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Archiver > APG > 2008-08 > 1220208796

From: Anne Roach <>
Subject: Re: [APG] Scanning Letters
Date: Sun, 31 Aug 2008 12:53:16 -0600

Correction: JPGs are not always lossy. They do have a lossless format, but it depends on the settings of the program in which it was opened and edited. Bitmaps are a proprietary format that over time will likely lose longevity as a universal format because it already has limitations as to which programs will read it.

Bitmaps were created by Microsoft and they are not used by all programs and do not save image days in the most efficient manner, so they can be rather large without needing to be. The objective is to save data in a format that 20 years or more from now can still be read without having to dig up the past.

The basic principle falls on the importance of the image and how long it needs to live. If the importance is very high save it in TIF. While TIFs take up space, they are in raw format and have a greater lifespan technologically. The files can then be saved to a smaller format such as a JPG or GIF or PNG to transmit in e-mail or out on a website.

If the importance medium high, go for a JPG or other format depending on your needs and the use of the image, but be careful about eliminating JPGs as a good format just because someone at a genealogy conference said it didn't work for them. There is an element of user error that comes into play with any technology, even with the best of us. So far, JPGs have done quite well with image lifespan and quality.


-----Original Message-----
From: robert mclaren <>
Sent: Sunday, August 31, 2008 12:00 AM
To: <>
Subject: Re: [APG] Scanning Letters

While JPG files are smaller files, and are the best for posting on websites
or sending via emails, I would not recommend scanning and saving using this
file format. JPG is a lossy format and every time you save it, you will
lose image quality. Better is to scan using a bitmap format. You can
always create a jpg file from this when you need it, but will always have
your high quality original.

Yours aye,

Bob McLaren
Chairman, Genealogy Committee, Clan MacLaren Society of North America
Genealogist, Clan MacLaren Society (based in Scotland)
Administrator, Clan MacLaren Surname DNA Project (Worldwide)
Administrator, Lindo Surname DNA Project (Worldwide)
Administrator, da Silva Surname DNA Project (Worldwide)
Member, Association of Professional Genealogists

> [Original Message]
> From: ljcrain2 <>
> To: <>
> Date: 8/31/2008 12:45:10 AM
> Subject: Re: [APG] Scanning Letters
> My replies preceeded by ***
> Janet Crain
> As of yesterday, I have in my possession temporarily a number of letters
> written by my 3rd great-grandfather and other members of his family. I
> would like to scan the letters before returning them to the distant
> cousin who so graciously sent them clear across the country so I could
> see them after receiving the history I wrote on this common ancestor.
> Could those of you who are better at this than me suggest the best kind
> of image to save them as. The one I have experimented with was saved
> as a bitmap image, but would a .jpg image be better?
> *** I use jpg's as they are a much smaller file. You might want to print
> each one from a bitmap as that does make a superior print. But for
> on a monitor (and most print uses) a jpg will suffice.


> Beth Davies AG ?

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