How Do I Print Pictures from Websites So They Look Good?

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I would like to know the simplest way to print a small to medium image from a web page and have it print out as a crisp picture to fit an 8-1/2″ by 11″ sheet.

This is a simple question that turns out to have both a very simple and a fairly complex answer.

The simple answer: you can’t. Not most of the time, and not with what you’re asking for.

The complex answer, of course, is: it depends.

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Can I get malware from a picture?

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Leo, I am terrified of getting a virus or some form of malware by clicking on a photo on the web such as an image in Google Image Search or on a forum where someone has posted a thumbnail image to a larger photo. I frequent a photo sharing website and asked the webmaster about this and he sent me this reply: “Well, technically speaking, a picture cannot contain malware. A picture can contain malicious code, which can only be executed by computers, which are already infected with a special virus designed to execute that malicious code. The name of that virus is “Perrun” and it’s more of a proof of concept than an actual virus. If you’d like to be on the safe side, I suggest you look for a freeware online to verify that you are not affected with the “Perrun” virus. Then you can click any photo you want on the web and not worry about catching anything.”

Now I use Google Chrome as my default browser and I frequently use the right-click “Search Google for this image” feature and find the highest resolution of a photo. I have even installed the VirusTotal.com VTchromizer extension to my browser and use it to pre-scan every photo. But still, just the act of right-clicking a thumbnail image worries me. Please help me. Am I worrying for no reason or am I at risk?

This is an interesting question for a number of reasons.

The pragmatic answer is no. You’re not going to get malware from a picture and it’s not something I’d worry about at all.

However, behind that answer are a few very important assumptions that I think people need to understand.

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Is There Software that Will Transform Poor Quality Images and Videos?

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Hi, Leo. I’ve recently come across a number of apps that claim they will transform your poor quality media files into a higher quality format, such as HD for video files. Now, I don’t know enough to say that it’s just not possible, but I do remember a golden rule from my photography days. If it isn’t on the film from the start, no matter how skilled you are in the dark room, it won’t be on the print in the end. That was in relation to the exposure in the film; if you don’t expose the film sufficiently to form an image, then all was lost. Surely, this implies to computer files also. Or am I missing something?

Fundamentally, you are absolutely correct. You can only have so much information in an image. When you take a picture, that is all you have. You can’t enhance it to create more information than what’s in the existing image.

It really annoys me when a police drama on TV has a scene where somebody enlarges an image and zooms in on a tiny area… to find that area is now all of a sudden enhanced and crystal clear.

In real life, it just doesn’t work that way. Still, there are some things that can be done. Let me talk about that for a minute.

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Why Can’t I Forward an Image in Email?

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When I attempt to forward an email that has a picture, an error message pops up that says, “One or more pictures could not be found and will not be sent. Do you still want to send the email?” If I say yes, the email will go without the picture. Without the picture, the email loses its effect, the impact, or its humor. I’ve asked many people, searched everything I can think of, and cannot solve this problem.

Images in email are one of the most common sources of problems and frustrating aspects of email. Having problems with sending images is not at all unusual. In fact, there are so many different things that can go wrong  that I’m surprised sending images works at all.

Unfortunately I don’t have a specific answer for you, but let’s take a look at some of the things that can possibly happen here.

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