Controlling your scanner

The software that controls the scanner is often called the scanner driver. These programs are supplied by the manufacturers in two forms - stand-alone and plug-in.

The stand-alone software is a self-contained program that allows the user to control the scanner settings, capture the image, make some basic adjustments to the digital file and then save the results to disk. If the scanner is capable of automatically scanning several images from the one roll of film then these settings will also be contained here (see Figure 11.6).

The plug-in sits between the scanner and your photo editing program. The software is activated from inside a host program by selecting the scanner from the File > Import menu. The plug-in controls the scanner settings and will contain much of the same tools and functions as the stand-alone software. Once the scan is completed rather than saving the file, the plug-in window shuts and you are left with the image in your photo editing program.

Built into the driver software are controls for adjusting the size and the dimensions of the file to be created from the scan. Other features include the ability to control the brightness, contrast and color of the scan. Images can be lightened, color casts eliminated and contrast reduced using these tools. Some scanner software also includes dust and scratch removal, color restoration and descreening (removal of the fine dots from scans taken of magazine photos) features as well.

Figure 11.7 Common scanner parts and features. See text for explanation of numbered items (note that items numbered 8 and 9 in text are not shown here).
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