How to Scan Pictures Without Space Around Them

by Lisa Tilton
Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images

Scanning photos is an excellent way to preserve memories and provide a backup of your treasured photographs. One challenge to scanning photos is the extra white space that is captured around the actual picture. This extra space makes it difficult to reprint photos and use them to share with others via the Internet.

Step 1

Place photograph on the scanner, face down, in a corner of the scanning area. Make sure the photo is flush with the corner.

Step 2

Open the scanner software or the application that you will be using for the scan.

Step 3

Click on the "preview" or "scan preview" link or button. This will do a 'pre-scan' of the photograph and the surrounding area. The result will be displayed on the screen.

Step 4

Left-click the 'handles' or guides at the edges of the scan preview. While holding down left-click, drag the guidelines closer to the photograph edges. Repeat this step on the all sides of the photograph to eliminate excess borders.

Click "scan" and save the final photograph graphic file.


  • Saving photos in a .bmp format will not provide a quality printed photo later. Saving in the .jpg format will ensure a better result and smaller file size.


  • Photographs should be scanned at the resolution appropriate to the purpose. For photos to be shared on the internet, 72 to 150 dpi is appropriate. If you will be printing the photo, scan at 300 dpi to ensure a quality result.

Photo Credits

  • Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images

About the Author

Lisa Tilton has been a technical teacher and writer since 1997 for Fortune 500 companies and websites such as She has a background as a graphic designer and webmaster and a special interest in designing Web-based training materials. She is pursuing an associate degree in psychology with an additional degree in computer science from Ashworth College.

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