should be saved in JPEG format. If that's not the current setting, change it in menu (D).

Print an image in IrfanView

Choose File=>Print... and you'll get a window like this one:
Print in IrfanView

The options set in the screenshot above are fairly typical, but every job is different. You may need to change the Portrait/Landscape setting, or to scale the picture manually ("Best Fit" is the largest image that can be fitted to the page without distorting its proportions). The good thing is that the little preview on the right gives you a good idea of how the picture would look on the page.

If you want to use special paper, change paper quality etc, click on "printer setup", then "properties", make the changes and [OK] your way back to the window. 

Enlarging an image


Enlarging an image is essentially a matter of scanning it, then printing it in a larger size. If you are enlarging it substantially (more than, say, 30%) then it's worth while increasing the scanning resolution, so that the enlarged image doesn't come out pixelated (with large, blocky dots). To change the resolution, we need to use the Advanced, scan mode.

Scan at high DPI in Advanced Mode

  1. Run IrfanView and choose  File=>Acquire/Batch Scanning as before.
  2. Click on the Advanced Mode tab.
  3. Choose the Color mode as appropriate.
  4. Change the Output Resolution to 600 dpi (if enlarging by more than 200%, choose 1200 dpi)
  5. You can change the other options if required. See also the discussion on "descreen" below.
  6. Click Preview, make any necessary adjustments if necessary and preview again.
  7. Click Scan and proceed in IrfanView as discussed earlier.

Print the image larger

As before, choose File=>Print...
I usually find that either "Best Fit" (full page) or "Scale" are the easiest ways to enlarge an image, and the preview image on the right really helps to choose the best size.  Note that you have to type the scale of the width and the height separately but unless you want to distort the image the same scale should appear in both. 

Most of the time I like to have the image centered, but sometimes it's better to set top & left margins instead. Also, you can use the "headnote" and "footnote" to type a bit of text at the top or bottom of hte page.

Descreening

If you are scanning a half tone image, you will need to descreen it. A half tone is a photographic image printed in an offset or similar process, such as in a book, magazine or newspaper. Because the printing process can't produce different shades of colour, the picture is "screened" through a silk screen so that light colours come out as small dots, and dark colours as large dots. 

If you scan such an image onto a digital scanner, you will get strange results, such as uneven colours/grays and Moiré patterns. To avoid that, you need to "descreen" the image, and for that, the "unsharp mask" has to be set to "off"!
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