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How to scan comics like a Manatee

a Novus scanning guide

Hi everyone, and welcome to the How to scan like a Manatee - a scanning and editing guide.
I am your host, The Man-Arrr-Tee, who will teach you how to scan and edit comics.
As some of you aspiring scanners/editors might have noticed, there is not a lot of scanning guides
out there. There was a Novus Scanning Guide out recently, but before that, the newest scanning
guide was the DCP Scanning Bible from 2007, which is by now a bit outdated.
Since I have been teaching a lot of people how to edit, I decided to make a guide showing how I
scan and edit comics.
Generally the term scanning will cover both the scanning, and the much more important editing
part. This guide focus will focus on editing, since that is where the magic happens.
It is important to notice that EVERYONE can scan a comic. You do not need any artistic talent to
follow this guide and put out good scans. I can barely draw a stick manatee, but I have taught
myself to edit well enough that I can now make a guide to help others.
Just follow the steps in this guide, or even better, use this guide as a starting point, and find your
own preferred way to scan comics.

A PC or Mac with at least a 2GB RAM. Photoshop is a RAM hog, and 512 MB ram will just NOT
cut it. I can easily get Photoshop to run out of RAM on a PC with 4GB RAM in 15 seconds, but a
PC bought in the last 4 years or so should have plenty of RAM for editing purposes.
A decent scanner. Any scanner will do, I personally recommend the Opticbook 3600 from
Plustek, due to its edge scanning abilities, which help me to not destroy the comics I scan. But I
mainly scan European style comics, which are in book form, if you scan US style comics in issue
format; edge scanning is a waste of money. So check the scanner reviews on the net and find one
that suits your style. Or use whichever you already own.
Photoshop CS5 or above. You can also use other programs like Gimp or Paint Shop Pro, but the
content-aware function introduced in Photoshop CS5 is a major help, and for that reason alone I
recommend using Photoshop CS5 or Photoshop CS 5.1. Several of the other important tools will
most likely not be available in other programs.
Lots of spare time.

Scanning a comic
Rules for scanning
To do a good scan it is IMPORTANT that you follow a few basic rules.
First of all, consider how high resolution you want to scan in. A few years ago, 200 DPI was plenty,
nowadays 300 DPI is really a minimum, and I personally scan in 400 DPI.
Second, save the raw file (the unedited scanned files) in a lossless format. When you finally save
the book for release, you can use jpg, but for editing purposes, keep the file in BMP, TIFF or PNG
format. Personally I use BMP, but this depends on the preference on the scanner. Saving in a
lossless format will take up some space, my scans in 400 DPI in BMP format is 46MB per file, so
around 2.3GB pr comic I scan (52 pages). The edited comic of course is a lot smaller, between 50100 mb, depending on the comic.
And third, but most important, make sure you press down on the scanner lid so you dont get grey
shadows. This is not so bad in issue format, but if you scan comics in book format, you WILL get
spine shadows. If you decide to not press down on the comic to not harm the book, you will get
results like the pictures below, where both bubble and art is damaged, and in bad cases, text might
be blurry and unreadable.

Even on an edge scanner, some books will have the print so close to the edge that you have scan it
like it was a normal scanner, and press the scanner lid down hard on the spine to get it scanned with
minimal spine shadow. This will in some cases harm the book, but is really unavoidable if you want
to do a good scan.

Settings while scanning

This part depends a lot on both what your scanner can do, but also on your scanning style.
Some scanners will do a lot of editing during scanning, with various gamma settings and color
You can do a lot of edits here, but I personally prefer doing those changes in Photoshop after, which
give me more control over my scan. I find it better to have a raw that is unedited, so I can
experiment with editing, than have 50 pages I have to rescan because I had some setting turned on
that made the scan look wrong.
Try to experiment and see what works for you, but my guide from now on is based on no setting
during scanning.
Paper type. Some scanners will give you the option to select which style of paper you are scanning,
and adjust the scan to that. In general comics are Newsprint, but this may vary depending on
comic, printing style, and if your scanner support it at all.
Descreen. Some scanners have a build in descreen option. Descreen is used to get rid of Moir
patterns (see for info), and some
scanners/editors swear that it is invaluable.
I found it to have next to no effect, and have used it on 3 pages total, all of which had an oldschool
photo in it, made with the halftone method. So I cannot recommend using descreen, but try it out
and see if you get some improvement with it.
Rotating. Some scanners got an auto rotate features, or can rotate every second page. I find it to be
a waste of time, because I check the pages as I scan them, and it is not uncommon that I have to
rescan a page due to spine shadow, the book getting nudged a bit, or other errors, and then the
rotating just mess up every other page anyway.
Scan to file or to Photoshop. Some scanners prefer to scan directly into Photoshop and have 20-50
files open at a time and edit them. Personally I prefer scanning to file first. If Photoshop crashes
after you are halfway done, you will understand why .

Black paper backing as you scan

Putting a black paper behind the scan can help on bleed, especially if the comic is printed on bad
paper, like the Cinebook comics are. I have recently started doing it, despite the extra work, and it
really helps, so I can highly recommend it.

Setting up Photoshop
First of all, you need to set Photoshop up correctly. Most of the settings are just fine, but there are a
few important ones you need to fix before starting.

Photoshop settings
Start by going into Edit > Preferences > General and go into the Performance tab. It will look like

In here is a VERY important setting, that I can only recommend increasing: History States.
This is the number of times you can go back in the History. History is basically an advanced
version of undo in Word, where you in Photoshop can go back to any earlier state. The default
setting is 20 states back. I have set mine up to 60. 20 might sound like a lot, but believe me, when
you start fixing a cover and maybe do 40 changes, it sucks having to start over because you messed
up at the start, and your history dont allow you to go that far back.
Here you can also set up how much RAM Photoshop is allowed to use. As mentioned earlier,
Photoshop is a RAM hog, and the more RAM you give it, the better. The default values here are
usually ok, but you can set it up to more, or less, if you prefer.

Then go into View and turn Rulers on. I dont personally use rulers often, but they are a great aid for
when you start out, or when you need something placed very precisely.
Then go in View and turn Snap OFF. Snap might have its uses, Im sure someone somewhere use it,
but when you are trying to crop a page, and it keeps snapping to the picture edge so you cant crop
it, you will get tired of it VERY fast. Better to make sure it is turned off at the start.

Finally you need two tools that are not standard in Photoshop, the Pattern Maker plugin, and the
Noiseware Professional plugin.

Pattern Maker
You can download the Photoshop CS5 Optional Plugins from Adobes website
( To install it, just copy the
PatternMaker.8BF (There are both a 32 and a 64 bit version, use the right one) to the Plugins\Filters folder in your Photoshop install folder, then restart Photoshop.
To verify it works, look in the Filter menu for Pattern Maker

Noiseware Professional
Noiseware Professional is an amazing tool to fix noise in the picture, and is something I use on
almost all pages. Its not a free tool, so you might go buy it from the makers website, or try to find
it somewhere.
The installer for it will usually work, but I have seen it cause problems, especially if you do not run
an English version of Photoshop. If so, manually create a folder called Imagenomic in the Plugins\Filters folder in your Photoshop install folder, and copy the Noiseware.8bf (32 bit) or
Noiseware64.8bf (64 bit) file from the Imagenomic install folder (default is C:\Program Files
(x86)\Imagenomic\Noiseware Professional Plug-in) into that folder.
You can then find Noiseware Professional in Filters > Imagenomic > Noiseware Professional

A fast overview over the tools in Photoshop

Photoshop can do a LOT of things, and when editing comics, you will not need 95% of them. Here
I will explain the basic tools that I use, and that I will cover later in this guide.

The Tools bar

The Tools bar is the main interface in Photoshop, and where you can find most of what you need. It
looks like this:

It has many more tools than you can see. If you right click on a button on it, you can select the
OTHER functions on that button. If you for example right click on the Spot Healing Brush tool,
you get this menu where you can select the other tools:

I dont use all the tools in this, but I will now list the important ones.

Marquee Tool
This tool let you select an area. I mainly use this to help me align the page, and to mark something I
want to delete. You can right click on this for more options, but I never used those.

Move Tool
This is simple enough, you use it to move objects around the page. If you just edit with my guide
and only use one layer, you will not need this, but as soon as you try to use a second layer, put in
text, or anything that add more objects, this is needed. This cannot be right clicked for more
Lasso Tool
You use this tool to mark an area like the Marquee Tool, but you use this freehand, so it give you
way more freedom than Marquee. You can right click on this for more options, but I dont use
Magic Wand Tool
This is an invaluable tool. You use this to mark an area. You click on something, and it will select
that and all that is the same color, or close, depending on Tolerance settings. I use this to clean up
the white between frames, and sometimes to clear noise in text bubbles.
If you right click on this, you get the Quick Selection Tool.
Quick Selection Tool
I use this for cleaning up text bubbles. I will explain how it works later in the guide.
Crop Tool
This is used to crop the image, and I use this on every single page. You can right click on this for
more options, but I dont use those.
Ruler Tool
This is used to help aligning the pages. You can find this by right clicking the Eyedropper Tool.
Spot Healing Brush Tool
This is an amazing tool, and with the Content-Aware update to it in Photoshop CS5, it is invaluable
to editing. This tool lets you click on something, like a dust speck or small print error, and it will
analyse the nearby area, and create a new texture to fill that area. Using this great tool, you can
easily fix all from minor errors to spine creases. This is one of the most important tools when
editing, especially if the scan has any kind of errors or need cleaning up.
If you right click on this, you can get several other tools, but I only use the Patch Tool.
Patch Tool
This tool is a great compliment to the Spot Healing Brush Tool, and is used mainly to fix bleed,
but can also be used to fix minor defects, or to quickly remove text for retexting purposes. This is a
situational tool, and hard to master, but a very big help when you need to fix larger areas.
Brush Tool
This work as a paintbrush, and I usually use this for repair work, fixing colors, especially near edges
or in small areas, where other tools will be too clumsy. If you right click on this, you can get several
other tools, but I only use the Pencil Tool.

Pencil Tool
This works like the Brush Tool, but as a pencil, so where the Brush Tool will make color at the
cursor area, and then more fading color near the edges, the Pencil Tool will not make fading colors.
This is good for minor touch up and small repair work, sometimes even for fixing fading letters, but
usually the Brush Tool is a better choice.
Clone Stamp Tool
This is a great tool for fixing scans. You can clone something and paint it over something else,
great for fixing color issues near edges. If you right click on this, you get the Pattern Stamp Tool.
Pattern Stamp Tool
This is a VERY situational tool, and I rarely use it, but once in a while it can be useful. This let you
clone in a Pattern, so you have to make a Pattern with the Pattern Maker plugin that is an optional
Plugin for Photoshop (see Photoshop Setup part of this guide)
Horizontal Type Tool
Most of you will never use this tool. This is how you put in text in Photoshop, and unless you plan
to start translating and retexting comics, it is unlikely you will need this. You can right click on this
for more options, but I dont use those.
Zoom Tool
You use this tosurprise, zoom in and out. I usually dont use it, I prefer the hotkeys for zooming
(CTRL +, CTRL -, and CTRL 0 to Fit on Screen), but if you dont like hotkeys, here it is.

Color Picker
This is where you select foreground colors (the white one in front) and background colors (the black
one in the back). The color it shows is the color you have currently selected.
Click on one of the colors to open the Color Picker window, where you can choose the exact color
you need.

If you use the Brush Tool or Pencil Tool, you will use the foreground color.
When you delete something, it will as default replace it with the background color. This I use a lot
for cleaning up the white between frames, borders, and inside bubbles.
The small double arrow icon will switch the two colors.
If you find a color you will need often, you can use Add to Swatches to save it. I use this for text
colors for scanlations.

One of the really nice tools in Photoshop is the ability to create actions. Creating an action is
basically just a recording of what you are doing, and then you can at the press of a button run that
action again. It is a small help on minor stuff like rotating a page 180 degrees, but a major help and
time saver on the advanced edits we get to later on.
If it is not turned on by default, go into Window > Actions
This will open the action window, which look like this:

To create an action, I recommend first making a new set (just like a Folder in windows), so your
own actions dont get mixed up with the default actions. Press Create new set
to make your
new set. Then press the Create new action button
to start making your action.
Here you give your new action a name, select where to put them, and if you want to bind them to a
key. Actions I use often I usually bind, so I can just press one of my F keys to rotate the page 180
degrees, another to resize my page, adjust canvas size, and save it.

Now let us try to make an action to rotate the page 180 degrees. That is an often used action, and
might as well be bound to a key. Here I have given it a name, put it in a set, bound it to run if I press
F7, and given it a green color in the Actions window.

Press the Record button, and let us make our action.

Go into Image > Image Rotation > 180

After the picture have been rotated, press Stop Playing/recording

You can now find your newly recorded action in the Scanning Guide set, or press F7 to run it.

This is how you make actions, and most of the editing I show you later on can be put into actions.

One of the really important tools in Photoshop is the History window. This allows you to test out
things and easily go back to an earlier step.
In this little sidebar, you can easily go up to 60 steps back (provided you set it up as I suggested
earlier, or you can only got back 20 steps). Just click on the step you want to go back to.
And until you do something else, you can also to forward again, so you can easily switch between
stages to see how a step in editing looks before and after.

Another really important Photoshop tool is Layers.
With layers, you can make layers on the picture you are working on, so you do modifications in
different layers, and add or remove them at will.
Some scanners use this extensively as they scan, I dont, but this is a question of taste.
They are also very useful when doing joins, which we get to later on.
What I use them for is for retexting.
If you need to input a lot of into, like a whole page of text, the best way is to make a new layer for
each text.
This means I can easily move the texts around, independent of each other, can change font, size and
so on at will, without affecting the rest of the picture.

On a simple page like this Piranha Club page, I have the background layer (the comic page itself),
and a total of 26 text layers.

Editing the basics

As I said earlier, the main work of scanning actually lies in editing. When you edit, you turn your
fairly bad looking scan of a comic into a work of art. To do this properly, you need training and a
few helpful guidelines.
When you start out, it will take forever, and the end result will not look as good as what scanners
with 5+ years of experience, and hundreds (or thousands) of scans under their belt can do. But we
all started out by creating a horrible mess of anything we put on a scanning plate.
In this guide, I will show you the normal steps that I go through while scanning, and show you how
to repair the various errors you WILL run into eventually. I will take a page from Yoko Tsuno 6 and
use that as a case study and show how to change that from a the raw scanned BMP file into a nice
finished JPG file ready for releasing.

The first thing you need to do will usually be to rotate your scan. Depending on your settings, as
mentioned earlier, you will first need to rotate some of your scans 180 degrees.
This can of course be made into an action, and since it is likely you will use it often, I recommend
doing so.
Go into Image > Image Rotation > 180

After rotating, you need to align the page. As you can probably see on this page, the page is not
100% aligned.

I found that a lot of comics do not have their frames aligned properly, so the image itself is not
100% straight, and thus you need your own judgment on how to align it. This page for example is
not straight, and you need to do a judgment call on which side you want to be 100% straight, or if
you want both to be a bit crooked, if that is how the page will look best.
You can use the Marquee tool and start marking from the upper left corner, to the lower right.
Then you should be able to see how badly the image is misaligned, as shown below.

For starters, the easy way to find out how much it should be rotated is by using the Ruler Tool.
To use it, find a long line that is supposed to run completely vertical, usually one of the sides. Click
on the upper side of it, and make a line with the ruler tool to the lowest part of the line.
Then it is time to rotate it. You go into Image > Image Rotation > Arbitrary
If you used the Ruler Tool, it will have filled this out for you, so you just need to press ok to rotate
it. In this case, the Ruler Tool says that the picture should be rotated 0,2 degrees counterclockwise.
If I used the Ruler Tool suggestion, the right side would be perfectly vertical, but when the image
not completely square, I prefer having both sides a little unaligned for symmetry.
I personally dont use the Ruler Tool, but just do it by feel. This looks to me like I need to rotate
the picture 0,3 degrees counterclockwise. So let us try to do that. That is easily done with these

As you can see, the result here is much better. But as you can see, the image is not 100% straight, as
I mentioned earlier, and it is thus impossible to get this perfectly aligned. In this case, I decided that
this is the best result.

Cropping and adding borders

Cropping the image is also something that there are a lot of opinions on. What I try to do on
NORMAL pages are to keep the page numbers at the bottom, and then crop as close to the art as I
can, and then manually create new borders after.
If the scan does not have borders that are 100% the same color, I will generally recommend keeping
them, then cropping as needed. You can fix something thats supposed to be of the same color, like
white or black, but if its changing color, you cant really replace it.
If there is art sticking out past the panels, you of course do not just crop that off, but move the
selection a bit. Then after you add new borders, you go into cropping again, and remove a part of
the new border, the same size as the part you left in before, so the image is centered again.

Special pages
If there is art on all of the page, or uneven colors, like on the example below, you can of course not
just crop and even make new borders, even if it means the main focus on the page is not completely
In the example below, on the left image, you have a page where there is art on all of the paper.
On the right image, I tried to make new borders to fit the color on the bottom left, and adding it on
the left side, to get the panels in the middle centred. As you can see, in these cases, it is better to not
add borders at all.

Normal pages
On a normal page, cropping is easy. Just select the Cropping Tool in the menu, and adjust the
selection to fit where you want to crop, like this.
As you can see, on this page, there is a text bubble on the third frame that goes outside the frame
border, so I have to move the crop selection a bit to not cut that off. And as you can see, I keep the
page numbers.

Then just double click on the page, to crop it, and you end up with a nicely cropped image, but with
a little border on the right due to the text bubble.
To properly illustrate this, I have added a little grey outside the working area, or you cannot see it
on the white background.

Adding borders
Now that we got the picture cropped, it is time to add new borders. Nothing is worse than having a
comic cut to the art, with no borders
There is a VERY simple trick to add new borders that does not require manual work, AND can be
put into an action.
Just go into Image > Canvas Size.
In here, you can set how big the canvas is, most people only use this for cropping, but it can be used
to easily make borders too. Just change the settings to percent and type in 105. This will increase
both the height and the width of the canvas with 5%, and fill in the new 5% with the background
You can use the Anchor arrows to select if you only wish to add it to one side, instead of it being
centered. This can sometimes be useful, but not on everyday books, just remember you can do it if

As you can see, we have now added some nice even white borders to the picture. You can see
where it was cropped, because the greyness in the paper between the frames and inside text bubbles.
The picture below has been cropped to adjust for the text bubble sticking out, as mentioned earlier.

Cleaning the borders and space between frames

Now that we got our nice cleaned borders, it is time to look at the leftover empty space. If you look
at the example below, you can easily see the difference between the nice white borders we made,
and the grey, dirty look of the rest of the empty space.

Luckily this is VERY easy to fix, we just need the Magic Wand Tool.
Select the Magic Wand Tool, and look up at the settings bar just under the menus. Here you can set
how the tool you got selected at the moment works.

In this case, we just want to change the Tolerance. When using the Magic Wand Tool this will
determine how wide a selection you will get.

If you set the tolerance too low, it will not select enough for your purposes. Here I have tried to set
it to 10 tolerance, and click on the empty space. As you can see from the selection, it is not enough.

The settings will vary from comic to comic. I usually use a setting of 75 tolerance to clean the
empty space between the frames efficiently.
After you have selected the area to clean, just press Shift + Delete, to quickly delete the selection,
and replace it with the background colors, which should be the same as you used when making
borders, in this case white.
If you just press Delete, you get a pop-up window with some selection we will not need for this.
As you can see on the close-up here, you now have a nice and clean page, with white borders, and
clean white space between them.

But what if you select too much? The biggest problem with this is that the Magic Wand Tool WILL
occasionally select too much. If you have even a small skip in a bubble or a panel, this will select a
whole text bubble, or even worse, art. If there is a small hole in the border line, this happens:

As you can see, the text bubble is cleaned, and a lot of the background on the right is missing. To
avoid this, you should always check the page before deleting (or after, and then go back a step in
history to deselect). To avoid this, you just need to deselect the parts you do not want to delete. The
selection looks like this:

To deselect something, you simply use the Marquee Tool or Lasso Tool, and hold down the ALT
key while making a selection around the parts you want to remove from the selection.
Since we need to clean the text bubble anyway, I only remove some of the text, and then all of the
background, from the selection.

Now we can delete the selection, and end up with the result we had before, but with the added
bonus of a partially cleaned text bubble.

Cleaning text bubbles

This is an important step, a step that a lot of people sadly ignore. The worst result you can see in
scanlations where they have deleted the text, and thus SOME of the greyness, and added in new
text, but didnt bother to clean the rest of the bubble, like here.

As you can see, it can look horrible, and in contrast to the nice white borders and space we just
made, we also need to clean the bubbles.
Originally, I used the Magic Wand Tool for this, at 25 tolerance, but that left the problem of
greyness inside the letters, as shown below.

So instead, we use the Quick Selection Tool. This tool is used to make fast selections of whole
areas, and is excellent for this purpose.
I have it set up like this

The 10 size is fairly good to do a fast selection in text bubbles, without getting art outside marked
by accident.
The Add to Selection setting means that you can select text bubbles REALLY quick, just zoom out
on the page, and mark them fast, dont need to do one at a time.

Beware that you will need to double check before and after using this, because you sometimes get
extra art marked by accident, like the upper corners on the first frame of the picture below, or not
get some part of text marked.
To deselect the art we marked by accident, just hold down ALT and use the Quick Selection tool
again to remove it from the selection, fast and easy.

Then we just use the Levels tool to clean the bubble, and as an extra bonus make the text a little
Go into Image > Adjustment > Levels
I leave the grey (middle thats set at 1,00) but change black to 30 and white to 200. This can change
depending on book and scanner settings, so experiment a bit.
As an added bonus, this can be made into an action, so you can do this with just a button press.

I found that just after doing this, do NOT deselect the selection, but instead check that you DID
mark everything, it is not uncommon to miss one letter, which will then have the old colors, and
stand out from the rest. To fix it, just go one step back in history, and use Quick Selection tool to
mark the missing text, and repeat the levelling.
This will NOT work if there is so much noise in the bubble that you need to do some manual
cleaning, like heavy spine shadow.
In that case, you will need to manually remove the greyness in those bubbles after, by zooming in,
and use Lasso Tool, Marquee Tool, Brush Tool, or Pencil Tool to remove the greyness.

With those settings, I get this end result. With a little training, you can clean the text bubbles like
this in less than 10 seconds pr. page, if there is nothing special you need to fix.

And to illustrate the difference, here is the picture from before, when I used the Magic Wand Tool
at 25 tolerance.

And here is a close-up of the same text bubble, done with Quick Selection Tool and Levels.

So as you can see, with a minimum of work, you can clean up the text bubbles, and make the comic
more pleasing to read.
This should of course not be done if the text bubble is any other color than white.

The next part is levels. Levels let you adjust brightness, contrast, and tonal range by specifying the
location of pure black, pure white, and mid tones in a histogram.
To find levels go up in Image > Adjustment > Levels. The Level window looks like this:

There are really two good ways to use Levels.

Some people will say you need to zoom to 500%, find the darkest and brightest spot, and use the
Dropper tools
With those, you can easily select what should be the pure black, grey and white. Zoom into 500%
and find the darkest pixel and the whitest pixel.

In my own experience, I find that you can with a little training do it just as good, or better,
manually. Usually I just adjust the black and grey slider. In a few rare cases I might adjust the white
slider a bit.

The settings for levels vary depending on the book and scanner settings. I find it that I usually set
the black close to the start of the peak, like this:

You can also set it manually, by typing in a number. Since I scan my pages all in one go, and know
the comic is not varying in color levels, I use the same setting on all pages, to get an even look.

Notice the Auto levels button. You CAN click it and make Photoshop do a guess on how the page
should look, I recommend against it. I find that you get a better result if you level manually, and if
the comic changes between dark and light color palette, using Auto Levels will give an uneven
result throughout the book.

Using levels is all about experience, play with it, and get used to the feature. But for Gods sake,
use it. Here is an example on an unlevelled and a levelled panel:
Notice how the levelled panel has good dark colors, mainly noticeable on the hair, whereas the
unlevelled has kind of a faded look.
Before using levels.

After using levels.

I find that after scanning a page, it is usually good to increase the brightness and contrast a bit.
To do that, go into Image > Adjustment > Brightness/Contrast

Some people might not need this, depending on scanner settings, but with my scanner and my
settings, I found that doing 15 Brightness and 15 Contrast suit my scans well.
Play around with it, to see what suit you the best.
Since this is depending more on scanner setting than on the book itself, I always keep the same
settings here. So it is a good idea to make an action for this.
Below is an example, using the same panel as before.

Color adjusting with Selective Color

This is where this guide will radically move away from some of the earlier guides.
They would tell you that the way to do color adjusting was to go into Image > Adjustment > Curves
and make a small s-shaped curve, as shown below.

This is the absolute worst thing you can do while editing, and I recommend NOT doing this.
Curves have three major drawbacks:
1. They are not precise. A few pixels difference on each page give wildly different results, so
the pages will vary in color settings.
2. They are very easy to overdo, and the end result varies from bad to a clich of oversaturated
3. They encourage overdoing the colors. Since the small s-curve looks like nothing, it is
tempting to overdo it. If you dont compare your edit with the book, but instead just do the
s-curve, you might get horrible results.
I used this when I started out, and the result still haunts my nightmares. Check out this example to
see what happens if you use curves instead of the Selective Color method I will show in a moment
As you can see, the first picture, I just used curves, and horribly overdid it, making all colors way
too bright and saturated.
The second panel is from the English version and here I used Selective Color, and compared my
end result with the book, where it was clear I should not have those bright colors I had on the first

With curves:

With Selective Color:

Instead, we will use Selective Color, which give you a much better control over your color
To start it, go into Image > Adjustment > Selective Color

In here, you can adjust the amount of Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black in all the primary colors,
white, grey and black.
This way, you can easily and reliably do a proper adjustment on the colors, without resorting to
making an s-curve and hope
The settings in this will vary depending on your scanner, and on the book, so you will like on the
other settings have to play around a bit.
You will find that you got a baseline you always use, and then adjust a bit, depending on the book.
For example, my scanner makes the colors too bright, and I tone them down in here, by reducing
the blackness in them.
On every comic I scan, I spend the first 3 or 4 pages adjusting my Selective Color settings, to make
sure they give a result that matches the books. After that, I know my settings are good, and I use
them on the rest of the book, which give me an EVEN result, not like anything made with curves.
My standard settings that fit my scanner are basically just to do -25% black for Red and Yellow,
and then adjust the cyan, blue and magentas as needed. On some books, I just need -25 in red and
yellow, on others I need to go up to -30 and adjust blue cyan and magenta too.
On the example page, I use -25 black in red and yellow and -30 black in magenta. Notice how the
red on Yokos clothes and the purple on the wing, and the pteranodons got adjusted.

Before Selective Color:

With Selective Color:

With Curves. Notice how the colors are way too bright, actually worse than what we started out
with. This is with an s-curve as close as I could make it from the example from another scan guide.

After the basic editing, you will most likely need to run a cleanup tool on your page. I recommend
Noiseware Professional, which is a plugin for Photoshop. Installing it is described earlier in this
What Noiseware does is to clean up the noise in the picture. This is NOT always a good thing,
and I recommend always testing it out on 1-2 pages to see the result before you start using it on the
entire comic. On sketch books and art books, especially drawn with pencil, you really need to make
sure it doesnt ruin anything.
To start Noiseware Professional, go into Filter > Imagenomic > Noiseware Professional

This is the Noiseware window, and I usually just use the standard settings.
To preview what the filter will do, you can use the Hand tool in the preview window, whenever you
hold down the left mouse button; you can see how the image looks before running Noiseware. If
you are satisfied with the result, press OK to run it.

The end result should clearly show why you use Noiseware.
Before Noiseware:

After Noiseware:

Replace Color
I recently started using this to make the black colors darker.
It is in Image > Adjustment > Replace Color

To use it, click on the color you will adjust, in this case, to adjust the blacks. So find a spot thats
supposed to be all black, and left click.
Then you adjust the settings for it, my default for blacks are -30 Lightness.
You can clearly see the difference on the examples on the next page.

Here is the image before Replace Color:

And here you see it after Replace Color. As you can see, the blacks look more dark:

Some people prefer to do this with levels, but I prefer to do it this way after, since levelling also
tend to affect the rest of the picture, not just the blacks, at least on the type of books I scan.

Editing black and white comics

Although editing black and white comics is like editing color comics, and there is a few important
differences you need to know.
First of all, if you scanned the book as black and white, it will be in Indexed Color instead of the
normal RBG Color that your normal scanned pages will be in.
First of all, before you do ANYTHING, you will need to go up in Image > Mode and select
If you dont do this, it will for some reason mess up the page when you rotate it. I dont know why,
but it will make strange errors, where it will move some of the page a little bit.
Below is an example, made by just rotating an Indexed Color page, and rotating it back again,
nothing else done.

So always remember, start by changing the image to Greyscale instead of Indexed Color.
Second, for some reason, the default setting for the Spot Heal Brush tool tends to change to Create
Texture instead of Content-Aware. I dont know why this happens, but always check that the
selection is set to Content-Aware before you start using the Spot Heal Brush tool when doing
black and white comics.

When editing Black and White comics, you get off easy, faster to do, but you need to pay more
attention to the levelling, and compare more to the book.
Some books might have perfect black levels, and needs proper levelling and replace color, others
are grey, and should remain grey, and true to the book, despite what a few people might say about
it. Always stay true to the look of the book.
So level properly, use Replace Color to make the black just the right shade of black, dont overdo it,
that will do more harm than good on black and white.

Editing Advanced repair work

After running all the previous steps, you will either be done, or have the hard work ahead of you,
depending on the scan. On some books, I just do the fast edits above and am done. On others, I will
need to use up to an hour fixing a page.
So zoom in a few times, and check out the page. I usually zoom in to 66.7%. Look for errors like
bleeding (being able to see parts of the art from the other side of the page, usually the panel borders
or text bubbles (clearly shown on most Yoko Tsuno example pages) or colored rings (shown in the
Replace Color part; those two panels alone had 3 of them).
If you find any errors, it is time to fix them.

Spot Healing Brush tool

This little tool is your basic repair tool, and the one you will use the most.
It has a few settings that will show up at the bar at the top, after you select it.

The size is important. With this, you select how big an area it will affect.
For Mode I always use normal, never found a use for the others.
For Type, ALWAYS use Context-Aware. Make SURE it is not stuck on one of the other settings,
since that will create a new texture instead, and look horrible. Content-Aware means that it will
look at the surrounding area, and create the best pattern for fixing the problem.
For a simple error, like the color rings, simply just use the cursor to remove it. You can either select
a size to fit the area, which would be easy for a ring, or you can use a small size, and hold down the
left mouse button to draw an area to replace, and that way remove the circle.

The weak point of the spot healing brush is that it replace with a best guess from the nearby area.
That is easy on a simple fix like this, but sometime the best guess is not enough.

You can easily run into a situation where it will take the wrong art, like this. Here, I have marked an
area of the background to get rid of traces of the frame border bleed.
As you can see, it took a guess, and replaced some of the area with art from the beak and fingers.

It is usually possible to use it to repair errors, but it can take some trial and error. But if the stuff you
need to repair is close to other artwork, you will need another tool.

Clone Stamp tool

This tool let you copy from one area to another. You can use this to paint with, by holding down
the left mouse button while you draw, to easily remove bigger areas, like the beak from the last
To use it, you hold down ALT to click on the area you want to copy from, and then press the left
mouse button on the place you want to copy to.

The size is important. With this, you select how big an area it will affect.
For Mode I always use normal, never found a use for the others.
Opacity let you select how effective it is. With 50% opacity, it will not replace what you use it on,
but instead put a 50% transparent copy over it, which is great for fading from one color to the other,
or fixing errors without ruining the texture. As example, here I have used it to put in the
background color over the beak, like shown below,

Aligned is important. It decides if the source area should always be the same, or move around with
your cursor.
If you do not have it checked, it will remember where you wanted to copy from, and reset to that
every time you let go of the left mouse button.
If you have it checked, it will remember how far your source was from your destination, and move
the source area around as you move the mouse.
This tool is great for repairs near black edges or other color changes, where the other tools will not
work, but it is NOT Content-Aware, and on some sorts of drawings it will be completely useless for
anything but minor repairs near edges.

Patch tool
This is a must for fixing massive bleeding, like the one you saw in the Yoko Tsuno page earlier.
This tool takes some getting used to, but is amazing for bleed fixing when you master it.
Basically, you mark an area with it that you want to replace the textures in, and drag that area to a
place you want to replace from. If you just use something like the Paint Bucket tool, you will get
colors replaced, but lose all texture and pattern. This will fix that problem.
If we take this panel, as you can see, it will need major repairs, you can clearly see the text bubbles
from the other side.

So you use the patch tool to mark the area you wish to replace. If you get too close to an edge, it
will make weird errors, so you can see I left out some space. That can be fixed with the Clone
Stamp tool after.

Now I just drag the marked area over to an area where I want to copy the textures from. In this case,
I choose the background without bleed on the right side, the one just right of the there!! speech
As you can see, this fixed most of the area. Since it is a big area, and the area to copy from is not
that big, I will have to do it a few more times to fix the area there.

After doing it a few more times, and using the Clone Stamp tool, the end result is pretty good:

This is a page with a LOT of bleed, and will take s

bleed areas are fixable.

ome time to fix. But as you can see, even bad

Pattern Maker
This simple tool was for some reason dropped from Photoshop, but can be installed as an add-on, as
described earlier.
I have used it a few times to replace backgrounds on very heavy bleed comics. This is a VERY
situational tool, but nice to know.
Lets say you want to replace a background with a color, to get rid of bleed. You could use the
Paint Bucket Tool, but it would kill all texture. Instead, you can create a pattern, and use that as
base to fill the area with.
Go in Filter > Pattern Maker
It will open a huge window:

Basically, use tools on the upper left to scroll around, and zoom in. Find an area you wish to make a
pattern from. Here I will use the background area we used for the Patch Tool earlier.
Mark a small area with the Rectangular Marquee Tool, and press the Generate button.

This will make a pattern of the area, as shown below. Do NOT press OK, instead press the small
Saves Preset Pattern

button, and give the pattern a name.

Press Reset, and then press Cancel.

Now select the Paint Bucket Tool, and select Pattern instead of Foreground. Then select your
newly created pattern on the select menu to the left of Pattern

You can now use the Paint Bucket Tool to replace the background areas with your created pattern.

As you can see, I replaced all the areas that was heavily affected by bleeding, apart from one, to
show you the difference.

And for comparison, here I have done the same, but just used the Paint Bucket Tool with a
foreground color, instead of making a pattern. It might be hard to see here, but all texture is lost.

On occasions where you have a two-page spread, and you need to stitch the two different sides
together into a single image, we call that process "joining", or doing a "join".
Joins can be easy to do, or be extremely hard to do, and will require all your skill, and a mix of most
of the editing techniques described in this guide.
The key to doing joins are using layers. Each part of the join should be on a separate layer until the
join is finished, and you will make a number of layers to work on as you do the join.
To start with the join, rotate and crop the pages, so they are ready to be joined.
Create a new image by press File> New
Make it the same height as the pages, and at least double the width of a normal page. If scanned in
400 DPI, an image size of 7000x4500 should be fine.
Then open each of your join pages, rotate and align them, and copy them over on your new image,
and try to line them up so they fit.
This join is a 5 part join, the book were oversized, so I had to do two scans of each over, and a scan
of the spine. Here I have put the 5 images together, so they align properly.
First, make sure the images looks the same. Levels can vary, so can color saturation and so on.

On occasions where you have a two-page spread, and you need to stitch the two different sides
together into a single image, we call that process "joining", or doing a "join".
Joins can be easy to do, or be extremely hard to do, and will require all your skill, and a mix of most
of the editing techniques described in this guide.
The key to doing joins are using layers. Each part of the join should be on a separate layer until the
join is finished, and you will make a number of layers to work on as you do the join.
To start with the join, rotate and crop the pages, so they are ready to be joined.
Create a new image by press File> New
Make it the same height as the pages, and at least double the width of a normal page. If scanned in
400 DPI, an image size of 7000x4500 should be fine.
Then open each of your join pages, rotate and align them, and copy them over on your new image,
and try to line them up so they fit.
This join is a 5 part join, the book were oversized, so I had to do two scans of each over, and a scan
of the spine. Here I have put the 5 images together, so they align properly.
First, make sure the images looks the same. Levels can vary, so can color saturation and so on.

This is easy to fix, since each part of the join, in this case 5 separate images, have its own layer. So
if one layer need to be levelled a bit, or get a little less red, you can use the adjustments from earlier
in the guide to try and get all the pieces of the join to look like each other.
When that is done, you can crop the image, and then double check that the pages are aligned. I
found out that the rightmost image was not properly aligned, so you can see a slight change on the
next picture.
This is a fairly easy join, despite it being 5 separate images. A good part of it is white background,
so we need to take care of that first. Just using the Magic Wand Tool to mark and delete will not
do the trick, since that will not work on several layers at once.
So I used the Magic Wand Tool to do a base selection of the white background, by selecting
Sample All Layers and selecting some of the background at tolerance 100. Then I made a new
Fill Layer,f rom Layer > New Fill Layer > Solid Color
You just need ot make sure that the new Fill Layer is the top layer, for it to affect all the lower
Then I again used the Magic Wand Tool, to mark all the other white areas, like the parachute
womans area, the small white areas between the girls legs and arms and so on, basically all that I
didnt get on the first cleaning, and made a new Fill Layer, also with white, to clean up the rest of
the background.
This is the end result, a good start, but as you can see still work to do, around the spine, since we
both had two joins, AND two spine creases there, due to this being a hardcover book.

First, I made yet another layer, just a normal one, in Layer > New > Layer
For this, I used the very basic editing method, the Clone Stamp Tool, with Sample set to
Current & Below.

With that setting, you can clone from the visible layer you click on, no matter which layer it is, and
clone to the new layer.
Here is before and after image.

The advantage of working on several layers, is that you can experiment, can always delete the layer,
or hide it to see a before and after effect, and see if you like the improvement.
Sometimes it is not enough to use the Clone Stamp Tool, so you might need the Brush Tool and
Pencil Tool.
Usually the Brush Tool will be more useful for comics, since the brush effect are usually what the
artist used, whereas Pencil Tool is better for fixing text, or small adjustments.
Both tools have their uses, but on a join like this, with many colors, and constant color variation, I
mainly used the Clone Stamp Tool to redraw the missing art, or fill out the missing areas.
After fixing it up, I ended up with a pretty good end result, as seen below.

And this is when everyone doing a join should remember to save a copy of the join as a PSD file, if
not done already. In this case I had 8 layers and it would REALLY suck to have to redo it all,
because I kept editing, merged the layers, and found an error later on.

Now that the hard part is done, joining the pages together, and fixing the obvious issues, join lines,
and spine creases, the layers should be merged.
To merge the layers, right click on one of the layers in the Layers tab, and select Merge Visible.
This will merge all the visible layers (doubtful you will have any layers you are not showing, if so,
delete those first ), and make a single layer image again.
Then you can start doing the normal editing work on the page, as described above.
I ended up with this:

Resizing and saving

When you are done editing a page, you will need to resize it, and save it. First of all, you need to
decide what size you wish to save it in.
Nowadays, with 1920 x 1080 being standard resolution on TVs and monitors, using anything less
than 1920 width would be stupid. True, tablets cant handle that big resolution yet, but they might
in a year, and then you would have to rescan the book.
Just look at all the old 800x600 scans out there, not future proofing is stupid. And despite what a
few people complain about, HD prices and bandwidth is cheap nowadays, it is always better to have
a 100mb scan that will not need rescanned, than a 50mb scan that will need to be rescanned in 3
years. True, we dont know if we are up to 3840 x 2160 in two years, but at least pick a resolution
that fit todays standard
Since covers, black covers, and pages with art all over the page, means that you can NOT always
use the same resolution on all pages, you got a choice to make. Some scanners use width as the
fixed setting, going for a 1920*XX resolution, and then have the height vary from page to page.
When reading comics, I personally prefer that the height is the fixed resolution, I find it less
irritating to read when the panels stay on the same height, but the width varies.
So I use a setting of 2300x3000, which should hopefully future proof my scans for a resolution
upgrade or two.

Resizing normal border pages

To resize your scan, you simply go into Image > Adjustment >Image Size and then you set the
setting for the fixed size you want. Here it is 3000 height, which I use. If you prefer a fixed width,
you set the width to your preference. And do not change the Constrain Proportions setting.

So far so good, now we got the image sized at 3000 height, but we also need to fix the width. That
is just as easy, just go into Image > Adjustment > Canvas Size
Here you select Pixels in the drop down menu, and set it to your preferred width, in this case 2300.
If you use fixed width, you set it to your preferred height instead.

Resizing special border pages

If your page is not a normal page, but instead have art that make it impossible to keep the normal
size, because it got art all over the page, you cannot resize both the width and the height. On the
page shown below, the art is covering all of the width of the page, so here I have to use 3000 height,
but only 2282 width instead of my usual 2300 width.

The same goes for covers, joins and so on. They will not fit your usual setting, but dont worry
about it, that is how the comic was made.

Saving the final page

When you are all done resizing, it is time to save the page.
First, if you used layers, merge them all, since jpg files cannot use layers. This is done by right
clicking on one of the layers and selecting Flatten Image.
Then go into File > Save As, pick your folder to save in, select JPG as file type (or whatever
format you prefer), give it a name, and press Save.
If you use JPG, it will then come up with the option to select your quality. Back in the old days,
quality 8 was normal, nowadays, most scanners use quality 10, some even use quality 12 for their
covers. In this case, I would go with quality 10.

There, your image is now saved, and you can move on to the next image.

Making a CBR/CBZ file

This is the easiest part of the whole thing. A CBR file is just a renamed .rar file, and a CBZ file is a
renamed .zip file.
Before you make your CBR file, it is a good idea to check the file names. Some people mess up and
use only Mycomic1, Mycomic2 and so on as file name, which is good, until you reach Mycomic10,
because readers sort the file names differently, some will know they order they were supposed to be
in, and others will sort alphabetically, which mean that in this case you get Mycomic1, Mycomic10,
Mycomic11, and so on, instead of the files in the right order.
Always use the same number of digits in the file name for all files to avoid this particular problem.
Then consider running all the files through a program like BatchPurifier (the free version can
handle jpg files) to strip all the junk info from the files. On a 100 MB file you can easily save a
MB or two.
Then rename the folder you got your scanned files in to the name of the comic, and pack it with
Winrar or Winzip. You can use 7zip or Ace or the like, but I have around 15 scanlations that can
only open in a few specific readers because they were packed in a non-standard program.
True, 7zip might be open source, but when you select some option in it that means that 95% of your
potential readers cant read your scan, it is fairly worthless.
So pack your file, and rename the result to a CBR or CBZ file, depending on the program used,
rename it to have info like year, company, if it is c2c or not, and your scanner tag.
And finally, proofread it. Check all the pages are there, that they are in the correct order and that
you have not made any blatant mistakes.
I usually use GonVisor for reading CBR files, but GonVisor is good at ignoring errors, which
means that there have been several releases where I checked with GonVisor, and got no errors, then
have people complain about errors in CDisplay. So I would recommend proofreading it in
CDisplay, just in case.

There, your comic scan is now ready for release.

Some of you might want to give scanlations a shot, and will then need to know how to put in text.
Retexting is actually very simple.
To start, you need to clean the pages of text.

Cleaning the bubbles

First, clean the bubbles. I personally like to keep as much as the original text as possible, so I dont
clean sound effects that dont need translated, and so on.
Of course this only applies as long as the text fits with the rest of the look of the retexted page. A
sound effect or scream, that also work in the language you translate to, might as well be left in, but
if it clashes with your chosen font, it has to go.
In this example, the Domenica Lone bubble clearly got another text colour, and a font quite
unlike the rest of the text, and should be replaced.

You can use the Marquee Tool or Lasso Tool to mark and delete the text itself, and then use the
Magic Wand tool to mark the rest, and clean it. It is IMPORTANT to clean the bubbles, just
removing the text and leaving eventual greyness looks horrible, as shown below.

You can also use a nice little tool, a Photoshop action called LimpiaGlobos, which a Spanish
speaking group made for cleaning bubbles.
I dont speak Spanish, and dont know half of what this tool can do, but just the parts I know how to
use means I love it.
At the moment, you can find it at the following URL, but I can of course not promise it will be there
when you read this guide. If it is gone, google LimpiaGlobos.
Download, unpack, and load it in Photoshop by clicking on the upper right corner of the Actions
window, and selecting Load Actions
You will then get a new group in your Actions window, called LimpiaGlobos.

This is a very simple tool, but also a very fast way to clean bubbles. The only requirement is that it
is CLOSED bubbles. If they are in any way open, you will select too much, and have funny results.
If it is a closed bubble, you have to clean it the old fashioned way, with the Marquee Tool or Lasso
Tool. Then use the Clone Stamp Tool, the Brush Tool or the Pencil Tool to clean the greyness
If the text bubble has color in it for some reason, you will have to use the Clone Stamp Tool or the
Patch Tool to overwrite the original text with the background color.
Select the Magic Wand Tool, and hold down Shift, and click on every text bubble you want to
clean. I dont recommend cleaning text bubbles thats supposed to have a color, so only use it on the
white ones.
Set white as the foreground color (yes, opposite of every other time you need to clean something.)
Then run the Planos (automtico) action, and it will clear all the selected bubbles for you.

As you can see here, it did a nice job of cleaning all the bubbles, and you would only have to clean
the text on art in panel 1 and 3 manually.

Cleaning text on artwork

But this leads to the next problem, cleaning text on art. This can be a huge problem, depending on
the book. If you are lucky, its simple job to use the Rectangular Marquee Tool to mark the area,
press Delete, and choose Content-Aware in Contents, like shown below.

But just as with the Spot Healing Brush tool, this means it take a best guess from the nearby
area, which in a case like this is no help, as you can see.

There are two useful tools to clean text like this: Clone Stamp Tool, and Patch Tool.

Clone Stamp Tool

The Clone Stamp Tool is the one you will use the most, since it is best suited for repair work,
which this essentially is. Areas like this is where the Clone Stamp Tool is best, since you need it to
fix the edges, no other tools will be able to do that.
So use it as normal, and use it at size 5-10 near the edges, to be more precise while using it.

This can take quite a while, especially on hard pages, like this one, where you will have to redraw
quite a lot of art. This panel is a good example, took me around 45 min to do this one panel, using
the Clone Stamp Tool, and a lot of patience.
On the upside, you will put text over the art again, so it does not need to be a perfect job, my page
on the right is not perfect, but no one will notice unless they zoom in, and there will still be text
covering most of it.

Patch Tool
The other way to clean a lot of text fast, and usually with a better looking result than than with the
Clone Stamp Tool, is to use the Patch Tool.
The benefit from the Patch Tool is that it most of the time dont do as much damage to the texture
as the Clone Stamp Tool might do.
Basically, select the Patch Tool, draw a selection around the text you want to replace, and drag the
selection to an area you wish to replace it with. It will preview the result until you let go of the left
mouse button, so you can drag the selection around to find the best place to copy from.

It will keep the color, but will remove the text, and replace the texture with the ones from the area
you copy from. So copying from the cleared white borders will remove all texture, you need an area
big enough to copy from.
This can be used on all from small areas like a colored text bubble, to huge areas like this. If there
are no space, you can use the Clone Stamp Tool at first to clean a small area, then use the Patch
Tool to replace bigger and bigger selections.

It is quick, easy, and give a better overall result than using the Clone Stamp Tool for everything.
The downsides is that you can NOT use it near any other art, text, lines, or the like, so if you got
text going into art, you can use the Clone Stamp Tool on that border text and remove that, the use
the Patch Tool to clean the rest.
All the individual selections here could be removed with the Patch Tool, after I used the Clone
Stamp Tool to separate them from any other art.

If you try to use the Patch Tool near any other art, it WILL mess up. Here is am example if I try to
remove the T, which both cross into the pink clouds, and get to close to the letters above. As you
can see, the end result is not prrtty, and here you would need to use the Clone Stamp Tool to
separate the T from the rest, as shown above.

Normally you should not use it anywhere near artwork, but it IS good for removing anything that
have straight lines crossing it. Look at this panel, the Accueil will be horrible to remove, 3
straight lines you need to redo, and the colour beween them.

To replace this, just mark the Accueil area, you can use the Rectangular Marquee Tool, or just
use the Patch Tool, and drag the selection down to the lines below, and it is done.

Picking font, size, and color
Since we are working on comics, the text formatting is important. In a book, you can get away with
long sentences, weird paragraphs, and so on, but in comics, you are bound to the size of the text
After your page is all ready, you need to use the Horizontal Type tool. Just select it, and use it to
drag a square around the area you want to drive in. This will create a new layer, with your text in it.
This have the nice advantage that you can have a layer for EACH sound effect, text bubble, and so
on, and can move and adjust them individually. NEVER merge the layers before you are ready to
release the book, AND if possible, still keep a copy, you never know if you need it someday.
You can also just click somewhere and start writing, but I find it easier to work with a limited area,
where it will do forced line breaks, you can then adjust as needed after you are done typing in the
The first important thing in a retexting is to find a font that looks like the original. Using Times
New Roman or Arial is simply horribly to look at. And if you decide to leave some text in, it is even
more important that they match. Here are a few good examples on how not to do it.

To find a font, the easiest way is to type a few words, mark them, and then go up in the text menu.

As you can see here, I am using the CCJimLee font, regular style, 6 point font size, smooth letters,
and I have centered the text.
Now we need a new font, simply just click on the font to select that area, and use arrow up or down
to scroll though fonts. You can use the mouse to select one at a time, but if I need to look though a
few 100 fonts to find a fitting one, using arrow keys are a LOT faster. As you scroll through them,
your marked worlds will be in the new font.

So find a fitting font, that look like the original, or at the very least look like it belong in a comic.
CCJimLee and Manga Temple are good all-round fonts for comics.
When you got a font, you have to pick a size. Switching font size from bubble to bubble is horrible
to read, and you really dont want either a too big a font (as you can see in the second example
above, where there is no way they could fit the text in the bubble), or a too small a font like the
example below.

And note that you can write in the size box, you do NOT have to stick to the offered choices; you
can a CCJimLee 5 pt if you write it, but can only pick 4 and 6 from the menu.

So after you have found a useable font, and found the proper size for your general text, you need to
find a font colour.
An easy beginner mistake is to use pure black as a font. It will work in a black and white comic, but
in a normal comic, a pure black will most likely stand out from the rest of the art, and be harder and
more irritating to read.
Here is an example, same panel with the font color I ended up using, and with pure black.
With custom grey/greenish color:

With pure black:

When you have decided on a font color, I recommend that you save it as a swatch, so you can easily
find it again later on.
A swatch in Photoshop is bascially a bookmark for colours, so you can be sure to use the exact
same colour the next time you need it.
To make a swatch, simply press the Add To Swatches button, and give it a name. You can now
find it in the Swatches window whenever you need it.

After you have typed in the text, or copied it from a document with the translation, depending on
preference, you will have a text that is fairly nicely placed, but you might want the layout slightly
different, either by splitting a word with a -, or by making line breaks. To make a line break, press
the Return key. Pressing the Enter key on the keypad will make you go out of typing mode. So it is
important to remember when to use which key.
It is of course important that the text stays INSIDE the bubbles, but how it looks in them is also
important. Just look on the examples on the previous page, where the text dont fit in the bubbles,
and are aligned to the left, instead of centered.
Of course, sometimes, having a text aligned to the left or right is ok, but the default setting should
really be centered. As you can see on the panel below, the word in the upper left could be aligned
left, depending on preference or how it looked in the original book, but the words in the bubbles
should have been centered, and placed in the middle of the bubble to look good. So think of how
your text should be placed to look best.

Sometimes you might have to split up the text, to go around a bubble, or to simply fit the flow of a
non-standard bubble, like in the examples below.

There are two ways to handle this.

The one used on the first panel, the obvious one, is to just make two individual layers, one for the
upper part and the left side, and one for the right side.
The second is in the Character and Paragraph settings. In here you can do advanced control on the
text, all from making it bold or italics, to setting scale, tracking and indenting. In the second
example, the last line had to be more aligned to the left, to fit with her head, so the Indent First Line
in the Paragraph tab is set to -20 for that line

Sometimes you will have to do other effects, like rotating the text, as shown on the first panel
To do that, simply hold down CTRL and drag with the left mouse button, or if you need to be more
precise, go into Edit > Transform > and rotate as needed. Useful for stuff like book spine covers.

You might also need to delete some parts of a text, like it is done on the fourth panel on the example
To do that, simply make the text layer, make SURE it is just as you want it, since you will NOT be
able to edit the text after. Then right click on the layer, and press Rasterize Type. You can now use
the Lasso tool or any other tool you prefer, to delete the parts of the text you dont need.
And do not be scared of using multiple fonts or font sizes on a single panel. Sometimes you will
need bold, italics, various sound effects, and different font sizes on the same page, depending on the
situation. Dont be afraid to experiment, and use them all. As you can see on the example, there was
a mix of various fonts and styles here.

You can also use different fonts and styles in a text. In the example below, some of the words are in
bold, but you can switch font and font size for every letter, if you need it.

There is one last important text editing tool you need, the Warp Text button.
With Warp Text, you can do various preset effects on the text. In the example below, I used the
Flag style on the first panel, and rotated the text a bit.
On the second panel, I used the Arch style.

You can also do simple, but effective effects by something as simple as changing the font size a
little bit from letter to letter, and rotating the text a little bit.
I have mainly used this in adult books, but it could easily be used in normal books too.
Here the font size for the moans change a little bit for each letter, and I used the Twist setting in
Warp Text to give it just a little twisted look.

You should now be able to retext like a pro, and work on scanlations, which brings us to the next

Proofreading why it is important

Translating is the hard part of a scanlation. You need to know both the language you translate from,
AND be at least fairly good at the language you are translating to. If not, you will at best get a bad
result, at worst a disastrous one, like the one shown below. Even a good proofreading could
probably not have saved this.
If you just run a book through Google translate, without being able to correct the numerous errors
after, you end up with a result like this attempt at scanlating:
Scanlation version:

Official English version:

But if the translator is decent, you will only end up with small mistakes like saloon instead of
bar and the occasional missing word, like the missing word on panel 2, it should have been I
know all the famous people around here.

Mistakes like these happen! And they happen to everyone, including myself. That is why you need
When I have translated a book, a native English speaker proofread my document of the translation
even BEFORE it goes to retexting.
After texting, I do between 2-5 proofreadings of the book, and get the errors fixed, and might do a
few minor adjustments that dont look as good in the book as it did in the translation text file.
So do yourself and everyone else a big favour and find a proof-reader.

Fact checking and names

This is just as important as the proofreading. I will start with the fact checking, because that is easy,
and most people agree on this one

Fact checking
This is not something you need on every books, but on most historical books, or books that refer to
real places, it is important that you get the references right, AND that you name them in the
language you translate to.
A good example is the scanlation of Borgia 4, by Jodorowsky and Manara. I proofread the fourth
book, and I had to go back to fact check and match the names.
In the fourth book, some of the proofreading was simple, like making sure that the historical names
was correct. On a page, there were references to two families, the Colones and Sforca. On that, a
simple Wikipedia search about the Borgia family revealed that the names in English were Colonna
and Sforza. It most likely happened because the names were like that in the language it was
translated from.
It was worse with another known historical figure, Giovanni Borgia, who had the Spanish name
Juan due to marriage. But in the translation, he was named Huan, again because of the language it
was translated from, but that had to be fixed.
Lucrecia Borgia was also named wrong. Figuring out what to call her was not exactly made easier
by the fact that she was named Lucrezia in the scanlation of book one and the Heavy Metal version
of book 2-3, Lucrecia in the scanlation of book 2 and 3, and a third name in this book. It was settled
on Lucrecia, due to the earlier scanlations choice, despite Lucrezia would probably have been more
historically correct.
So if you are translating anything that refers to real places or persons, do a quick fact check, to
make sure that the names and references are correct.

On the topic of names, I will most likely get unpopular. Some people think that names should stay
the same no matter what, some want to change them all to fix the language they translate to, and
some pick a mix of the two.
I favour changing names if it make sense to do so. There are a few reasons for that.
If you were for example translating a manga, changing the names to Jim, Joe and Bob would be
horribly out of place, but in a book that are westernized, keeping the original names can sometimes
be even worse.
A good example is the scanlation of Agent 327. Agent 327 is a Dutch comic about a secret agent
named Hendrik IJzerbroot. Hendrik IJzerbroot would look horribly out of place as the main
character of an English book, and I renamed him to Henry Ironsides, whereas a side character like

Olga Lawina still works in English, her last name means Avalance in English, but since her name in
the Dutch version is also Lawina, I decided to keep it.
Sometimes a name for side characters should still be kept. For example, I choose to keep the sailor
In other cases, the names have hidden jokes, and those should in my opinion always be translated,
and made to fit the language they are translated to.

As an example, Little Spirou has in-jokes in most of the names

One of the girls is named Suzette Berlignot in the French version. Suzette is both a name, and a pun
on sucette, which means lollipop. Berlignot is a pun on berlingot, which means hard candy.
I could go all the way and call her Candy Kane or something, but that sounds like a stripper, and
totally unfit for the book, and I settled on Susan Topps. I named her Susan as an English version of
Suzette, and Topps as a reference to the candy company Topps, which makes lollipops and hard
The math teacher, Claudia Chiffre, is obviously a pun on Claudia Schiffer, but also on the French
word for number. But Chiffer dont really work in English, so I ended up with Claudia Cipher,
which still work for a math teacher.
Or the poor orphan, named Andre-Baptiste Deperinconu in the French version. His last name is a
pun on having no father. He was raised at the local orphanage by nuns, so Andre-Baptiste works
there, but for the last name, I went with Angelson, because his parents are with the angels. But his
real father is really the local priests, named Angelo, so it is also a reference to him, because he
named the kid, and cant admit its his son, but is still proud enough to make a reference to himself.
Or my main project, the Danish comic Valhalla, a comic about the Nordic gods. Those already have
names in English, so I had to do a lot of research on those, to make sure I used the right names.
In the best cases, the name was the same, like with Thor or Odin, or only differed a bit, like
Loke/Loki, and Freja/Freyja, but when we got out to the more obscure myth, it took a lot of time to
find the right myths, like the one about Starkodder or Regnar Lodbrog.
But this is really time well spent, to make the translation perfect, and I can highly recommend using
the extra time to get it right.

Keeping track of names

This is something most people dont bother with, and it is the reason that I have seen the same
character have four different names in TWO books, because the book was not proofread, and the
translator hadnt made a list of important people.
For the aforementioned Valhalla, I keep a list of important people, places, sayings, and random
things I know I will need. The list is at book 11 over 100 lines long.
Below is just a little part of the list, so you can see exactly WHY it is important to keep a list, so
you can keep track of the names you used in an ongoing series.

Danish name

English name

Vile og Ve

The Gods:
Vili and Ve



Names of other things




Fenris Wolf
Midgard Serpent, Jormundgand
Mimir's Well


Odins wife
Odins son
Odins son, blind
Brages wife
was called the White God
God of agriculture
Godess of love
God of war
God of thunder
King of the gods
Tjalfes sister
Thors servant
Thors wife
Just a head, Odins advisor.
God of fishing or something like that
Thors son
Thors daughter
Odins brothers
Thors illegimate son with Jernsaxa
The wisest of the Vanir, created from the
gods saliva
The fake human that the Aesirs made to be
the richest man, for the hostage exchange

The Tree of life

The Aesir gods, Thor, Odin, and so on
The Vanir is another tribe of gods, mixed with
the aesirs. Freyjr, Freyja and Njord are Vanir
Thors hammer

Thors goat
Thors goat
Rainbow bridge between Midgard and Valhalla

the spirits of the fallen warriors

Heimdalls horn

Brok og Sindre

blood brother
Sons of Ivaldi
Brokk and Eitri


l, fisse og hornmusik

Wine, women, and song

The chain holding the
fenris wolf


Odins horse
dwarf smiths
Dwarf smiths
Valhallas cock
The pig that regrows its flesh for eating in
Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we all
Jotunn horse, later given to Magni
Chain made by Brokk and Eitri to chain up the
fenris wolf
Freyrs boar, made by Eitri
Freys ship, made by the Sons of Ivaldi
Odins golden ring, made by Eitri, drips a copy
of itself every 9 days

Golden Bristles

Final words
As you can see, scanning, editing, and retexting is not so hard, most people can do it.
Personally I cant draw a stick manatee, but I can edit comics with no problems.
But there is one last thing you should know

The older scanning bibles were exactly that, bibles, saying do thisthis is not a scanning bible,
this is a scanning guide.
What you have read in this guide is how the Man-Arrr-Tee edits comics. If you can use most of it,
its just great. But what you should really do is to get your own style, use this as a base, and see if
you cant find smarter ways to edit, or ways that suit you better.
When I started scanning, I grabbed a DCP Scanning Bible, and I used that, then found out I could
get much better results by doing things my own way. So experiment, play with Photoshop, and most
of all, have fun scanning comics.
The Man-Arrr-Tee