Apr 212011

Question: I’m scanning my family photos by putting 4 of them on the scanner at one time.  I then scan it 4 times, so I can crop each one and end up with the 4 individual pictures.  Is there a better way?

Don’t Scan!

First of all, I prefer not to use a scanner at all.  I just open up the old photo albums and use my digital camera to snap pictures of the pictures.  Much faster.  The quality is better than you may expect.  Also, there are some scanners/software that can identify the edges of pictures and automatically create separate files for them – google for ‘scanners that separate multiple pictures.’

If you do Scan, Use Export to Separate them

If you do indeed scan multiple pictures into one file, here is the best way to separate them in Picasa.  In the example below, I have 4 pictures of my first RV trip in 1962 from Alaska to Guatemala.


Step 1: Crop to the first picture.


Step 2: Export the cropped picture to a new file.

Step 3: Undo the crop, so you’re back to seeing all 4 pictures

Rinse and Repeat for the other 3 pictures.  You now have 4 individual pictures as a result of the Exports, and you still have the original scan of all 4.

This tip brought to you by Geeks on Tour

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  6 Responses to “Scan 4 Pictures in One Pass, then Separate with Export”

  1. Can Picasa make a panarama photo, if not, what is a good program to use?

  2. Well, I would not advise you to substitute a scanner with a digital camera, the risk of color/sharpness loss is quite high, not to mention distortion.
    If you scan your photos and want to separate them, I recommend AutoSplitter for the task. It works with Win 8.1 and it’s quite reliable – at least with color photos. Old photos with white borders do not work as well, but you can adjust manually.

  3. I love you forever, for this article. THANK YOU !!!!!!!!! <3

  4. I have picasa as my picture program but, do not have a password, witch is required for the tutorials, how do i get one??

  5. Chris, do you recommend Export for this process or would File>Save a Copy be OK also. I have been using Save a Copy because at least the copy ends up in the same folder and I do not have to hunt for it. Does export make a file with more pixels and produce a better picture?Barb

    • Hey Barb,
      I guess ‘Save a Copy’ would be OK. I usually use Export because I want to specify some other folder, and/or I want to specify a pixel size. No, you cannot specify more pixels than the original. … or, I don’t think you can anyway 🙂

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