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Scan wisely

Save high-resolution settings for special jobs in order to save disk space. Tuesday, March 20, 2001 Scan wisely Save high-resolution settings for special jobs in order to save disk space.

Today’s home scanners offer higher resolutions and more colors than ever before, but such detail can produce huge files that quickly gobble up all disk space. Just because a scanner offers such high detail doesn’t mean you have to use it all of the time. If you intend to print a small photo (i.e., a 4×6 or 5×7), a 300dpi scan will give you as much detail as you need. Even with a high-resolution color printer, the results you get with a 300dpi scan of the image you want digitized are virtually identical to what you’d get with a 600dpi scan. If you scan a picture to send by e-mail or post on the Web, use a 72dpi or 100dpi scan. This not only saves disk space, but also saves time when moving the image over the Internet. Also, the resolution of most computer screens is only 72dpi, meaning that higher-resolution can’t be seen on them, anyway. However, if you scan a large photo (i.e., 8×10) or a smaller original that you plan to enlarge, use the maximum resolution. That way you won’t lose detail when you enlarge it.

Formerly part of Computer Currents, Stephen J. Bigelow’s Computer Advisor column has been resurrected on computeruser.com as a daily tech tip column. Find Stephen at www.dlspubs.com.

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