Its BOGO day for tech tips (Not really – it’s just one tip with two parts, but I want you to feel like you are really getting a deal.) I was at the library today making microfilm scans using the library’s microfilm scanner. I normally like having a paper copy, but the images I was working with were simply unreadable using the printer, forcing me to head to the scanner. Not that I try to avoid the scanner, but until I know that I have something I definitely want to scan, I try not to tie it up in case other people want to use it.
In order to give myself the most flexibility later, I jacked up the settings. I was scanning images in 256 grayscale, at 600dpi, and saving the images as uncompressed TIF files. This worked great, but was horrendously slow with the library’s computer. Rather than lower the dpi, I changed the options when saving to use JPG compression to speed things up. I was then able to clip right along scanning and saving page after microfilm page this way. I excitedly stuck the thumb drive in my computer when I got home, and to my horror, none of the scans I had made after the compression change would open – and that was all of the scans after the first two! Surely I had not just wasted an hour or more of my time? Which brings us to the tips:
Today’s Tech Tip #1:
DON’T save TIF images using JPG compression. You won’t be able to open it using the programs you would normally use (i.e. Windows Photo Viewer, MS Word, Adobe Photoshop, etc)
If you happen to forget Tech Tip #1, download and install a free photo viewer called Ifranview to open up the file. Once you’ve opened the file and are able to breathe again because you have not wasted hours creating scans of images that don’t work, you can then save it as a regular JPG file that you can open with whatever program you would normally use!
UPDATE: Since initially posting this, I began playing around with IfranView a little bit. I’ve discovered that you don’t have to open each individual file and save it in a different format. IfranView offers a batch conversion option that allows you to convert all of the files in a given directory. Pretty handy tool. ALl I had to do was set the options I wanted, add the files to convert, and let it loose! To check out what it can do, open IfranView, go to File>Batch Conversion/Rename. Very cool!