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Scanning and stitching a 12 x 12" layout in ten easy steps using Photoshop Elements

I had written this tutorial a while back and several people have asked me for it, so here it is for you to use:

Scanning and Stitching a 12 x 12” Layout in Ten Easy Steps

Jlyne Hanback

Have you ever been so thrilled to complete a layout and share it with friends or family, only to discover that you have no way to scan the layout on your letter-size scanner? Would you like to submit your layouts to various magazines for publication, but can’t figure out how to get a “picture” of your layout on your hard drive because the layout is too big to be scanned? This article is for you!

This tutorial will teach you how to scan and stitch your 12 x 12” layouts using Adobe Photoshop Elements software. This software is very inexpensive, and does not require a big learning curve. Here are the steps you need to follow:

  • Step 1: Line up the left half of your layout; face down, on your scanner surface.
  • Step 2: Scan the left side of the layout page. Scanning at 300DPI (dots per inch) is a good bet, as you can always reduce the layout size later. Save this image so that you know it is the left side.
  • Step 3: Scan the right half of your layout page, following the same guidelines as shown above. Make sure that you have one to two inches of overlapping photo so that when these images are stitched together, they will be seamless. Save this image so that you know it is the right side.
  • Step 4: Open a new file (image) in Adobe Photoshop Elements that will encompass the size of layout you are scanning; i.e. 12 x 12”. Set the resolution at least 300 DPI. Name the file layoutnamehere_final.tif.
  • Step 5: Create two new layers in your file, by selecting Layer > New > Layer.
  • Step 6. Open the left side of your layout, select the entire image, copy the image, and then paste image into the first layer of the final file which you have created.
  • Step 7: Open the right side of your layout, then repeat step 6 using the right side.
  • Step 8: Change the opacity of layer 2 to approximately 70% so that you can see where to line up the two images. Proceed to line up the images until the two halves match seamlessly.
  • Step 9: Once the halves are matched perfectly and you are happy with the merge, change the opacity of layer 2 back to 100%.
  • Step 10: Flatten the image by choosing Layer > Flatten Image, then save the image. Voila! You have scanned and stitched the layout pieces together to form one final image!

Now, you are ready to share your layout with others!