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How to Convert 35mm Slides to CD

Updated February 21, 2017

Preserving your memories in a digital format on a CD is easier than you might think. While you can use an expensive digital scanner, designed to transfer images into your computer, you also can use a simple technique with a regular scanner to copy your slide images. Once the images are on your computer, it’s easy to convert them to a CD.

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  1. Cut a piece of thin, flat cardboard to the exact size of the scanning area on the flatbed scanner.

  2. Place a slide in the middle of the cardboard, and trace around it with a pencil. then carefully cut out the shape with a sharp utility knife.

  3. Place the cardboard on the scanner screen and tape it into place along the edges.

  4. Position a slide in the hole and place a fluorescent flashlight on top. Turn the flashlight on and run the scan to transfer the image to your computer. Repeat this process with all your slides.

  5. Edit, crop or otherwise adjust your images. You will be able to see the cardboard slide border later when you view them, so crop the border off, if desired.

  6. Place a new CD in the drive and open the folder where you saved the images. You can select all the images by pressing "Ctrl" and "A," or you can select only a few by holding down the "Ctrl" key while clicking on each desired image.

  7. Chose “Copy” from the list of menu items and select the CD drive; your disk-burning program will open. Name your CD when prompted and click “OK” to initiate the process.

  8. Tip

    Label your CD as soon as the burn process completes for easy reference.


    Don’t bump your computer or open and close a lot of windows while the CD is burning.

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Things You'll Need

  • Thin cardboard
  • Slides
  • Scissors
  • Flatbed scanner
  • Fluorescent flashlight
  • Writeable CD drive
  • Writeable disks

About the Author

Glenda Taylor

Glenda Taylor is a contractor and a full-time writer specializing in construction writing. She also enjoys writing business and finance, food and drink and pet-related articles. Her education includes marketing and a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Kansas.

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