How To: Scan And Open Money Images In Photoshop

It has long been said that Photoshop refuses to open or print any scanned money images. It just won’t. It’s a security feature that the governments have asked Adobe to implement. How it works is still a secret. However, it’s not that hard to figure out that it digitally scans the image, and if it is a scanned bill, it will detect it, always. Many people have tried to get Photoshop to open up a 5 dollar bill, for example, but Photoshop just won’t do it.

Well, as with everything else, there is a way to do it. And, it is actually Adobe themselves that have made it possible. It is not known if it was purposely done, but it works, every single time. The workaround is quite simple, and it will enable you to open up money in Photoshop from that point on.

Of course, everyone knows it is illegal to print counterfeit money, and that if you are convicted, you’ll get hefty jail time to look forward to. However, this little workaround is for you as a designer. If you want to incorporate a piece of an image of a 5 dollar bill for example, here’s how you do it. Always remember though, there are rules for this, and they are to be followed. Enjoy!


  • comment-avatar
    Andy Lawniczak 9 years

    I don’t have imageready, so i tried it in photoshop and exported as a PSD. Worked like a charm.

  • comment-avatar
    My Self 9 years

    And since CS5 does not have Imageready, what then?

    Andy Lawniczak: You said you “tried it in photoshop and exported as a PSD. Worked like a charm”. Can you help us understand how you OPENED it in
    For many of us, the problems begins there.

  • comment-avatar
    Ken Tender 9 years

    Ok I just figured out how to get this done as for some reason I don’t see how he said to do it here. I kept thinking about it and worked it out this way. This at least helps in a pinch. Open the photo of your bill up in any other program such as Windows Photo Viewer or whatever. Make it full size the way you want it and then take a screen shot by simultaneously holding down your control button and print screen buttons on your keyboard ( if you’re using Windows ). If you’re on a mac then I think you have to hold down the command, shift, and the number 3 key simultaneously. You can do the number 4 key for a selection of the screen.

    Now, open photoshop and then go to file > new > blank file or simply do Control + N and it takes you there. Then go to edit > paste or simply do Control + V and it will paste your screen shot into the new blank file. Voila! Let me know if this helps somebody.

  • comment-avatar
    David 9 years

    I’m not sure that’s legal…
    … Tender.

  • comment-avatar
    SEspider 4 years

    This post DOES NOT tell us, at all, how to get Photoshop to let us edit images of paper currency. Just three lousy paragraphs telling us it’s not normally possible and that there is a way to get around the issue for artist. But it DOES NOT tell us how to actually get around it!

    I just want to use part of a bill for a project. But Photoshop refuses to let me do it! I don’t plan to show the serial numbers. I basically just need 1/3 of the bill for the project.