These days, getting a scanner has become really easy. In this tutorial, I'll show you how to use Mandriva to scan your images...
First, a short word about scanners: there are mainly two kind of scanners: flatbed scanners, and negative (or slide) scanners. Flatbed scanners are the most common: that's what you want use to scan documents, image prints, or those kind of things. In my case, I have a Canon N670U. Got it at a yard sale for 10$ so it wasn't a bad deal!
The main utility you'll need for scanning is called Sane, a universal scanner interface, and it is available on Mandrake. Also, you'll need to have the Gimp for image processing. If you haven't heard of it, you must be quite new to Linux. Too make a long story short, it is a Photoshop replacement for Linux.
The list of packages needed is a follow:
and all their dependencies. In most cases, they are available by default in Mandriva so you won't even have to install them.
Your scanner might not recognized automatically, so plug it in, and start the
Mandriva Control Center (Figure 1), In the hardware tab, there is an icon labeled
Scanners. Just make sure your scanner is plugged in, and click on this icon. Mandriva should locate your scanner in a breeze.
In my case, it just gave me the following message:
The following scanner:
- Canon N670U/N676U/LidE20 USB flatbed scanner
is available on you system.
Search for new scannersAdd a scanner manuallyScanner sharingQuit
Obviously, I just quit the whole things and went on to try my scanner! That's it for the installation. Yep, no driver, no configuration, nothing! It just works.
There are several softwares that will allow you to scan under Linux, but I recommend you to use the Gimp: it works, it is widely supported, and you'll be able to use it to work on your images as well!
In this dialog, you have several options:
- The scan mode: gray scale, color, binary (black and white)
- The scan resolution, in dpi.
- Adjustments for brightness and contrast,
and other things that you should not really care about (yet!). Scan mode, contrast, and brightness are self-explanatory. For the resolution, it really depends on what you want to do... Dpi stands for "dots per inch". If you just want pictures for the web, 50 dpi might be enough, if you want a better resolution, simply increase the dpi. Be carefull, the file size goes very up quickly when you increase the resolution! Start small, see the results, and increase gradually.
Now, put your image on, and get a preview (Button
Preview Window >
Acquire preview). Once you have a preview, you can play with the contrast, brightness, and also reduce the scanned area (click in the preview window). Once you have something you like, simply hit scan, and you'll get the image in the
Gimp. That's it, you scanned your image!
The Gimp is a full featured image editing program, and describing it fully would take a whole book! The best advise you can get is simply: try and play around. It has a lot to offer. Most of the functions, such as
Save image as... (Figure 4) are accessed by clicking on the image, with the right mouse button.
For editing images after scanning, I find those ones to be particularly usefull:
Scale Imageto scale the image
Transformfor simple rotations
- once you selected a portion of the image (or the whole image) the options in the
Transform toolsmenu allow you to scale, rotate, and shear the image
Sharpenis useful for images that become a bit blurry afer resizing.
cropobject in the main Gimp window for cropping the image.
You'll have plenty of choices for the format in which to save the image. To make a long story short:
- jpeg is good for basic images and the web but you do loose some resolution
- xcf is the Gimp format: it does not loose anything, but only Gimp can open it
- Tiff is used for losless storing of images. But it's big! It can not really be used in emails or on the web.
Enjoy your scanning!