How to scan an image for uploading

Screen images are measured in pixels, not inches, so don't worry about inches or dpi when you are setting up to scan your image for uploading. Inches and dpi are used for printers and not for the computer screen.

    An image must meet two criteria to be processed on our site:
  • it must be at least 500 pixels wide (the image on the home page is 500 pixels wide)
  • it must contain fewer than 1.2 million total pixels (i.e. 1.2 megapixels).
  • To determine the total number of pixels in an image multiply width x height. A 1024 x 768 pixel image contains 786,430 pixels, and it will completely fill many common computer screens.

Scanners differ in how they are set up, but in general, here is how to proceed.

  1. Depending on the image, set the scanner for color, gray scale, or black and white.
  2. Set the scan resolution to best.
  3. Remember, the dpi setting isn't important (it's for printing images and not for the screen); 150 or 300 will do.
  4. Enclose the image in a frame with the scanner software.
  5. Set the width of the output in pixels to whatever value you want (at least 500 pixels wide). Do not set the width in inches. The height should be set automatically, as long as the frame around the image does not change.
  6. Check to be sure the total number of pixels does not exceed 1.2 million pixels (multiply width x height). If you set your width to 500 pixels your scanned image can be as much as 2400 pixels tall.
  7. Scan the image and save it as a jpg, gif or png file.
  8. Check the file size to be sure it is less than 2MB. If it is not (it should be), open it in image processing software and re-save it with greater compression.

Look at it in an image viewing program to be sure it looks the way you want. If you decide it needs improvement, remember that you can adjust almost any setting on the scanner except for the width and the total number of pixels.