How do I make a picture smaller so I can post it on myspace? The pictures I take are huge when I post them.
I’m going to assume you mean smaller visibly. Perhaps the picture, when displayed, is too large to fit on the screen and you want to make a version of the picture that might fit in a smaller area on the screen.
Windows comes with a tool that will allow you to make these kinds of simple changes.
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What we’ll really be doing is “image editing”. There are many, many programs out there that will allow you to manipulate images; the most common you might recognize is Adobe Photoshop, but there are many others. They’re can be extremely powerful and allow you to make many different types of changes to a photo or image.
But if all you want to do is resize an image, the Paint program that comes with Windows will do just fine.
We’ll operate on this example picture:
That image is 200 pixels wide by 342 pixels high.
Let’s assume that’s too big for our purposes, and we want it to be smaller on the screen.
First open the picture in Paint. Paint should be on Start, All Programs…, Accessories. Once you have Paint open, hit its File menu, and click the Open item, and locate and load your image file:
Let’s assume we want the new picture to be half the size of the original – 100 pixels wide and 171 high. Click on the Image menu and click on Stretch/Skew…. In Paint terminology we’ll be “stretching” the image, which includes making it smaller. You’ll see this dialog:
Enter 50 for both the Horizontal and Vertical percentages and press OK. The result might look like this:
Now hit File, Save As… and save the new, smaller image using a different name. Here’s the result, next to the original:
There’s another approach to making a picture smaller called “cropping”. Rather than resizing the entire picture, we simply cut out portions of the picture. In Paint one way to do this is to click on the Select tool:
And then clicking and dragging a smaller rectangle within the image:
- Click on Edit and then Copy to copy the selected area to the clipboard
- Click on File and then New to create a new image
- Click on Edit and then Paste to paste clipboard contents into the new image.
The result might be something like this:
Once again hit File, Save As… and save the new image using a different name. And again, here’s the result next to the original:
Here you can see that the picture is “smaller”, in that it takes up less space, but the portion of the original that it still displays is the same size.
A few additional notes.
It’s important never to overwrite your original when making changes to an image. Each change you make has the potential of losing information. For example making an image smaller makes it less clear. You can resize that smaller image back to its original size, but it’ll look fuzzier than the original. Similarly once you crop an image, you can’t “restore” the cropped areas.
Resizing images is a great way to make pictures more friendly to folks you might email. I’m always getting pictures from people who’ve sent me their original high resolution image that doesn’t even fit on my screen. Yes, there are ways I can view it, but there was simply no reason to send that huge file in the first place. Resizing it, as outlined above, not only makes it easier to view it can also significantly reduce the size of the email carrying it as well.
I use Paint in this example because it’s with every copy of Windows. It’s not really that good a program, and can be a little difficult to use. If you find yourself doing this frequently, you may find that many image viewers also provide rudimentary editing capabilities for cropping and resize and more. And the next step, getting a “real” image editing program, is a recommended option as well.