How Do I Restore Old Documents & Pictures?

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How Do I Restore Old Documents & Pictures?
Restore your own photos to preserve them for a lifetime. (document image by Claudio Calcagno from

Taking your old documents and pictures to a professional for repair can be very costly. With the advancing of technology, it is more cost effective to try to restore the documents and pictures yourself. Saving the documents and pictures on your computer can protect them from future damage, allowing you to store the original document or picture in a safe place. To restore old documents and pictures, you will need a computer, scanner and photo editing software.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Flatbed scanner
  • Photo editing software

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  1. 1

    Scan the document or picture using a flatbed scanner, scanning it at least a 300 dpi (dots per inch) resolution.

  2. 2

    Open your photo editing software such as Adobe Photoshop or Corel Paint Shop Pro. Open the document or photograph in the program by clicking "File" and then "Open." Navigate to the location of your document or picture and double-click it.

  3. 3

    Crop the image down to the size you desire, using the cropping tool. You do not want to work on sections of the image that will not be included in your final image.

  4. 4

    Repair any tears, scratches, water marks or any other defect using the cloning tool or paint command. Try to make the damaged area look as close to its surrounding area as possible.

  5. 5

    Remove any noise in the image. This can be done by choosing a command similar to remove noise, smooth or dust filter.

  6. 6

    Use the program's auto-fix feature. This is normally referred to as "one-step photo-fix." You may want to adjust the percentage setting in the photo-fix option. Sometimes, the image will come out too bright or with too much contrast. Experiment with this setting until the image looks perfect.

  7. 7

    Adjust the focus, contrast and brightness if needed. You can also use the sharpen or soften features on your program.

  8. 8

    Change the effects of your image. You can add effects to your image, such as sepia and antique effects. Experiment with these settings until the image suits your needs.

  9. 9

    Save your finished image onto your computer. You may want to print it or save it onto a disk.

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