Quick scanning hints for certificates
If you'd like to learn much more about scanning certificates, start here. If you want to scan and contribute images for this project, here are some quick suggestions:
- Scan and save at 200 dpi. This preserves
adequate details for most certificates. The basic suggestion is to scan at a resolution that allows you to read the printer's name.
- Save as "medium high quality" JPGs (JPEGs).
The JPG format is a highly compatible format. However, JPG is considered a "lossy" format in that it purposely discards repetitive information during the save process. Your image deterioration is usually acceptable when you scan at at resolutions close to
your final needs.
- Scan against a WHITE background. Black
backgrounds make your certificates look dirty. Colored
backgrounds impart peculiar color casts which can
be impossible to remove without altering the color of your
- Do not worry about getting your certificate
perfectly square on your scanner. Those problems are easy to correct with image manipulation software (such as Photoshop.)
- If your document is too large, scan in pieces. Most
certificates are too large for most entry-level and mid-level
scanners, anyway. So, scan in several pieces with at least 2" of overlap . When scanning in pieces, always keep the top of your certificate facing the same direction. (See Scanning Large Certificates for more information.)
- Avoid reducing images during scanning. (Why?)
- Scanning software usually makes poor assumptions when scanning engraved certificates. Your eye is better. Again, see Scanning for substantially more information about scanning certificates. IF your scanner allows,
- turn off automatic color adjustment
- turn off automatic exposure
- turn off automatic sharpening
- Make sure you show all the edges of the paper.
- Do not scan coupons.
- Do not scan the backs of certificates unless there is something there that is absolutely critical.
electronic cameras. Electronic cameras are terrific at taking snapshots. They are not
terrific at photographing certificates. I almost never use camera images because of distortion, lack of detail and odd color casts.
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(Last updated November 19, 2015)