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
Become a Patron of Ask Leo! and go ad-free!
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
Enter 50 for both the Horizontal and
Vertical percentages and press OK. The result
might look like this:
making changes to an image.”
Now hit File, Save As… and save the new,
smaller image using a different name. Here’s the result, next to the
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.