Photo Scanning Tip: Remove Dust And Scratches Using FREE Image Editing Software, GIMP

Free tips on how to edit dust and scratches from a photo scan using GIMP

If Your Photo Scans Have Too Much Dust And Scratches Then Here's How To Use GIMP Software To Remove Unwanted Debris

Read these free tips, and you'll learn...

  • How to use the Heal Tool and easily remove dust and scratches
  • Once you know how to fix one photo scan the rest will go faster
  • You can do this with free editing software, GIMP... Download GIMP here

Ready? Grab your favourite hot beverage (or a cold beer), and let's go!

1. Get A Natural Photo Scan

Remember, you'll be working with a "natural" scan.

And it's a good idea to back-up your natural scans. And make a copy -- and don't touch the back-up. Fix the copy only, just in case something messes up.

Here's a quick snap-shot of how I setup my scanner's software:

How to setup your scanner to get a natural scan

All right, once you've gotten a natural scan, here's the next step...

2. Open Your Digital Photo Scan In GIMP And Zoom In

The first thing I do is to zoom in.

Press your "Z" key, and left mouse button to zoom in.

Don't zoom in too close, otherwise you won't know what's detail and what's dust.

3. Find The "Heal Tool"

The "Heal Tool" is the best way to fix dust, debris, and scratches.

You'll find the Tool in your Tool Box, or press "H"...

Find the Heal Tool in GIMP to fix dust and scratches from a photo scan

So again: Open your file. Zoom in. Find your "dust" spots. And click on the "Heal Tool".

4. How To Use The "Heal Tool"

To use the Heal Tool, you'll need to "set image source".

What this means is, you need to find a "clean" area around the dust, and set the Heal Tool before you remove any dust.

So, find a dust spot, and beside the dust, in a "clean" area, use CTRL + left mouse button to set the area. Then go ahead and start clicking on the dust area with left mouse button to remove.

Set the Heal Tool before you apply the fixes to dust

Above: You need to "Set" your Heal Tool. Press CTRL and left mouse button around the dust you want to fix.

Once your Heal Tool is set, you can start clicking away on the dust. It'll take you a few clicks to get the hang of it.

Once you set the Heal Tool on a clean spot, you can start applying it by clicking on the dust

Above: Once your Heal Tool is set, use your left mouse button and click directly on dust spots to remove them.

4. Quick Tip: You'll Need To Re-Set The Heal Tool

When you move to another dust area, you'll need to re-set your Heal Tool.

But be careful! Make sure when you're setting the Heal Tool, to choose an area that is similar to the dust area. If you don't, you'll get this...

How to reset the Heal Tool in GIMP when fixing photo scan dust

Above: Make you don't set your Heal Tool in the wrong area.

If you set the Heal Tool in the wrong spot, you will get this... If you set the Heal Tool in the wrong spot, you'll make your photo scan worse

Above: Yikes. You need to re-set the Heal Tool in an area that is close to the dust, so you don't end up doing this.

So, remember to reset the Heal Tool as close to the dust area.

5. Quick Tip: Change The Scale Size

Sometimes you'll run into dust specks that are too small or big. You can change the size of the Heal Tool by adjusting the "Scale" size according to the size of the dust.

In your Tool Box, you will find "Scale". Change the Scale size so that it matches the size of the dust you're removing.

How to set the scale size of your Heal Tool when fixing photo scans in GIMP

Above: Make Heal Tool bigger or smaller by setting the Scale option to as big or small as you like.

Check Out The Before-And-After...

Photo scan before fixed in GIMP using Heal Tool for dust Photo scan after fixed in GIMP using Heal Tool for dust

Table Of Contents: How To Edit Photo Scans Using GIMP

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