VueScan Newsletter - July 2018

Welcome to our VueScan newsletter! It contains information about new VueScan releases, helpful tips for scanning photos with VueScan, tips for scanning photos from Cathi Nelson and some customer comments.

It is difficult to believe that we are more than half way through the year already! As always, thank you for all your replies and suggestions. They are incredibly useful to us, and help shape the Q&A section below, and our plans for future topics.

This month Cathi Nelson from APPO has her third article on photo scanning – which actually starts to introduce the scanning process. And thank you for all your messages about Cathi’s last article, they were much appreciated.

As always, please continue to email me with your suggestions and comments.

Thank you!

VueScan Updates

Since the last newsletter, we’ve released VueScan 9.6.10, 9.6.11, 9.6.12 and 9.6.13

What's new in version 9.6.13

What's new in version 9.6.12

What's new in version 9.6.11

What's new in version 9.6.10

To read the release notes for all previous versions, go to:

Remember - we announce all our releases on Facebook – make sure you have ‘Liked’ us and ‘Share’ our post to all your friends and family.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q) “How can I scan two-sided documents?

A) There are 2 ways - set “Input | Mode” to “Duplex Feeder” or if you only have a single-sided scanner, you can also:

1) Scan the front sides
2) Scan the back sides
3) Use the “PDF | Interleave” command
4) (Make sure you have an even number of pages)

Q) How can I scan both sides of a driver’s license or photograph to a JPEG file?

A) You can do this with the multi-page JPEG feature:

Set “Input | Options” to “Professional”
Set “Output | JPEG file”
Set “Output | JPEG multi page”
Scan the front side to the JPEG file
Use “Scan+” or “Save+” for the back side

Q) What are the best scanners for scanning photos?

A) A document scanner with a straight paper path is best (see the VueScan 9.6.13 Release Notes). A document feeder that bends the photo around a roller usually doesn’t work well. The Fujitsu iX500 and Epson FF-640 are particularly good, and you can buy a new one for about $400 on

Q) I’m getting vertical stripes when scanning with a document feeder. How can I fix this?

A) Open the scanner and clean the glass where the lamp is.

Q) I’m scanning photos on a flatbed – are there any tips for doing this?

A) The best way to speed this up is to set “Input | Media size” to a value a bit larger than your largest photo, then put the photo in the upper left corner (this makes it straight), press the “Preview” button, then press the “Save” button. The default button is set up so you only need to press the Enter key to do this.

Q) The automatic cropping of photos on a flatbed often removes the white border around the photograph. How can I get automatic cropping to include this white border?

A) A simple way to do this is to use two-sided tape to put a piece of black paper over the white part of the scanner lid.

Q) “Do you recommend any articles from other people?”

A) Yes- as Cathi starts to talk about scanning this month, here is an article about resolution for scanning slides:

Q) Can you scan directly into Evernote?

A) Yes – here is the guide for it.

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All about Scanning Photos!

Cathi Nelson is the author of Photo Organizing Made Easy; Going from Overwhelmed to Overjoyed as well as the founder of the Association of Personal Photo Organizers.

Last month we covered: Getting your photos organized. This month starts to look at scanning.

If you have been following along these past few months and your photos are organized it’s time to start scanning. First let’s take a look at the reasons for scanning.

Scanning Extends the Life of Your Photo

Your printed photos will decay and deteriorate even under the best storage conditions. When you make a digital copy of a photo, you have the ability to enhance the image, restore it to its original color, make copies, and fix damage. Once your printed photo is digital, it can be migrated into new forms as technology changes, extending the life of your image beyond the original print.

Scanning Creates a Backup

Right now, you have one copy of those prints with no backup unless you were particular about saving and cataloging your negatives. What happens if there is a fire or flood and your only copies are destroyed? Scanning your photos creates a backup to ensure your family photos are safe, and follows the first rule of preservation: replication, redundancy, and planned migration.

Scanning Allows You To Share and Enjoy Your Photos

Families with printed photos face similar dilemmas. How will I divide my printed photos between my kids? Who gets what? What if they have storage space issues? I created scrapbook albums, and everyone in my family wants one! When you have digital copies of your photos (and your albums) your problems are solved. In their digital form, your printed photos can be shared via social media and online photo archives or put into slideshows and photo books.

Now let’s talk about scanning terms.

Metadata: Just like notes on the back of old photos, adding metadata is how will know the who, what, where and why of your photos. Metadata is important because it allows information to be transported with the photo in a way that can be understood by other software, hardware, and end users. It is important that the metadata stored with an image stays with the image. This will allow you to search your photo collection decades from now.

Next month we’ll take an in depth look at proper naming of digital files.

DPI: This is important because dots per inch (dpi) is the number of pixels that fit onto a one-inch-square space. For an image to print properly in the future, it needs to be scanned with a minimum of 300 dpi because once an image is scanned you can’t increase the resolution. Slides and negatives need to be scanned at a much higher dpi. We recommend 600 dpi for photos and 2000 dpi for slides.

JPEG: This is the standard file format of most of today’s consumer quality digital cameras. It is supported by almost all of today’s imaging software. JPEG uses compression, meaning that some image data is lost when the file is compressed. The amount of compression can vary: the more compression, the more data is discarded, and the smaller a file becomes. JPEG is great for creating smaller file sizes for uploading on the internet, or for use with email. It’s also a good choice because it is very popular and likely to be around for a long time. Just be aware that if you plan to edit a photo and then re-save it, you will lose some quality each time.

TIFF: The standard for most commercial and professional printing needs. TIFF is a great choice for archiving images when all detail must be preserved and file size is not a consideration. TIFF files are very large in size compared to JPEGs.

I like to think of scanning as a 5 step process: Prepare, Scan, Ensure Quality, Add Metadata and Backup.

Prepare: The more organized you are prior to scanning the better. If you take the time to add a note card prior to scanning you can easily find groups of photos and ensure your organization stays in place.

Scan: This is the time that your VueScan software is needed. Choose the right DPI setting and make sure your scanner is free from dust and debris and now you’re ready.

Ensure Quality: Take the time to check your photos and ensure they the quality is what you expected.

Add Metadata: Don’t forget to rename your photos with either dates or names and location.

Back Up: Now is the time to back up your photos onto an external hard drive in the cloud. You don’t want to lose all the work you’ve been doing by not having a backup system.

Meanwhile, the people at VueScan and myself would love to see photos of your collection, post them on the VueScan Facebook page with any questions!

Customer Corner

One of the responses to the article by Cathi last month:

I just quickly wanted to share something with Cathi Nelson and your followers about what to do with all the photographs we have been saving for years. I have loads of photo albums and drawers of 35mm slides and as I get older I realize my son and any future grandchildren will not take the time to go through all these albums - many of the pictures are not identified other than with a date and have no meaning for anyone but myself. I hate to see all my photos and memories go into the trash when I die. So, I have started making/or writing books through companies like Blurb. There are a few out there so use one you find that you like. After scanning in my A photos using VueScan (which works famously) I have started making books (less than 100 pages) with my photos to tell a story about trips we took as our family was growing up, or adventures that we had. For instance, I have produced a book about a trip to Hawaii, a canoe trip I took through Canyonlands when I was in my 20’s, and most recently a trip to Glacier and Banff National Parks when our son was a baby. Our son likes looking at these books and through them he gets to know his parents when we were younger, before he was born, and the books help him remember good times we had as a family. They will be easy to pass down to future generations. I plan on putting together a book that is sort of like a family tree, with all the old black and white photos my mom had stored in boxes. I will do it by family and try to label and identify the long gone relatives while I can still remember who they are. Anyway, it gives me a good hobby in my old age and it is a way of telling a story to be passed along to my grandchildren the way stories used to be passed from one generation to another. If I were to sit down and try to tell my son these stories now, he would just be bored and too busy to take the time.

Hope this gives folks an idea of what to do with all those old photos that you just hate to throw away - and if you just leave them for your children they will be tossed or stuffed in an old box somewhere after you die. It gives you a chance to leave a visual legacy and maybe even put down a thought or two on paper. A lot of these companies will make e-books for you too.

Cathi says “This is a great idea and I will be making recommendations for celebrating and sharing in the final newsletter.”

Customer Comment

We are fortunate enough to have customers from all over the world. This month – Australia and USA.

Hi Beverley,

Thanks for the follow up and information. You are one of the few program suppliers who seem to care about the purchaser and the program after purchase. - VueScan is way ahead in its reliability and usage.

Stan M., Brisbane, Australia.


I'm not a heavy user of VueScan, but when I do need it, it's indispensable. It's one of the 3 or 4 utility apps that I would not want to do without. Great piece of software, well worth the price, thank you for the frequent updates.

Greg, Portland, Oregon, USA.