Join Jan Kabili for an in-depth discussion in this video Dividing scanned photos, part of Photoshop Elements 8 for Mac Essential Training.
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You probably have lots of print photos from the days before you shot with a digital camera. You can preserve those photos digitally by scanning them into your computer, but it's a big job to scan photos one by one. The good news is that you can scan multiple photos at once on a flatbed scanner and Elements can automatically separate them for you, preparing each as a separate photo. This can really speed up the process of digitizing lots of photos by scanning. I'm starting here with a scan of several photos that I made directly using my scanner software.
I scanned at 300 pixels per inch and the original size. When I scanned these, I didn't spend a lot of time trying to straighten them out on the flatbed scanner, I just put them down on the scanning bed rather haphazardly, and I did preview to make sure that they were all within the scanning area. Here is a little tip to help Elements separate multiple scanned photos like these. Put them as far apart as you can on the scanning beds, so that there is enough whitespace between them that Elements can recognize them as separate photos. So, I then opened the resulting JPEG, which contains all three of the photos into Elements.
To separate the three photos, all I have to do is go to the Image menu at the top of the screen, and choose Divide Scanned Photos. That sets Elements to figuring out where the individual photos are, and cropping each one out into a separate Floating Document Window. Down in the Project Bin at the bottom of the screen, notice that there are now four images open. There is the original, and then there are three separate images, each one containing one of the scanned photos. I'm going to double-click the original to bring its document window to the foreground, and then I'm going to close that one because I don't need it anymore, but this original will still be on my computer if I need to use it again.
So I click the red button at the top- left of the halloween.jpg document window. Now I'm left with just the three separated images. This top image of the pumpkins needs rotating. I'll click on its Title bar to make sure that that's the selected image, and then I'll go up to the Image menu and I'll choose Rotate>90 degrees Left. The same is true of this image of the devil, so I'll click on its Title bar, and again, Rotate>90 degrees Left. It's important to check each one of the images to make sure that Elements didn't leave any stray white pixels around its edges.
So with this image of the devil as the active image, I'm going to select the Zoom tool in the toolbox, and then I'm going to go up to the Options bar for that tool, and I'll be talking more about the Options bar in later movies. I'm going to click this Minus sign, and I'm going to uncheck Resize Windows to Fit, if it's checked, and then I'm going to come into the image and I'm going to click a couple of times to zoom out, until I can see the gray canvas around the image. It looks like Elements did a pretty good job of cropping this image without leaving any stray pixels around the edge, but if it had done so, I could crop those way using the Crop tool in the toolbox, which I'm going to select now by clicking on it. And then I'll come into the image, and I'll drag a crop boundary, and I can adjust the crop boundary by clicking on any of the boundaries or anchor points and dragging toward the center.
So if there were some extra white pixels over here on the right, I could eliminate those by cropping them away, as I'm going to do now, by clicking the green check mark here to commit the crop. I would do the same thing with each photo. The last step is really important, and that's to remember to save each of the separated copies to your hard-drive, because if you don't and you just close one of these, it won't be there when you go to look for it next time around. I know that this image hasn't been saved because it has this little asterisk up here in the Title bar. Hopefully, the Divide Scanned Photos command will save you some time, if you're scanning prints into your computer.
It doesn't work perfectly all the time. If it fails to separate all the photos that you've got in a scan, try rescanning with the photos further apart on your scanner bed and maybe with larger dimension set in your scanner software. But once you get it working, it can be a real time saver.
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