"What are the correct and most efficient settings when scanning
I understand how you feel because I also had that similar question
when I started out as a graphic artist for an established publishing
company. I'm going to provide some sources that will give you
additional knowledge and techniques as well as some ideas based on my
own experience. For your convenience, simply press the "Shift" key
before clicking on a link so it will open a new window or right-click
on the link and choose "Open in New Window".
First I would like you to understand some terms pertaining to
resolution. I've included these terms here for clarity. Pardon me if
you already know the following:
SPI (samples per inch) is scanner and digital image resolution. To
scan an image the scanner takes a sampling of portions of the image.
The more samples it takes per inch, the closer the scan is to the
original image. The higher the resolution, the higher the SPI.
PPI (pixels per inch) is the number of pixels displayed in an image. A
digital image is composed of samples that your screen displays in
pixels. The PPI is the display resolution not the image resolution.
(Adobe Photoshop uses PPI and Corel Photo-Paint uses DPI for image
resolution so it's no wonder everyone is confused.)
DPI (dots per inch) is a measure of the resolution of a printer. It
properly refers to the dots of ink or toner used by an imagesetter,
laser printer, or other printing device to print your text and
graphics. In general, the more dots, the better and sharper the image.
DPI is printer resolution.
LPI (lines per inch) refers to the way printers reproduce images,
simulating continuous tone images by printing lines of halftone spots.
The number of lines per inch is the LPI, sometimes also called line
frequency. You can think of LPI as the halftone resolution.
(Excerpted from "Desktop Publishing - Resolution Inch by Inch" by
Jacci Howard Bear, About.com, copyright 2003)
"Resolution Inch by Inch - Part 1: samples, pixels, dots and lines per
The source article above presents many ideas about resolution. Page 5
of that article gives you a useful chart and formulas to get the best
resolution for your needs.
"We have a new Microtek ScanMaker 9800XL and have been using the
ScanWizard Pro:ScanMaker 9800XL program to scan. As settings we used
the Descreen-tool (Newspaper 85 lpi), Filter-tool (sharpen more) and
the resolution we set to 600 ppi. The results with these settings were
good, except that it takes approximately 30 minutes to scan one 11 by
17 inch article. We would like to find a faster way to scan our
I have used various scanner brands which includes HP Scanjet, Umax,
Canon, Mustek, Microtek, and Epson. From my experience, I find HP
Scanjet to be the fastest when scanning images at 600dpi. Microtek and
Epson, at 600 dpi are the slowest. However, this doesn't necessarily
mean that these brands are really slow. There are many factors that
can affect scan time -- the amount of RAM, processor speed, etc. but
the most important factors are the scan area and resolution of your
desired output image. When you scan at 600 dpi and your source image
or scan area is big (in your case its 11x17), you can expect the image
output to be good. But as you have found out, it takes you quite a
The higher your output resolution (DPI or PPI) is, the higher the SPI.
The scanner needs to take more samples per linear inch of the target
image in order to achieve your desired output and this requires time.
Imagine two different grids - a 600 x 600 square and a 100 x 100
square - which do you think will it take you more time to count each
tiny squares one by one? Given this, try to lower the output
resolution, say 100dpi and you will quickly notice the significant
decrease in scan time. Scanning eats a lot of your system resources so
make sure to close other unnecessary applications before scanning.
At what resolution is your website best viewed?
Now you also have to consider the screen resolution of your website
because this will also affect the display output of your image. For
webdisplay, a screen resolution of 72 to 96 dpi is usually enough.
However, this will greatly reduce the quality of the image. You can
take the comment of Fstokens-ga below as a good advice, especially #1.
"Resist the urge to scan at high resolutions if your output is going
to be strictly for the Web. Since monitors can only display at 72 dots
per inch (dpi), scanning at a resolution of 100 dpi is usually
sufficient. Any higher resolution will result in a much larger file
size--something to be avoided at all costs. It is better to scan at a
lower resolution than to scan at a higher resolution only having to
resample the image size down. If you intend on printing your images,
you should not have to scan at a resolution higher than 600 dpi."
(Excerpted from 'Scanning Tips and Techniques", Jasc Software, Inc.,
Jasc Software, Inc.
Scanning Tips and Techniques
While it is true that JPEG compression often messes up the image
quality, based on my experience, it can also depend on the software
you are going to use. I use both Adobe Photoshop and Corel PhotoPaint
but when it comes to saving JPEG images I use PhotoPaint because it
gives me better control in setting the output quality of the image. I
can compress up to 50% of the image size and minimize the recognizable
loss of detail through the "smoothing" option. GIF is also a popular
file format for web images but most people still prefer JPEG because
of the amount of compression that you can do. You can also try to
scale the image to a bigger size. For example, you can scan the page
at 96dpi at 200% or 300% image size and compress it to JPEG. Remember
that the bigger the image size, the slower it loads in the browser. I
hope your scanner software has that "image scaling" option. In case
you want to get the latest software for your scanner, you can download
Microtekusa.com - Driver download
ScanWizard Pro Version 6.10
As I mentioned earlier, you can also refer to page 5 of the source
article for the chart and formulas for your needs.
When scanning magazine or newspaper content, you will need the ability
to descreen these images. All offset-printed images are halftones or
pictures made with dot patterns. When scanned, a halftone image
produces a distracting pattern of lines called "Moire". There are
several ways to prevent this, depending on what software you use. The
most convenient way is by using the descreen option that comes with
some scanners. However, this slightly blurs the image. In case you
have a scanner that does not have a descreen option, you can remove
Moire using Photoshop or any other image processing software. Since
all of the methods used by image processing software blur the image, I
usually scan the image as is, descreen option off, and use Photoshop
or PhotoPaint to remove Moire. This way, I have better flexibility
when manipulating images.
You also need to choose the correct color mode for your scanned image.
Below are some examples of color modes you can choose:
Black and White (1 bit)
Grayscale (8 bit)
Grayscale (16 bit)
Duotone (8 bit)
Paletted (8 bit)
RGB Color (24 bit)
RGB Color (48 bit)
Lab Color (24 bit)
CMYK (32 bit)
When scanning black and white newspapers/magazines for web publishing
you can use Grayscale (8 bit) or Black and White to minimize file
size. For colored images, depending on the detail of the image, you
can use Paletted or RGB Color (24 bit).
Going back to your first question, "what are the correct and most
efficient settings when scanning newspaper articles with the Microtek
ScanMaker 9800XL", you now know that there are so many factors that
you need to consider. I've given you great pointers so now it's up to
you. Only through your own experimentation will you see the best
With regards to the sources I have given you, I'd like to make it
clear that I'm in no way representing any company I mentioned in the
answer. The material I've presented is for informational purposes
only. It's within your responsibility to prevent any copyright
violation that may result from your posting of published articles.
In case you want to learn more about scanning, resolution, and other
related info, you can open the results in the last three links of my
search strategy. I simply can't put them all here due to the sheer
volume of references available in the Internet.
"ppi and dpi" - in Google Web search
"scanning techniques" newspaper - in Google Web search
"scanning techniques" - in Google Web search
+ personal knowledge gained from experience
I hope I answered your question. Should you have any
comments/questions, please feel free to post your clarification before
rating this and I'll attend to you as soon as possible. Thanks for