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How to Crop, Resize, and Highlight Census Images for Genealogical Use


Legacy user, Scott Langworthy, has written up some instructions for manipulating census images to make them easier to read. He has kindly offered to share them here with you. Before downloading the document, here is a summary of how this can benefit genealogists.

IrfanView is a Free Photo Viewer which has many surprising capabilities, some of which I use all the time in my genealogical research and using Legacy Family Tree software.

When IrfanView, I can take a downloaded Census Image from Ancestry (for example), and do the following as needed to provide me with a finished Jpg photo.

  • I can Crop the excess part of the image. Getting rid of black or white that is surrounding the image we want to preserve.
  • I can use the Color Corrections Menu off of the Image Menu, to adjust the Gamma, and Contrast, to eliminate some of the noise, or to darken, or to lighten the image making it easier to see and interpret.
  • I can use a little trick in that same menu, if I first highlight the area where I want a nice Highlight Yellow area, and then use the BLUE Color Button and shift it down all the way to -255 thereby turning the selection in question, YELLOW and yet still see the underlying Black Text.
  • I can use the Resize menu off of the Image menu, to resize the full size image, in order to reduce the size in MB, to something smaller, but yet still zoomable to read details. This helps keep File sizes down, which can make the Legacy Database Images unwieldy.

There are other things this free viewer program can do, but this alone makes my simple editing work fast and allows for fast flow in getting the info, and moving on to the next image.

Click here to download the step-by-step, illustrated instructions.

Thanks Scott!


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Thank you, Scott!

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