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How to Make Pictures From Old Projector Slides

Old slides from a slide projector turn into digital pictures with a negative scanner.
timy1973/iStock/Getty Images

Projection slides can hold decades worth of treasured memories. However, outdated technology means you may lack the method to properly exhibit them. Fortunately, it’s now possible to turn those old-fashioned glimpses of history into digital or printed pictures. Make a DVD slide show of Grandpa's vacation or an intro to a wedding video. Through this process, you’ll be able to make those old memories accessible for future generations to enjoy.

Clean the old slides thoroughly with a vacuum blowing nozzle for electronics, a static duster or a solution made for dusting slides. 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 old film companies 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 the slide 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 colors 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 jpeg file, you can print it at home or upload it to a local film processor. Major drug or retail stores allow users to upload the pictures from your old projector slides and pick up the prints at a later time.

Things You'll Need:

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


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

Jpegs are suitable for web use, printing and most other photo applications.

Solutions made for dusting slides are available at most photography stores.


  • Never use chemicals to clean slides, unless they are recommended by a reputable film company.
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