How to make pictures from old projector slides

You can turn those old-fashioned holiday slides into digital or printed pictures. Use your pictures to make a DVD slide show of Granddad's visit or as an intro to a wedding video. Turning old slides into pictures is one way to preserve them for future generations.

Clean the old slides thoroughly with a vacuum blowing nozzle for electronics, a static duster like the Kinetronics static cloth or a solution made for dusting slides, available at photography shops. Dust builds up over the years, even when the slides are stored in a covered and protected slide projector case, because the cardboard frames that Kodak made deteriorate over time. Moisture, temperature and other factors also play a part and can create a film of gunk on the surface of each slide.

Install a slide scanner, such as the Ion slide/film scanner, onto your PC. Some flatbed scanners and all-in-one scanners/printers come with a film scanning attachment. The insert can hold one or more slides. These usually accommodate slides or negatives. Slides are made from a different kind of film than negatives, but thanks to software that processes the colours differently, it's usually just a few clicks to turn your slides or negatives into pictures.

Place the old slide into the scanner or the scanning tool. Newer products have an auto-detect feature that will immediately bring up a preview of your image. You can generally crop and zoom from here, before selecting the final image to scan.

Save the image to your computer when you've finished scanning. You can choose to give it an original name or rename it later. After it's been saved as a jpg file (for web use, printing and most applications) you can print it at home or upload it to a local film processor. Major chemists and print shops allow users to upload the pictures from your old projector slides and pick up the prints at a later time.


Digitise your old slides and make a scrapbook as a 50th wedding anniversary gift or a slide show to play at a family reunion.


Never use chemicals to clean slides, unless they are recommended by Kodak.

Things You'll Need

  • Flatbed scanner with negative scanning insert or Ion Sllides2PC tool
  • Static cloth
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About the Author

Lisa Russell has been a writer since 1998. She's been published in Rethinking Everything Magazine, Playdate, AERO and Home Educator's Family Times. She has a Bachelor of Science in business marketing management and a professional background in marketing, education, cosmetology and hospitality.