How to Convert Color Slides to Digital


Color slides more often than not come from a color still camera. The film negatives are then cut up into slides and used with a slide projector. However, with the decline of film in still cameras and the increase of slide presentation software (such as PowerPoint), you may want to convert your color slides to a digital format. When doing so you have two options: convert the slides yourself with a slide scanner or take the slides to a film developer.

Things You'll Need

  • Color slides
  • Slide scanner

Film development location

  • Take your slides into a location that develops film (such as Target, Walmart or Wallgreens). These locations also offer slide development and place the images onto a CD. Keep in mind you pay per slide, so if you have a few hundred slides, this is not an advantageous way to go about converting your color slides. However, it works just fine if you have just a few.

  • Drop off the slides. This form of development typically takes longer than the standard one hour promised by many locations.

  • Return at the given time, pick up the slides, and pay for them.

Slide scanner

  • Connect a slide scanner to your computer, then install all the required drivers (they come on a CD with the scanner).

  • Insert the first slide into the scanner and click "Start," "All Programs," "Accessories" and finally "Camera and Scanner Wizard." This is a default scanning program installed on all Windows computers.

  • Select "Scan," then choose the connected color scanner as the device you want to use.

  • Click "Scan" and the color slide is scanned into the computer. Once the scan finishes, click "File," "Save," then name the scan, choose a location to save the file to and click "OK."

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  • Photo Credit film-camera on camera-bag image by Andrii Oleksiienko from
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