How to Do Everything with Your Scanner

This book should, perhaps more appropriately, be called "How to Do Everything with Your Scanner and Image Editing Software". Fully one-third of the content is devoted to manipulating the image after it's left the scanner.

The book seems to be aimed at home users who are total beginners. It has an emphasis on making greeting cards and party invitations, or wacky montages in which Cousin Bob's head has been replaced by that of an animal. If that's what you're after, this is the book for you. If you're serious about producing top-level images for professional use, another guide might be more to your taste.

A four-part logical progression takes you from The Basics of Scanning, through Techniques of Scanning and Editing, via Practical Uses for Your Scanner, to end up in Additional Scanning Projects.

You'll learn how scanners work and what to look for in one, then set it up. Once your scanner's working, Part II will get you through that first scan and into image editing. Practical Uses covers scanning negatives and slides, and deals with optical character recognition (OCR) and creating editable text documents. Finally, there's the fun stuff, like poor Cousin Bob and how to e-mail his image to the rest of the family. All the chapters feature How Tos, Tips and Notes to point out important bits of information, but illustrations are often not on the same page as the text, necessitating flicking back and forth.

It has to be said that the proliferation of grainy, poorly reproduced black and white photographs used to illustrate the text do the book no favours. The end results of the author's image manipulations often appear amateurish, clumsy and obvious - presumably not the effect intended.

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