I want to digitize my old family albums using a scanner and there are lots of photos in them. Thus far, my method has been to scan 4 images at a time and then manually cropping them in a simple editor like Picasa or Windows Live Photo Gallery. This has been pretty time consuming as each scan is followed by 4 crop operations. Scanning each image individually would possibly be even more time consuming.

Is there any software or simple plugin (preferably free) that does this job? The best solution I have found is in Photoshop, but that's an overkill. Is there a similar feature for one of the free photo editors like Paint.NET or GIMP?

  • There is a similar question - photo.stackexchange.com/q/5192/1977 - but that deals with more with equipment & external lab solutions
    – ab.aditya
    Nov 5, 2011 at 4:59
  • I wouldn't underestimate Photoshop's usefulness... It has incredible batch capabilities for what you're talking about, but also has an impressive set of other useful tools for photo manipulation. Even an older+student license (which would be much cheaper) would be an asset in any image tinkerers hands.
    – Jane Panda
    Nov 8, 2011 at 14:47

12 Answers 12


If you don't know the crop boundary then you can use Fred Weinhaus's multicrop script (this script also uses Imagemagick). The script also handles different photo sizes and rotated images.

Example (book covers):

Scanned image (input.tiff):

original scanned image

multicrop input.tiff output.tiff



enter image description here


enter image description here

  • I gave this a shot (had to install cygwin with bc on my Win 7 laptop to run the script), but I end up with the error ")syntax error: invalid arithmetic operator (error token is " on any file I run it on. I've tried it on different files & types with no luck
    – ab.aditya
    Nov 6, 2011 at 9:34
  • 1
    I don't have much experience with Imagemagik. How do we use this script?
    – Stevoisiak
    Aug 9, 2017 at 18:37
  • @Stevoisiak 1. install ImageMagick sudo apt install imagemagick 2. download the multicrop script (it is very down low on the linked page under the huge table) 3. put the script into same directory as the photo 4. open that directory in terminal 5. run it e.g. ./multicrop original.jpg cropped_output.jpg
    – jave.web
    Mar 10, 2020 at 17:59
  • any chance this could be automated to run on a whole folder?
    – cirko
    Jul 10, 2020 at 14:00

Is it a safe assumption that you know the crop boundary and image size for complete batch? If that is the case then you can use convert tool from Imagemagick.

Something like:

convert orig_file.jpg -crop <w>x<h>+0+0 1.jpg
convert orig_file.jpg -crop <w>x<h>+0+<h> 2.jpg
convert orig_file.jpg -crop <w>x<h>+<w>+0 3.jpg
convert orig_file.jpg -crop <w>x<h>+<w>+<h> 4.jpg

Where <w> is original_image_width / 4 and <h> is original_image_height / 4

More crop usage with convert.

  • 2
    And if you don't know exactly but can get it close, look at ImageMagick's trim to remove the remaining border.
    – mattdm
    Nov 5, 2011 at 14:24
  • Inspired by your answer, I wrote a Perl script to automate ImageMagick's cropping process: lenschulwitz.com/scripts/lens_autocrop.tar.gz The script also does quick photo rotation and labeling.
    – schulwitz
    Aug 23, 2021 at 20:03

I stumbled upon a GIMP script called Divide Scanned Images that worked pretty well for me. It has an input interface and even supports batch processing of files. It's not entirely foolproof, and you may need to adjust the "Abort Limit" and\or "Background Sample Corner" settings to get the script to work properly.

I had tried the ImageMagick multicrop script without much luck, and it may be due to the fact that I'm trying to use the software on Windows with cygwin.

  • The problem with this one is all bets off if you want to keep your tif's 16bit, it doesnt support that.
    – blamb
    Oct 20, 2016 at 6:47
  • Yep the multicrop doesn't crop all photo scans, some it does some it doesn't
    – jave.web
    Mar 10, 2020 at 18:09
  • Many thanks for this answer! I believe the link is now broken. Please try this one instead: github.com/FrancoisMalan/DivideScannedImages Feb 19, 2021 at 21:59

Check out AutoSplitter at http://autosplitter.com/ It does just that. Divides, splits, deskews automatically. You can also adjust the cropping/rotating parameters if you want.

  • Sounded good, but cant control quality of output, i want to keep the 64bit RGBI
    – blamb
    Oct 20, 2016 at 6:59

Its not free, but VueScan is one of the best pieces of scanner software around. Its been in business for a long time, and the software is the most feature rich I have used. It has a multi-crop mode where you can set multiple crops on a single scan. Your trick is to get the photos in the same place each time.

  • Im not sure, but i believe it runs a pass for each scan, so 9 minutes on a 3 pass for a bed of 4 pics, turns into 36 mins, one for each image. so i need a solution that doesnt multiply scanning times.
    – blamb
    Oct 20, 2016 at 6:49
  • 1
    Ok i stand corrected, i have used the hell out of the cropping features and hands down the best one to use for rectangular non overlapping photos is to put them in the same place(or not, but saves time), use MF mode, but preview and finetune the crop on each bed of image before each run, takes about 20 secs, then the pass is only about 9 minutes TOTAL on my HP7410, using 2 pass 600 dpi four 4x6 images. This is great piece of equipment.
    – blamb
    Oct 25, 2016 at 22:29

After having to Google this issue myself, I decided to write some instructions on how to do this with either Adobe Photoshop (if you already have that), or with GIMP (for free). GIMP turned out to work better in my case. Complete easy-to-follow instructions can be found here: http://wp.me/p1YGyn-s9


I think this is what you are looking for


This page includes instructions for splitting photos with Photoshop, and also offers a free plugin for Gimp to do the same. From the page:

In this post I’ll show you two ways in which you can automatically split a (collection of) scanned pages, each containing several photos, into individual image files. My experience is that for this GIMP works better than Photoshop, and as an added bonus: it’s free!

  • Yay old threads.
    – Linuxmint
    Dec 2, 2013 at 5:13

For anyone else coming across this question and going down the GIMP + scripts path (like me)...

Check the software that came with your scanner!

I was all ready to run the post-processing scripts only to discover that my scanner's crappy software (the MP Navigator EX that comes with my Pixma MG5200) already broke up my multiple scan image into separate pictures. Surprising, and saved me an extra step.

So do a scan first, and see what happens.


Try PicaJet FX - it's optimized for scanning and cropping multiple images at once. Thanks to 3D acceleration support for the basic operations like image cropping and rotation are very fast.


PicaJet FX is a product of our company.


Absolutely free, very light, and powerfull for simple (and sometimes more complex) tasks : IrfanView

  • 2
    thanks. Can you expand your answer by including instructions on how to get this done with IrfanView?
    – urig
    Jan 5, 2020 at 13:50
  • knowledge.parcours-performance.com/… (google translate needed)
    – Oliver
    Jan 10, 2020 at 15:04
  • 1
    By default IrfanView cannot split (csanned, opened) images to multiple images (as far as I know). The linked french article is only about batch conversion, again nothing about splitting
    – CLS
    Feb 8, 2021 at 17:13

ScanSpeeder will scan multiple photos and automatically crop them into separate photos.


I have this problem myself. The best thing, so for me, was to open the pictures in Adobe Acrobat in one file, and use the crop feature and expand that to each page. I then export them, or save as pics (tiffs). My only problem is having to rotate them. I am going to see what Adobe Lightroom can do for me.

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