printable photo scale bars

Homepage Forums Digitizing, Photographing, and Curating Fossils printable photo scale bars


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    Eleanor Gardner

    Click on the attachment link below for the scale bars. 🙂

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    Jack Kallmeyer


    For rookies like me, how does one get these scales from the pdf file into a photo file? Or is that not the purpose?


    Dear Jack @jkallmeyer,

    You can open the PDF file with Photoshop, a window will pop up asking you what page you want to open, select the PDF with the scale bars, it will open in PS; now you can select the scale bar you want with the rectangular marquee tool, press command c, then command n, enter, command v, save that frame on your desktop with command s and name it as you wish.

    Then you will have the selected scale bar in a separate frame and can use it for all your images as drag and drop.

    I hope that helps!

    all the best,


    Jack Kallmeyer


    Thank you. I’ll have to give that a try.  I’ve been up to my elbows recently and haven’t had any time to play.  This is how I have learned the few things I know how to do in Photoshop – someone who is experienced sends me instructions on how to do a new thing.



    Jack, you can call me for any kind of PS problem that might come up … I would say that I have learned some skills over the last 15 years with the program and I would love to help wherever I can.




    Donald Muller

    Hi Ronny,

    Hope all is well.  Can these images be printed, placed next to a specimen then photographed or scanned? Would the scale bar size be accurate if this method were used?



    Eleanor Gardner

    Hi Don! @don-muller

    Welcome to the myFOSSIL community! We are glad you’re here.

    I can help you out on your question, as that is exactly how we intended that the scale bars be used! 🙂 To double check, you can always print out the scale bar page and then compare against a ruler. We hope that this set of scale bars will be useful to many community members. Have fun photographing!



    Hey John,@john-christian, I just forward your very helpful info into the right forum but again thanks for this.
    all the best

    original post from John-Christian:

    You can also order photo scales with the geological time divisions on the back from the Geological Society of America.


    Ronny – thanks so much for sharing these printable files! Really helpful.




    sure .. one does what one can 😉

    stay tuned for the next tutorial about digitizing fossils that will come up by the end of the week and give me some feedback



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