Scan 4 Pictures in One Pass, then Separate with Export

Question: I’m scanning my family photos by putting 4 of them on the scanner at one time.  I then scan it 4 times, so I can crop each one and end up with the 4 individual pictures.  Is there a better way?

Don’t Scan!

First of all, I prefer not to use a scanner at all.  I just open up the old photo albums and use my digital camera to snap pictures of the pictures.  Much faster.  The quality is better than you may expect.  Also, there are some scanners/software that can identify the edges of pictures and automatically create separate files for them – google for ‘scanners that separate multiple pictures.’

If you do Scan, Use Export to Separate them

If you do indeed scan multiple pictures into one file, here is the best way to separate them in Picasa.  In the example below, I have 4 pictures of my first RV trip in 1962 from Alaska to Guatemala.


Step 1: Crop to the first picture.


Step 2: Export the cropped picture to a new file.

Step 3: Undo the crop, so you’re back to seeing all 4 pictures

Rinse and Repeat for the other 3 pictures.  You now have 4 individual pictures as a result of the Exports, and you still have the original scan of all 4.

This tip brought to you by Geeks on Tour

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Chris is a teacher. Although she comes as close to an expert as possible in many areas of computer usage, she can still remember what it's like not to know these things! That means she can communicate with students in a way that teaches and doesn't demean. She really enjoys teaching one-on-one and for groups of people, but she reaches a worldwide audience with her tutorial videos on the website. She currently travels the country in an RV with her husband, Jim. As Geeks on Tour, they present computer seminars at RV rallies, computer clubs, and Senior Centers all over the US.

6 thoughts on “Scan 4 Pictures in One Pass, then Separate with Export”

  1. Chris, do you recommend Export for this process or would File>Save a Copy be OK also. I have been using Save a Copy because at least the copy ends up in the same folder and I do not have to hunt for it. Does export make a file with more pixels and produce a better picture?Barb


    1. Hey Barb,
      I guess ‘Save a Copy’ would be OK. I usually use Export because I want to specify some other folder, and/or I want to specify a pixel size. No, you cannot specify more pixels than the original. … or, I don’t think you can anyway 🙂


  2. Well, I would not advise you to substitute a scanner with a digital camera, the risk of color/sharpness loss is quite high, not to mention distortion.
    If you scan your photos and want to separate them, I recommend AutoSplitter for the task. It works with Win 8.1 and it’s quite reliable – at least with color photos. Old photos with white borders do not work as well, but you can adjust manually.


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