How to Edit Scanned Pictures

by James Wright

A scanner is a device that allows you to make a digital image of a hard copy document. For example, if you have drawn a picture and want to put it online, you can use a scanner to create an image file of your drawing. Many scanners give you the option to select what type of image format you want to use from your scan (e.g., .png or .jpg), how you want to rotate or crop the image and a variety of other settings. However, you can also use a free image editor to make additional changes and modifications to your scans.

Scan the image of your choice to your computer. If your scanning program gives you the option to crop or rotate the image, and you wish to do so, feel free to do so now. Any more detailed edits can be taken care of in another application.

Save the scanned image to your desktop for easy reference. Many scanners will save to a custom directory by default, such as a folder in "My Documents" or "My Pictures," for example. Moving your image to your desktop is not required, but can help you locate your images easier.

Open your image(s) in an image editor. If you don't have one installed on your computer, you can use a free online image editor, like Pixlr or Splashup, that has many of the same functions as many image editing applications.

Use the tools in the image editor to change your image at your discretion. You can add text, alter colors (make them more vibrant or turn them into black and white images), resize the photo without reducing its quality and optimize the image's size for better use on the Internet.

Save your image back to your desktop when you are finished editing. Be careful to make a new copy without replacing the original in case you need to keep it for any reason.

About the Author

Based in California, James Wright has been writing since 1998. Wright's articles have been published on various websites with a focus on technical fields such as computers and the Internet, and were also featured in a now-retired publication for an online artistic community. Wright studied English, journalism, politics and psychology at Riverside Community College.