How to Scan Negative Pictures to Print

By Ann Johnson

Printing pictures from digital images is second nature to most computer users. Yet, there might be some great photographs hiding on those negatives we have stored in the closet. If you have a desktop scanner, it is probably equipped to scan those negative pictures, allowing you to create a digital image that can be printed using your home computer and printer.

Things You'll Need

  • Computer with scanner installed

Step 1

Inspect your scanner, looking for a slot to insert negatives or slides. This is typically fitted into the lid of the scanner and may be embellished to resemble a strip of film. Some scanners have a separate attachment for film or slides that plugs into the scanner.

Step 2

Blow any dust from the negative. Be careful when handling the negative or you may scratch it or leave behind fingerprints or smudges that will show up on the digital image you are creating.

Step 3

Insert the negative to scan into the slot, with the shiny side of the negative facing the glass on the scanner.

Step 4

Shut the lid of the scanner, if using a flatbed scanner.

Step 5

Press the button on the scanner to scan film or slides. Scanners often have the option to choose what type of documents you can scan or create. For example, it might have the option to scan film, slides, photographs or as a PDF. If there is a button for scanning film or negatives, or a button with an icon that looks like film or a slide, press the button.

Step 6

Look for a menu screen to pop up on your computer's monitor.

Step 7

Select the option to print negatives in the scanner menu on your monitor. Set the resolution to 300 ppi and choose the type of digital file you would like to create. If you are unsure, choose JPEG. Complete the scanning process for your system. This will create a digital image that will be saved on your computer, which you can later print out as a picture.

Tips & Warnings

  • The process may vary, depending on your scanner.

References & Resources