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Scan Photos DIRECTLY from your Photo Albums

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Displaying printed photos in a  photo album was very popular.   To digitize these old photos, you need to scan them.  The problem we all have is that the scanning software that comes with your scanner won't detect the individual photos from a photo album; it will just scan them as one big blob.  Most scanning software programs currently on the market will also NOT let you scan directly from the photo album; they make you remove the photos and place separately on a flatbed.  The problem with removing photos from an album is two-fold: it took me extra time removing the photos and having to put them back.  I also permanently damaged some because the sticky background of the album had glued itself to the photos.  The only scanning software  I have found that WILL let you scan photos DIRECTLY from the photo album and will detect each individual photo is ScanSpeeder.   

ScanSpeeder works with all photo albums - any color background too - even black ones.  Even photo albums that have plastic covers on every page.

 My advice... if someone asks you to remove photos from a photo album - don't!  There is no need to take the risk of photo damage.  Let me show you...


Scan Photos DIRECTLY from your Photo Album


At this stage, I will assume you have a copy of ScanSpeeder's photo scanning software.  Need a copy? Click here.  

Step 1 - Lay Photo Album page DIRECTLY on the Scanner

The scan will work well even with the plastic cover on.  In the screen shot below, I placed the photo album page directly on the scanner with the plastic cover still on.  This is better for photos in a photo album so you don't take the risk of ripping the photo paper.  

If you have a dark or black background in the photo album like the screen shot below, please refer to  this article.  

scan photos with dark background.


If you have photos with borders around them, like the screen show below, please refer to this article. It will show you how to scan both the image and the border together.  



Step 2 - Click the "Scan" button 



After the scan is complete, you should see the full scanned image containing your photos on the left side.  ScanSpeeder automatically detects all 6 photos on the album page which are highlighted green around the edges of the image.  


Step 3 - Automatically Split Photos into Separate Files

Click the "Extract Photos" button in ScanSpeeder's Step 2. You will see your old printed photos now digitized in the Preview Area.

Each photo was automatically separated and automatically straightened.  



If you need to correct orientation of an image, see this article.  If you just need to finely rotate the image, see this article. 


4 - Tag Scanned Photos - Capture Context & Easily Find them Later

Tag your scanned photos.   Why? Adding a digital tag is truly digitizing that old printed photo.  

Digital photos taken with your phone and digital camera automatically have tags; scanned photos do not.  Scanned photos have no information; it's just the image.  So adding tags are very important.  Trust me - you will be thankful when you can easily find your scanned photos later. The tag also lets you digitally embed the context of the photo so future generations will know the "who, what, when, and where" of the photo.  These tags are added in the Caption Field and are embedded in the photo and saved as the photo's title in Windows Explorer.  The photo's title is both searchable and sortable.  

See this article to see how to add a tag to your scanned photo.  





5 - Save Scanned Photos 

Select a "Save to Folder" in the Step 3 of ScanSpeeder.  I recommend you create a folder that adds meaning to the batch of photos you are scanning.  Such as for the photos scanned above, they are being saved in a folder called, "1977 Family Vacation".  

Then, select an "Album Name" for your image files. A 3-digit serial number will be added to the prefix to make the file name. 

Save simultaneously as BOTH TIFF and  JPEG.  Why? TIFF files are archival quality.  TIFF files are lossless and are needed for photo enhancement or printing.  JPEG is a compressed format and looses data.  It is smaller which makes it good for posting on social media (Facebook, Instagram, etc), emailing, and putting in a slideshow.  

Your TIFF files will be found within a separate folder (in the folder you selected above) and labelled "FullSize". 


To recap: Scan photos with ScanSpeeder photo scanning software to make your photo scanning easier. You can batch scan multiple photos directly from the photo album or not, automatically straighten, automatically split into separate files, tag scanned photos, and save in both JPEG and TIFF simultaneously. 


| Categories: Scanning Basics, How To | Tags: photo album, background | View Count: (24723) | Return


  • I want to THANK YOU FOR WRITING SUCH A USER FRIENDLY PROGRAM. I am excited beyond words. I have searched for 20 years for a program that will do exactly what you have created. I have 75 albums that I need to degitize and your ScanSpeeder appears to do exactly what I have envisioned. Thank you and God Bless you. Juana Handy
    9/9/2021 8:39:16 PM Reply
    • @Juana: That's wonderful to hear Juana! That's what we aim to do!
      9/10/2021 7:41:46 PM Reply
  • I am excited to learn that you have a software package to scan album photos. I have many albums that I need to scan. I have just purchased an HP computer with updated Microsoft10 I need to know if My bed scanner Will work with your software: It is a Canon 9000F Mark II. thank you. Juana
    9/9/2021 6:39:47 PM Reply
    • @Juana: Hello Juana. Your Canon 9000f mk2 will work fine. I suggest you install the latest scanner driver from the Canon website if you have not already. I hope this helps.
      9/10/2021 7:40:03 PM Reply
  • Will this ScanSpeeder software work with any 'off-the-shelf scanner?
    7/13/2020 2:05:36 PM Reply
    • @Tom McAndrew: Hello Tom. Yes, ScanSpeeder photo scanning software should work with almost any scanner if there is a TWAIN or WIA scanner driver for it and your Windows version. You can determine this by going to the scanner manufacturer website and searching for a driver. We also offer a fully functional free trial on our site so you can confirm your scanner works. Thank you for your excellent question!
      7/15/2020 12:56:23 PM Reply
  • Hi. thank you for a great product and good articles. My question: If I don't type the caption into the caption field when I scan the photo, can I add the caption later on after the photo is saved and filed? Second, does having the plastic clear film on the photos mean the scan is of a lower quality because it's being scanned through the plastic film? Thank you.
    3/24/2020 8:27:15 PM Reply
    • @Marion Harrell: We're glad to hear you like ScanSpeeder. In order to add text to an already saved photo, in the current version of ScanSpeeder (2.19), you would need to import the already saved file through the file menu, select the whole picture, extract, then add your text, save. In the latest update we are working on and not yet published, you will be able to import existing files directly into Step 2 and add text to them that way with fewer steps required. As for scanning with the plastic film on, we haven't seen a drop in scan quality. The main thing to watch for is reflections from the scanner light on the plastic film. If this happens, you can press the page closer against the scanner glass (while being careful not to damage your photos) to reduce or eliminate reflections if there are any. I hope this helps.
      3/25/2020 11:21:37 AM Reply
  • Back to John's color slide question above. You mentioned having a scanner that is capable of scanning color slides. I don't have one but I've got a few color slides. Can ScanSpeeder still scan them if I just lay them on the scanner?
    8/30/2019 5:49:19 PM Reply
    • @Dennis Dwyer: Hello Dennis.No, you can't lay the slides on the flatbed if your scanner is not designed to scan slides. The reason is that slides (or any film) needs to be lit from above, not below like a regular scanner. A scanner that is capable of this will typically come with a light built into the lid and a plastic film holder to hold your slides on the flatbed. I hope this helps.
      8/31/2019 9:44:03 PM Reply
  • Ray
    I had been adding text at the bottom of some photos and have been trying to work out how to remove after the photo is saved. Any comments would be valued. Cheers Ray
    8/13/2019 11:49:40 PM Reply
    • @Ray: Hello Ray. If the text is visible on the photo when you open it in a photo editor or viewer, then the text is actually part of the photo image. The way to remove or change this text in this case would be to open the photo in ScanSpeeder using the File menu > Open Scan File.. , then select only the photo without the text on the bottom in Step 1, extract and save. If you are referring to changing the tag meta data on the photo (i.e. NOT visible on photo), you can do this by right clicking on the image file in Windows File Explorer > Properties > Details tab, then change the Subject and Title properties as needed. I hope this helps!
      8/14/2019 10:07:32 AM Reply
  • How about scanning in color slides? I have about 1,000 of them. What's the best hardware/software setup?
    8/9/2019 5:56:43 PM Reply
    • @JOHN: Hello John. Yes, you can use ScanSpeeder Pro to scan color slides if you have a scanner that is capable of scanning slides like the Canon 9000f Mark II or Epson V600, plus others.
      8/11/2019 12:35:11 PM Reply
  • I am wanting to scan photos from my Mother's albums. She use photo albums with self stick pages and didn't leave and space between between the photos. Will ScanSpeeder allow me to manually mark the images?
    7/31/2019 10:21:11 AM Reply
    • @Allen Lacy: Yes, you can manually mark the images. There is a fully functional free trial on our homepage that you can download to see this live in action and also a video on this at . Note that the manual selection process looks a bit different in the video than in the latest version but the steps are the same.
      8/1/2019 9:05:59 AM Reply
    • @SuperUser Account: My problem is the all the directions indicate for ScanSpeed's auto separator to work there has to be space between the photos. As said my Mother didn't leave any space between them. She has them edge to edge and the photos themselves are borderless. So the question I had is can I manually mark the images?
      8/1/2019 7:55:38 AM Reply
    • @Allen Lacy: Hello Allen. Yes, ScanSpeeder will allow you to scan the album photos and separate them without taking the photos off the page. Just put the entire album page flat on your scan bed. It will then try to auto separate the photos for you or you can customize how the photos are separated. Then you can tag them with what is written on them or your own thoughts, so you can find them later and organize them. Also add text underneath each photo for slideshows and digital frames, batch correct photos and more. I hope this helps and thank you for your excellent question!
      7/31/2019 11:54:51 AM Reply
  • I need to scan 13 x 13 album sheets. What scanner should I buy?
    7/10/2019 4:44:35 PM Reply
    • @Burtis Dockery: Hello Burtis. We have customers that are using the HP OfficeJet Pro 7740 Wide Format All-in-One Printer. The price seems reasonable and the flatbed size is A3 or approximately 11 x 17 inches. I'm not aware of a scanner that will capture 13 inches wide however. You may have to scan the pages in 2 sections to get the entire 13x13 sheet. Note that if you do use this HP 7740, you will need to select a driver ending in (TWAIN) under the Scanners button in Step 1, and install the latest driver for it from the HP website. I hope this helps.
      7/12/2019 12:46:43 PM Reply
  • My albums are already labelled below the picture. Will the scanspeeder let my include that writing?
    6/25/2019 9:49:24 AM Reply
    • @Mario: Hello Mario. Yes, ScanSpeeder can include the writing on the scanned photo. It will either auto detect the writing as part of the photo, or you can expand the frame in Step 1 using your mouse to include the writing. There are also more advanced settings to always auto expand by a certain amount to include writing on photos, and a clickable expand function. I hope this helps answer your question.
      6/27/2019 9:20:46 PM Reply
  • Is there a way to make separate storage locations entirely for these two file types? I'm scanning to an external hard drive, then sorting and editing in various photo apps until I find a favorite. Saving both file types means that each photo shows up in duplicate thumbnails when I open the folder I've saved them in. I'd like to save the TIFF files in a completely separate location from the JPegs.
    6/22/2019 10:05:53 PM Reply
    • @Penelope Sassafrass: Hello Penelope. Your scanned TIF photos should already be saved to a separate subfolder called FullSize when you select both formats in Step 3. Please let us know if you need anything else.
      6/24/2019 3:33:58 PM Reply
  • I have about a hundred photos to save and want to know more about the scanning procedures . .
    9/1/2017 2:12:50 PM Reply
    • @Kathy: Check out my blog on photo scanning. There are many good articles and videos to get you started. For example: Top photo scanning tips: Another good one to start with is: The Basics of Photo Scanning:
      9/5/2017 9:18:53 AM Reply

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