How to change background color of a scanned image?

Posted on 2006-04-17
Last Modified: 2006-11-18
Is there anyway to change the background color of scanned imaged?  For example, I scanned in an image from sheet a paper that was geyish color.  I want to extract the image and change the background color to white.  I have Macromedia Fireworks, Paint Shop Pro 7.0 and publisher.  Will either of these software programs work for this function?  
Question by:Hojoformo
    LVL 38

    Accepted Solution

    Once scanned to an image file, you can then edit the image in something like Paint Shop Pro.
    Have a look in the help pages of Paint Shop Pro for instructions on how to use the "Magic Wand" and "Flood Fill" tools.
    The Magic Wand's "Tool Options" allow you to change things like the Tolerance, how much it will feather out the selection, etc.  The Flood Fill tool options allow you to choose opacity, blend mode, etc.

    You can also do things in Paint Shop Pro like use the freehand selection tool, and then separate the selection as a different layer, cut or copy it from the bacground and paste as a new image or selection, etc, etc.  You could use the magic wand to detect the edges of defined areas in the photo or use the freehand selection tool, and then promote or demote the selected areas to the foreground or background or as a layer or mask.  That then allows you to work on them separately.

    You can separate an image into different "channels" (eg. Red, Green, Blue), and then combine selected channels again after turning them into negative images, etc.  There's a load of different options you can use for different end results, such as choosing a colour that you can then make transparent.  The "Dropper" tool is ideal for selecting an area of colour within an image.

    Perhaps the easiest way to do what you need is to use the "Color Replacer" tool.  It's like a square icon with a red rectangle in the left and an arrow pointing across into the right-hand blue rectangle.  Search the help for the keywords "color replace" and it will show you how to use this tool.

    Paint Shop Pro's help has a "context" option that creates a ? symbol for the cursor, and you can get help on eg. how to use a particular tool by then clicking on the toolbar button.  The help file is also fully searchable and comprehensive.  In Paint Shop Pro 7.1 (I have version 7 Anniversary Edition) you should have a "Product Tour" that shows you how to perform quite a few image editing techniques.

    The best thing you can do is practice with copies of the original image until you get the hang of it.
    LVL 38

    Expert Comment

    Whoops, not PsP 7.1.  I meant 7.0.
    LVL 38

    Expert Comment

    Actually, just reading your question again, there's something that might need to be discussed.  You said that you "scanned in an image from sheet a paper that was geyish color".  Does this mean that you scanned something like a full A4 page, and therefore have a lot of grey?

    When scanning, the Twain Interface from the scanner software should allow you to select a specific section (rectangle) of the page you are scanning, and then choose to scan it at 100% (ie. same size as that selected portion), or to reduce it or enlarge it.  The scanner will only scan the selected area and generate an image from it rather than scanning the whole page.

    If you have already scanned the whole page, just open it in PsP and use the "Crop" tool to select only the image, and then crop it to that selection.

    If you already know all this, then just disregard it.  I'm not sure how much experience you have with using a scanner.
    LVL 38

    Expert Comment

    Hmmm.  There aren't too many other contributing experts to dispute your recommendation, so I will second it :-)
    LVL 38

    Expert Comment

    Thank you mrichmon and GranMod

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