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Stitching and Panoramas - an excerpt from Geoff's upcoming book on Digital Images for Genealogists

Ever try scanning a document that is too large for your scanner? Here's a brief excerpt from the "Editing: Tips and Techniques" section of my upcoming book, Digital Images for Genealogists:

Sometimes you run into the problem of the document being too large for the scanner. My scanner, which has an 8 ½” x 12” scanning surface is not quite large enough for the thousands of 8 ½” x 14” pension papers I copied at the National Archives.

Below are two separate images – the top 85% of the document, and the lower 85% of the document. It is the overlap of the image that enables the software to properly merge the two together.


To digitize and stitch/merge an oversized document (in Photoshop Elements, other programs have similar features), follow these steps:

  1. Scan the top part of the document and save it.
  2. Scan the bottom part of the document and save it with a different name.
  3. Go to File > New > Photomerge Panorama.
  4. Click on the Browse button and select both files.
  5. Click OK. If you get the question, “Would you like to automatically fill in the edges of your panorama, click Yes, and see how it looks.

The result is a beautifully-stitched document – the full 8 ½” x 14” document as one digital image.


Another use for stitching is when you want to take a picture of a beautiful scene, but the scene is wider than the width of the picture your camera can take....(continued in the book)

I'm still looking for the perfect title for this new book about digital images. If you have an idea, send me an email. If I choose your title, you're earned yourself a free copy! Mary Hill will also be speaking on the topic of "Use Your Digital Camera to Copy Records" in next week's webinar. Click here to register.


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