How To

Resize Digital Photos

For Website Use



Today's multi-megapixel cameras take very clear pictures, but the file sizes of those pictures can be huge.  Big image files take a long time to email, fill up mailboxes, and need to be reduced for use on a website.  On the flip side of the size issue is that many email programs reduce the image in size for mailing, often to 640x480 or less.  These are way too small to use on the website; if the webmaster blows them up to 1280 or 1500 pixels wide, they become very blurry and grainy.

The first thing the webmaster does when receiving emailed photos is to resize them to 1280 pixels wide, which fills up most displays.  Also, resizing the photos results in a JPG file that is about 10% of the original size!  Small file sizes like that email very quickly, and do not fill up mailboxes at the other end.

Since the photos posted on the website are 1280 pixels wide, it is nice to actually start with a slightly larger photo so that some cropping can be done if necessary and still have a finished photo in the 1280 pixels wide size.

The goal in effective web managing is to use photos that fill up most screens, but download quickly.

So the guidelines are:

If you think it may require some cropping, resize it to 1500 pixels wide before mailing.

If you are sure that it requires no cropping, resize it to 1280 pixels wide before mailing.

Resizing Digital Photos

Method 1: Set the camera to 1280x1024 image size

The best fix is NO fix.  If your camera allows you to set the default size of the images, set it to 1280x1024 (or 1280 by whatever) when taking ULLR photos.  Then you will not have to resize the pictures on your computer.  Consult your camera's manual for how to do this, look through the on-screen menus, or ask a teenager how to do it.


Method 2: Use your email program to resize the images for emailing

Many email client programs allow you to resize photo attachments for email messages.  This only affects the photos that are attached to the email, and the photos on your computer are left at their original size.

If you use Windows Mail (in Microsoft WinVista/Win7/Win8), do the following:

1) Open Windows Explorer

2) Find and select the photo(s) you want to email

3) Right-Click on the selected photo(s), and pick "Send To... Mail Recipient"

4) In the Attach Files dialog box, select "Large: 1280x1024"

5) Complete the email message and Send


Method 3: Resize each photo on your computer using photo-editing software

Most photo-editing software allows you to resize the pictures.  Resize each of the photos to the width in the above guidelines.  Some of the more common programs are Adobe Photoshop, Corel PaintShopPro, Microsoft Office Picture Manager, and Apple iPhoto.  Consult the manuals or help files to determine how to resize photos using your specific program.  You may want to copy & rename (or do a Save As with a new name) the resized files so that you can keep your original photo files untouched.


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Updated 07/11/2017