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User Tips

Scanning Tips...
These are scanning instructions we use with Adobe PhotoShop some of the settings may be a little different depending in your software but you should be able to follow along.
  • Always scan as Gray 256 Scales, whether it is line art or whatever (some art calls for color, more on that later). So set mode to Gray 256 Scales.
  • The DPI is best scanned at 600 and reduced later, so make it so.
  • There is generally no descreen needed for the majority of the art, so leave it at No Descreen.
  • Everything else should be on a nice default setting.
  • Place the art to be scanned on the flatbed, and hit the button that says Preview. It will show you the page that you put on the scanner.
  • Draw a box (Marquee, top left dotted box in the tool palette) around the piece you want to scan, moving from top left to bottom right around the art. Hit the scan button. The scanner will do its thing, while you wait for the image to pop up in Photoshop.
  • Once the art is in Photoshop, you will be able to work on it as you wish.
  • You should usually keep the Move tool as the one selected just to avoid any accidents. It's the top right tool, and looks like an arrow with a plus sign-type thing.
  • The first thing to do is get the art straight. Pull down a guide from the ruler that is on the top of the frame around the art until it is under something on the art that is about horizontal (or vertical, as the case may be).
  • Go to Image > Rotate Canvas > Arbitrary... to pull up the dialog box. Estimate how much and in which direction you want the art to move. It works in degrees, and you might never have to go more than 3 degrees or so. The directions are Clockwise (CW) or Counter Clockwise (CCW). You can get rid of the straightedge line by pulling it back up to the ruler - then it will disappear.
  • Once the art is straight, You must decide which format is best for it. Line art is anything that is strictly black or white, and will be turned into a bitmap. A grayscale is best suited to anything that needs high-detail shading, mostly photographs.

Line Art...

  • Line art is the easiest art there is to scan and clean up. Most of the art can be directly turned into a bitmap, others need a little clean up first.
  • Look for anything "wrong" with the art: erase imperfections with the Eraser tool (which looks like an eraser on the toolbar, fifth down on the left.) You can turn it into a Block/square, or a Paintbrush/circle of varying size using the Options Palette to the right of the screen. If you have Block selected in Eraser Options, then the eraser will always be a block of the same size; if Paintbrush is selected here, you can go to the Brushes Palette and select a specific size brush that may suit your needs better.
  • Draw in where it needs it, using the Pencil tool, which is fifth down on the right of the tool palette. Make sure that if you're drawing, the color is set to black at the bottom of the tool palette. (Those big squares on the bottom - the top one should be black).
  • The art does not need to be perfect with the Line Art method - if something looks murky or not entirely white where you want it, it should be good. Ignore it.
  • Move stuff around using the Marquee tool (a little dotted line box at the top left of the Photoshop tool palette). If you need two tiny pieces of art for one ad, you can put them side-by-side and Gail and I can place them as need be in Pagemaker.
  • You can crop the art with the Cropping tool to get rid of unwanted space outside of the art. Click and hold on the Marquee tool, and when other options appear to the right of the cursor, scroll over to the cropping tool, which looks like a box with two corners overlapping each other. Make a box around the desired areas, and adjust using the little handle squares on the four edges of the box. Press Return when you are done (this is one of the few times you do not have an OK box to click on and you must hit return).
  • Once everything looks okay, turn the art into a bitmap. Go to Image > Mode > Bitmap... to pull up another dialog box. Select 50% Threshold under Method, which will turn any color value above 50% grey into black and any color value under 50% grey into white. At this point, type in the reduction Resolution, around 300 or 350 is good (never reduce it by more than half). Hit OK or Return on the keyboard.
  • You should be done with the art at this point - enlarge the art to 100% (on the title bar at the top of the arts' frame) to see what it will more or less look like. Just erase anything that is not supposed to be there, again with the eraser.


  • Some art just cannot be bitmapped. This involves a lot less, actually. You never have to change the mode of scanning. Just clean up the art with the eraser.
  • You will need to do a different type of adjusting on these: Instead of Brightness/Contrast, choose Levels... to bring up a dialog box. Use the sliders in the box to adjust the highlight (white), shadow (black), and midtone (gray) values in the picture until it looks good.
  • You will still have to change the resolution, just so that the image is not too big of a file. Go to Image > Image Size... to bring up the dialog box. In the bottom "box", Print Size, type in the approximate size in inches. For our purposes, 1-2 inches height and/or width should be fine. As long as the art does not have to be enlarged too much on the job it is intended for, it will still look okay. Change the resolution to about 300, and the hit OK.

Color Scanning/Art...

  • Some Images will need to be scanned in color to get the best detail. Those pesky Realtors' pictures, for example, will be scanned in color and turned to Grayscale. Some logos on business cards involve tricky coloring, and benefit from scanning in color.
  • Preview the picture as you normally would, but change the setting to True Color RGB in the scanner control options box. Select the area you need and then scan as usual.
  • When the image is in Photoshop, clean it up as you need to. Then change it to a grayscale, using the Image > Mode > Grayscale menu.
  • You may at this point use the Image > Adjust > Levels... as needed.


  • For some art, you will need to Descreen it when scanning to remove the previously made halftone dots and avoid that moir⁄ pattern.
  • In the scanner control options box, where it usually is left on No Descreen, there is a pull-down menu with several other options. It will depend on what kind of art you are scanning to decide which type/level of descreen you need; the options and some possible examples:

    Art Print 175 lpi Some realtor pictures that are on business cards

    Magazine 133 lpi I believe that this is the screen we use on the camera downstairs, so this should work on things that are halftoned there.

    Newspaper 85 lpi Any copy from the newspaper or yellow pages.

  • This is very simple to use. Select the level of descreen you feel that you need in the scanner options box, and preview and scan as usual. The basis of the descreen tends to make the image blurry, which is how the machine gets rid of the dot pattern. It may not be suitable for images with text, but does fine for pictures.


  • Most art that you scan should be saved as a Photoshop EPS. To do this, you select File > Save... from the menu to pull up the dialog box. There you will select the destination (the folder you created at the beginning of the job), type the name of the art into the text line, and select Photoshop EPS from the pull-down menu of formats at the bottom.
  • If the art has been bitmapped, you will get another box with options. It should always saved as a Macintosh Preview with Binary Encoding. The variable is the Transparent whites check box. It will most always be checked unless the art is reversed, in which case the art will not be seen unless it is white.
  • All other dialog boxes for other types of art will remain as they are set when you see the box. Don't worry about changing them.
  • If the art is for a Sports Poster or a Key Press Job that must be colored, it must be saved as a TIFF. This is another option in the pull-down menu when you save, and you select that one instead of Photoshop EPS.


  • To zoom in or out of a picture to see more detail or the whole thing, use Command Options. The Command Key is the one with the picture of the apple, or the funny curly-cornered square.

    Zoom In Command +

    See more detail or what you are working on
    Zoom Out Command -

    See a larger view of the image
    Whole Image Command O See the whole picture

  • To draw a straight line with a pencil or the eraser, make the first point where it needs to be and hold the shift key when you make the second point. This will draw an exact straight line between the two points.
  • When working with grayscale or color pictures, the Rubber Stamp Tool comes in handy. It is the fourth one from the left, and looks like a stamp. It make an exact copy of the patterns and colors of one area and place them in another area. Option-Click in the area where you want to copy from, and then just click where you want to cover with that color or pattern. Be careful with the placement of the Option-click - it is exactly in relation to what will be copied and where you click to place it.

If you need further assistance simply send an email to our pre-press department.

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