When you scan an image, does it look more like a duplicate made by a photocopier? Does enlarging your image give you headache because you always get a sort of colored boxes, instead?
A scanner is just like a photocopier. The only difference is that, a copier creates a copy to a paper while a scanner transmits the scanned object into the computer, thus, creating a digital image of any printed material. The transferring of image to the paper is done by a printer.
One purpose of scanning is to allow you to edit images. You must have, of course, a printed material of what you want to scan. The scanner will create a copy of it on the computer. You can now edit it and print it afterwards. You must always remember that the quality of the duplicate will never be as good as the original. If you want to make a copy closer to original, the solution is on the correct adjustments of the scanner.
Scanning images, whether color or black and white, are always associated with the word resolution or dpi. For you to achieve the image quality you desire, you should know and understand how these affect your image.
Resolution refers to the number of pixels contained in the monitor. Pixel, from the words picture element, is the basic unit of programmable color in a computer image. For a better view of what I am telling you, try to enlarge a photo. You will notice the squares that make up the image. These squares are the pixels.
The resolution is measured by the number of dots per inch (dpi which is equal to the numbers of squares of color in an inch. A standard resolution for an image should be 300dpi and 400dpi for images containing text.
In scanning black and white images, resolution is not that important. You will only have to work on the contrast. Contrast can be adjusted even after scanning.
For multicolored images, the difference between the duplicate and the original is very visible. A scanned color image, when printed, has faded and jagged colors. Meaning, the quality of the image is poor. To, at least, reduce the problem, adjust the resolution of your scanner before you scan. Set your scanner to the standard resolution. The higher the resolution, the better the quality. But setting the resolution can still lead to another problem. It needs a large memory size which means that saving and retrieving require more time.
Scanning helps you edit images but do not expect to have a printed copy better than that of the original. Experiment and enhance your skill in manipulating images.