Written by Barry Dysert (last updated June 8, 2020)
There are many ways to get digital pictures onto your system. But if all you have is a hardcopy picture, one of the few choices you have is to scan the hardcopy. Of course, there are a variety of scanners and configurations of scanner/computer combinations, so providing specific instructions isn't possible. The good news is that most modern scanners provide similar functionality, even if the implementation details are different.
I have a scanner and a computer on my home network. When I want to scan a hardcopy, I place the picture on the scanner's glass and press its Scan button. It then prompts me whether I want to Scan to File, Scan to Email, Scan to OCR, or Scan to Image. I don't want to Email the picture, and there's nothing to OCR, so I could select either Scan to File, which will create a PDF file containing the picture; or I could select Scan to Image, which will create a JPG file.
I choose Scan to Image and press OK. The scanner then searches for my computer on the network. (I had to have previously installed software on the computer for the scanner so that they can communicate with each other.) When it finds the computer on the network, the scanner then prompts me to press the Start button on the scanner itself. When I do, the scanner scans my picture and transmits it to a known location on my computer's hard drive, where it creates the JPG file.
When the scanning is finished, the scanner prompts me for additional pages, but since I only have one picture to scan, I indicate that there are no more pages. The scanner then goes back into "wait" mode. I now have the scanned picture, in JPG format, on my computer and can manipulate it just like I could any other JPG file.
This tip (11897) applies to Windows 7, 8, and 10.
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