Jan 062009

Do you have a scanner and some old photos you want to scan? Have you started to read the manual and given up on figuring it out? I have good news for you! You don’t have to figure out the software that came with the scanner, because Picasa can handle it all for you, it’s just like importing from your camera but, instead of camera, you import from the scanner.

Using Picasa’s Import Command with Your Scanner

I was visiting my Mom’s and we started looking at old pictures. Between the two of us we could identify most of them and I wanted to preserve them. She has one of those all-in-one printer-copier-scanners. So, here’s what I did:

  1. Make sure everything is connected and turned on!
  2. Put the photo on the glass of the scanner – face down
  3. In Picasa, click ‘Import’
  4. Click the arrow for the drop down list of devices. You should see your scanner listed … select it
  5. Now you will see a screen that depends on your scanner. There should be an option to ‘Preview’. Click that.
  6. You should now see your picture, there may be some settings you want to change here, but if it looks OK then
  7. Click the button to Scan
  8. When it’s done scanning, you’re back at the standard Picasa Import screen. Click Import all.
  9. Select a folder to put it in. I made a folder called ‘Old Photos’ for the first one, then, for each subsequent scanned photo, I selected that existing folder from the drop-down list.

I scanned 53 old photos in this manner. It took me somewhat over an hour. Then I just took another few seconds to use Batch Edit and do an ‘I’m Feeling Lucky’ and ‘Sharpen’ to all 53 at once. I think the results are great. What do you think?

This is a photo from circa 1962 – me at 10 years old in Alaska. It looks better than the original!

GOT Class Members can also view related videos:

Importing from Camera
Sharpen and Batch Edit
Basic Editing Features

  9 Responses to “Picasa Tip: Scanning Old Photos”

  1. […] photograph and place it on a flatbed scanner.  This can certainly be done.  See my past article: Scanning Old Photos with Picasa’s Import Command.  This process works great if you have a flatbed scanner attached to your computer and properly […]

  2. When I wish to scan I click on Import I only get the option of “Folder” . If I do it from my husband’s laptop I get a list which contains our printer name. Is there anything I can do to make my printer come up in the import options as scanning from his computer is a very slow process.

    Hope you are able to assist.

    • After two years of that function sucessfully ie; DELL 964 ALL IN ONE having dropped down so I could scan it suddenly stopped dropping down two weeks ago and I haven’t been able to scan photos since. What can I do to get that function back ? I tried RERINSTALLING PICASA 3, BUT STILL DIDN’T FUNCTION. Thanks in advance ANYBODY for the clue to get it working again.

  3. I’m trying to scan some old photos but when I click on import — my printer doesn’t show up??? Can you tell me how to change this to the right printer — I can’t seem to find where it is listed when I go to the Import Files/Folder??? Thanks for any help you can give me.

  4. This tutorial help me, no need to use other scanner application.

  5. […] forum about scanning a preprinted form.  A past Picasa tip explains how you can scan things just using your scanner and Picasa – no scanner software to learn.  This member needed to scan a preprinted form and she was […]

  6. We had a cousins party at one of their homes. The cousins came from all over the south. The point of a cousins party is as we were growing up and we visited each other, we took their pictures and they took ours and then went home. So if you had a big family and they were always taking out the “Kodak” there are probably some very nice shots of you own family that never got to your house. I prefer Photodex over Picasa, it too and most programs that are Twain compatible will make a scan. Keep up the good work, we hope to be full time soon when whe sell our Computer Store 23 years is enough!

    One more comment I have found the best way to scan is to sort the photos on size of the photo. That way you won’t have to preview scan ever photo and it won’t leave extra white platen that takes up space, yeah I know you can trim them but it takes a long time to trim them up.

    Keep up the good work!

  7. Chris, we just got a big box of old pictures out last evening and started sorting them! Watch our blog and we’ll soon have a few of them on display!

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