What scanning settings do I use

Knowing what is the best resolution, or scanning quality, for a particular task can be a daunting question. Some scanning software allows users to pick from a list of output options such as 'web use', 'laser print' and 'photo quality print'. The program then selects the best resolution to suit the selection. This makes the process of selecting easier. If the software that you are using doesn't have this feature use the details in the table below as a starting point:

Table 10.2 Starting points for scanning settings for different image applications.

What the scanned picture will be used for -

Printscan qualityto produce the same size as the original

Film scan quality of a 35 mm frame to produce a6x8 inch print

Web or screen

72 spi*

600 spi

Draft quality prints

150 spi

1200 spi

Photographic quality prints

200-300 spi

1600 - 2400 spi

Magazine printing

300 spi

2400 spi

* spi stands for Samples Per Inch and refers to the number of times the scanner samples the original (film or print) in the space of an inch. Some scanning software refers to this setting as dots per inch or dpi but this is strictly a setting for printing as it refers to the number of ink dots per inch and shouldn't be used with scanning applications.

* spi stands for Samples Per Inch and refers to the number of times the scanner samples the original (film or print) in the space of an inch. Some scanning software refers to this setting as dots per inch or dpi but this is strictly a setting for printing as it refers to the number of ink dots per inch and shouldn't be used with scanning applications.

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