How to Remove Lines Appearing on Scanned Documents

Written by peter franczyk
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How to Remove Lines Appearing on Scanned Documents
You can remove those lines appearing in your scanned documents. (copy machine image by Mat Hayward from

Few things are as frustrating as scanning a crisp, clean document only to have random lines running through it when viewed on your computer screen. According to one popular manufacturer of scanners, a simple reset or cleaning of the scanner is enough to banish these lines to digital oblivion. Sometimes more drastic measures are required, such as removing these lines using basic graphics software. While this method may not be ideal, labour-wise, for larger jobs, a certain satisfaction comes with removing the lines yourself and squeezing a little more life out of your scanner.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Graphics editing software

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  1. 1

    Open the scanned document that has lines appearing using the graphics editing software. If the scanned file is an Adobe PDF, scan the document again in an image format (JPG, TIFF, etc.) as PDFs cannot be opened by most graphics editing software.

  2. 2

    Zoom in on one of the lines to be removed from your scanned document using the Magnifier tool. You won't be able to capture the whole line when you magnify, so start from one of the edges of the document.

  3. 3

    Erase the magnified portion of the line on the scanned document using the Eraser/Color Eraser tool. If the line intersects with parts of the document, you may need to decrease the size of the Eraser tool by selecting one of the smaller blocks underneath the toolbox.

  4. 4

    Zoom-out using the Magnifier tool after you have erased as much of the line as possible within the magnified view, and zoom-in on the next portion of the document affected by the line.

  5. 5

    Touch up any areas on your document that you could not get with the Erase tool by using the Brush tool with white as the colour and then select the smallest circle underneath the toolbox. This allows you to erase single pixels in your document.

  6. 6

    Save your document once all of the offending lines have been removed.

Tips and warnings

  • Use the Undo command (under Edit or by clicking "Ctrl-Z" in PCs and "Cmd-Z) if you make a mistake. You can typically undo the last three actions with this command in most graphics editing software.

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