Sunday 21 August 2022

Scanning tools and adding text to photos

#NFHM2022 Week 3 - Two tools

Recently I have been re-scanning some old family photos and paying greater attention to the correction details available within the scanner's software. So this post is about two tools I find very useful for family history.

1. The Scanner

My Canon LIDE300 flatbed scanner provides a range of tools for making colour correction to those old faded photos from the seventies and eighties. It is also simple enough for excellent correction to be made to old sepia and black and white photos.

I'm sure most scanners' software would have these functions, it is just a matter of taking time to find them. The temptation to just choose Photo for a simple scan does not reveal all the tools but simply saves the scanned photos to a designated folder.

Using the scanners' software gives me many of the correction tools I would otherwise need to use in a program such as Photoshop.

From the opening screen one selects ScanGear to reveal all the possibilities. 
Scanner menu

Place more than one photo on the platen and preview.
Choose individual settings for each photo before final scan.

In the screenshot of the Preview screen above the photo on the left is from the 1970s with fading correction set to medium and the one on the right from the mid 1980s with fading correction set to low.
Further adjustments can be made to each photo prior to the final scan using the saturation/colour correction, brightness/contrast, black/white points or tone curve tools.

2. Paint by Microsoft

This small utility program comes pre-installed with Windows. When I have a photo or newspaper clipping that I want to add text to, this is a simple method.
Find Paint by searching in the bottom bar on Windows. 
  1. File >Open to navigate to your image, or copy and paste an image in.
  2. Use the dot displayed at the centre bottom of your photo to pull down to extend the canvas
  3. Select the text tool and draw a text box in the white space now available
  4. Type in the box
  5. Save file as jpg or png
Paint is also a simple free way to add arrows and other shapes to screen clippings as in the Scanner images at the beginning of this post.

Here is a short demonstration of how to add text using Paint, to any image file

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