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How to divide/split a single image file into multiple image files

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Joe Winograd
50+ years in computer industry •Everything from development to sales •CIO •Windows •Document Imaging •EE MVE 2015,2016,2018 •EE FELLOW 2017
In an interesting question here at Experts Exchange, a member asked how to split a single image into multiple images. The primary usage for this is to place many photographs on a flatbed scanner and scan all of them into a single image file, but then easily split the single image file into multiple image files, one for each photo. The photos will be placed on the flatbed scanner with ample separation so that there is enough "white space" for the splitting software to separate the images. Of course, the solution may be used on any image that contains multiple images in it, that is, not necessarily scanned photos, as long as there is enough of a separation between images for the splitting software to detect the individual images. The solution presented in this video Micro Tutorial uses the excellent (free!) GIMP software and a filter (plugin/script) called Divide Scanned Images. Kudos to both the GIMP developers and Rob Antonishen, who developed DivideScannedImages and BatchDivideScannedImages.

Important Update on 13-May-2019: The link to the DivideScannedImages script that is shown in the video and in the paragraph above no longer works. However, I have the script, and it is legal to post it here because of its license, as follows:
License:

; This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify
; it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
; the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or
; (at your option) any later version.
I attached it to Video Step 3 below.

Video Steps

1. Update to the latest version of GIMP


At the time of this video, the latest version was 2.8.20. This solution will almost surely run on earlier releases (and, with some luck, later ones), but the only version that I tested on is 2.8.20, which is available for download here:
https://www.gimp.org/

Step1
Update on 13-May-2019: Tested on version 2.10.10 — worked perfectly!

2. Determine location of your GIMP scripts folder


Click the Edit menu, then Preferences

In the Preferences dialog, expand Folders, then click on Scripts

Take note of the Scripts folder. For a standard Windows installation of GIMP version 2.8.x, it will probably be here:
C:\Users\<username>\.gimp-2.8\scripts

Step2

3. Download the Divide Scanned Images script


Update on 13-May-2019: The link to the script no longer works, so I have attached it here (it is legal to do so, as documented previously).

Since this is an unusual file type (.SCM), the method for downloading it is to right-click on it, then do a Save link as or Save linked content as or Save target as or something similar (depends on what browser you use).

Move the downloaded file to the scripts folder determined in Step 2

Exit GIMP, then run it again

Step3
DivideScannedImages.scm

4. Open an image in GIMP and run the Divide Scanned Images script on it


Open an image file with multiple images/photos in it

Click the Filters menu, then Divide Scanned Images

Experiment with different settings in the Divide Scanner Images dialog (the ones below work well for me)

Step4

5. View your extracted images


After running the Divide Scanned Images script with the Save and Close Extracted Images box ticked, you will have a separate image file for each photo.

Step5

6. Review other ways to use this tool


Although not mentioned in the video, there are two other ways to use this tool that may interest you: (1) Scanning in GIMP and (2) Batch mode splitting. These methods are discussed in my post at the question which prompted this Micro Tutorial.

That's it! If you find this video to be helpful, please click the thumbs-up icon below. Thank you for watching!
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2 Comments
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
as usual, a very good tutorial, and a very helpful teacher
thanks Joe for solving my problem
1
LVL 68

Author Comment

by:Joe Winograd
You're welcome, nobus — and thanks to you for the compliment and the endorsement — both very much appreciated! Regards, Joe
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