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Acquiring Images from Scanners and Digital Cameras

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This chapter is from the book

In this chapter

  • Installing Plug-In Files

  • Adjusting Scanner Settings

  • Scanning Different Kinds of Images

  • Scanning the Final Image

  • Accessing Images on the Camera

  • Saving Images

  • Selecting Devices

Photoshop Elements enables you to import images from a scanner or digital camera. Install software, connect a cable, and power on a scanner or camera to enable Photoshop Elements to acquire photos. After you have it all set up, you're free to download as many photos as you like. Available memory, processor speed, and disk space are the only limits to how many photos you can bring into your computer! This chapter shows you how to get a scanner or digital camera up and running with Photoshop Elements.

Installing Plug-In Files

To bring your images into Photoshop Elements from a scanner or digital camera, you'll need to install a TWAIN plug-in. All plug-in files are located in the Plug-Ins folder, in the Photoshop Elements 2 folder. The (Import/Export) [Import-Export] folder is where TWAIN plug-ins are stored. TWAIN plug-ins enable you to acquire images from the File, Import menu or Welcome window into the work area.

The following sections show you how to install a TWAIN plug-in for an HP scanner device. However, these steps are similar for installing any TWAIN plug-in with Photoshop Elements.

Installing Plug-In Software

If you're using Windows 98 Special Edition, Windows 2000, or Windows XP, plug your scanner or camera into your computer's parallel, serial, USB, or FireWire port. Windows will notice that a new device is connected to the computer and open the Found New Hardware Wizard (see Figure 3.1). Insert the CD for the scanner or camera into the CD-ROM drive, and then click the Next button. Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X users can install the TWAIN plug-in software by running the Mac software installer program, or by placing the TWAIN plug-in file in the Plug-Ins, (Import/Export) [Import-Export] folder, in the Adobe Photoshop Elements folder.

Figure 3.1 When you first connect a scanner or camera to your computer, Windows will try to install software for the new hardware.

For Windows users, here are the steps for using the New Hardware Wizard to install software drivers for a scanner or camera:

  1. There are two screens in the wizard that ask you how you want Windows to locate the driver software for the new device. Choose the radio button that searches for a suitable driver for the device in the Install Device Drivers window.

  2. Click the Next button, and then check the CD-ROM Drive check box in the Locate Driver Files window. Be sure you have the CD-ROM from your hardware (scanner or camera) in the drive.

  3. Click the Next button, and Windows searches the CD-ROM for the software driver. If a TWAIN plug-in file is on the CD, Windows installs both the driver and the TWAIN plug-in file (see Figure 3.2).

  4. Figure 3.2 If Windows can locate a driver for the device, it will install the driver.

  5. If Windows installs the files successfully, you'll see the Completing the Found New Hardware Wizard window. Click the Finish button to exit the wizard.

Accessing a New Plug-In in Photoshop Elements

Photoshop Elements scans the Plug-Ins folder only when the application starts. You must (Quit) [Exit] Photoshop Elements before you can use a newly installed TWAIN plug-in file. Click on the File, Import menu to view the list of installed plug-in files.

Before choosing a plug-in, power on the scanner or camera, and then connect the device to the computer. If you haven't already done so, start Photoshop Elements. To access any of the TWAIN plug-in files, choose File, Import. A submenu containing a list of devices appears, as shown in Figure 3.3. Select one of the TWAIN plug-in files from the Import menu list. The TWAIN plug-in opens a device-specific window in the Photoshop Elements work area. Use the device software to preview and download images into the work area.

Figure 3.3 Choose Import from the File menu to view a list of installed TWAIN plug-in files.

Troubleshooting Connections

Not all cameras and scanners come bundled with TWAIN plug-in files. If your device does not have a TWAIN plug-in file, you'll need to use the software that comes with the device to create an image on your computer. In either case, visit the vendor's Web site to see whether a TWAIN plug-in is available for your scanner or digital camera. Mac OS X and Windows XP include some software that may enable a camera or scanner to download images to the computer. Mac OS X users can use iPhoto to see whether the camera or scanner can be recognized by Mac OS X. Plug the USB, FireWire, or serial cable into the Windows XP computer to see whether Windows is able to recognize the device. Save the images as JPEG or TIFF files so that you can open them in Photoshop Elements.

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