How to Copy Photographic Slides Onto a Computer

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If you have family pictures sitting around in those old carousel slide containers, chances are that you rarely, if ever, look at them. However, you still keep them for sentimental reasons. Make those old slides more accessible by loading them unto your computer and burning them on discs. It's not difficult if you have the right equipment.

  • Select your slides. To get ready to transfer your slides onto a computer disc, select the slides you want to keep. Many family collections contain multiples of the same or similar images as well as over-exposed photos and those with the subjects' faces cut off. You'll likely only want to preserve the best of the bunch.

  • Buy or rent a medium to high-quality scanner. You'll need a scanner of at least medium quality in order to transfer your slide images unto your computer's hard drive. Choose one that is designed to handle slides. Canon's 4400F is a good, reasonably-priced choice.

  • Install the scanner software. Your scanner will come with software to allow your computer to communicate with the equipment. Just insert the disc in your computer and follow the instructions.

  • Scan the images. To scan your slides, insert them into the slide holder of the scanner. Adjust the settings, such as size, resolution and whether you want color or black-and-white images. Hit "Scan" and wait for the process to be completed.

  • Crop or adjust images. Now that the slide images are on your computer's hard drive, you can crop the photos and tweak the lighting and other aspects, if desired, using Adobe Photoshop or a similar program.

  • Burn onto a disc, if desired. Once you have your slide images saved on your computer's hard drive, you'll likely want to burn them unto a CD to protect them in case of a computer problem and so that you can take them to your next family get together.

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