Preserving Priceless Photos
Dear Computer Lady,
I am grateful to be able to ask a question that is making me crazy.
I have hundreds and hundreds of old photos that are priceless that I need to scan to make them available to all family. In the best world, I would love to give them each a disc with all the photos.
My question is – is there a particular program that would make this as simple and easy as possible. I think I probably have to scan each one but I’m looking for a program that I can put the picture, organizing them and then be able to have a space to explain the picture and name the people. And for it to look nice – a little bit polished? Am I dreaming? Or is there a program out there?
I know that you can hire a service to do all the scanning which would be so awesome, however, it’s not an affordable option for me.
Thanks for any direction!! Sincerely, Lora
You are right that you will need to scan each photo with a scanner. The software that comes with the scanner should make that part easy for you. I like the Epsom Perfection series of scanners, they are high quality (You will get better scans than you will from an inexpensive printer/scanner/copier machine) last a long time (I am on my second one in 20 years) and the software that comes with it has a lot of options.
I would scan each photo in .jpg format since that is pretty universal, and the file format will be used for many years to come.
You can organize the pictures with a combination of file names (1985summer001.jpg for example) and folders. I usually have one folder for each year, with quarterly folders inside. If there is a big event that year like a wedding, it would get its own folder as well.
If you organize them in a program like powerpoint, or publisher, your photos are only as good as the program you use. If the person you send it to doesn’t have that program, or the company making the program stops developing or supporting it, people would not be able to view the photos.
You can add information to the photos in a couple of ways. After you have scanned the image, you can open it in a photo program like Picasa (which is free from Google) and add tags. A tag can be a person’s name, or an event. Once you have tagged your photos in Picasa, the information is part of the picture and can be accessed by right-clicking and clicking on “Properties” then look at the “Details” tab.
Another idea would be to write or type a small description on paper, and scan it with the photo. That way, your description would be part of the image.
Once you have your photos scanned and organized into folders, you can burn those folders to a CD or DVD using any burning program. I would just burn it as a data disk, then anyone can use the pictures on their computer.
I hope this helps you with your photos.
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Elizabeth Boston is a Web designer, Social Media Consultant and managing editor of, “Ask The Computer Lady”.
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