I am on a Mac OS 10.5.8 with Adobe CS2, Acrobat 7.0 Professional, and Illustrator and Bridge.
I have a bunch of print-outs of old documents that came from a microfilm copy. I need to include them in a report, so I need to scan them in. I have tinkered with various settings (100 dpi - 300 dpi) and of course I would like to keep them small sized. At 300, one came in at 10 MB which is absurd.
My second problem is that part of the print-outs are really difficult to read--it's usually one section that has a lot of mid-tones. I can use levels and curves somewhat, but they seem to affect the whole document.
Can anyone walk me through some steps to clean this up?
Start by scanning them properly - with a black sheet behind to eradicate backside text and otehr stuff that shines through and allowing youer scanner to determine the whitepoint based on the document, not the scanner lid. The rest is beside the point - you always scan at higher resolution than you publish to have room for scaling, cropping and generally working. In fact one might need to work at even higher resolutions. If this goes to print, file sizes don't matter, if it's for online publishing, converting the publication to PDF and optimizing it accordingly or creating JPEGs will take care of matters. You really need to read up on that. As for procedures, you shouldn't expect a magic button. Generally one would duplicate the source a couple of times and belnd it back with blending modes like Add, Linear Dodge, Multiply and so on to intensify or tone down certain colors, then use further adjustments to recover contrast and further remove artifacts. Some of the stuff will however require painstaking cleanup with the clone brush and otehr techniques...
Thanks for your reply. I will definately try the black paper trick.
I often optimize pdfs and whatnot, but when I tried that on a 300 dpi scan it barely made a dent.
I've been researching the other tools you sent me, and in all the online tips and books I've seen they have all been used for photos. I am having a tough time trying to understand how to apply the tools to a black and white document.