Why Do I need to Resize my photos?
Often times, pictures from our digital cameras are very large. This is because there are different image resolutions for printing photos vs. simply viewing photos on the web.
Image size for printing is determined by how many pixels-per-inch (ppi) make up a photo or image. The amount of pixels (or dots) can range from a lot (300 ppi) to a little (72 ppi). When you are printing a photograph from your camera, the rule of thumb is to use the highest ppi possible for the size you need. Most printers will recommend using 300 ppi as your setting.
The web works a little differently. To understand how image ppi affects images displayed on webpages, consider this formula: 1-1.
Pixels-per-inch is irrelevant to images on the web.
Rather, they are based on how many pixels the image has. The goal is to resize your photo to exactly what size you will be using it on the website. A general rule of thumb is that about 100 pixels = approximately 1 inch on a website. By sizing down your photos appropriately for what you are using them for, you will reduce the file size and make the page load faster.
Why use PPI then?
We recommend the setting of 72 ppi for the web. Why? Because you have to put something in the box in most image editing programs, such as Adobe Photoshop. But when Photoshop asks for ppi in the Image Size dialog, this value is used to determine how Photoshop converts the pixel dimensions of the image into printed inches.
There are 3 free programs that we recommend for resizing your images:
This is an online tool that will resize and crop a single photo for you quickly - no need to install any software onto your computer!
- Microsoft Office Picture Manager
Microsoft Picture Manager is installed with all Office Suites, so you should already have it! With this program you can manage, edit, share, and view your pictures from where you store them on your computer. Picture Manager can correct your pictures, with editing tools to crop, expand, or copy and paste. Click here to read Microsoft’s tutorial on using Picture Manager.
- Microsoft Image Resizer Powertoy
This PowerToy enables you to resize one or many image files with a right-click. After a simple one-time install from the Microsoft website you’ll be able to resize your photos in two steps!
- Click here to download the Picture Resizer, or visit this link, and click on the PowerToys tab, then look for the Image Resizer PowerToy.
- Navigate to the folder on your computer where the photo you want to resize is.
- Right-Click on the image (or hold down SHIFT to select multiple photos for resizing) and select “Resize Pictures” from the menu
- A dialogue box will appear with 4 options: Small, Medium, Large and Handheld PC. Choose one of these predetermined settings if they work for your needs.
- You can also click the “Advanced” button for more options. This comes in useful if you are resizing multiple photos at once.
- Make Pictures Smaller But Not Larger: This setting allows you to resize all your photos to a certain size, but if there’s an image in the folder that’s small than your determined size, it will leave it alone. This is a nice option to have because making your pictures larger usually results in blurriness and poor image quality.
- Resize the Original Pictures (Don’t Create Copies): The default for the Image Resizer is to create a copy of your image so that you don’t overwrite your large, high-quality files. This option will overwrite the photos for you (Not recommended).
- When you click “OK” the Image Resizer will create a copy of the photo in the new size in the same location as your original photo.
Have a Mac?
We’ve got you covered. You can download OX Image Resizer to resize your photos.
- The first screen allows you to choose your “resize settings” such as width and height. At the bottom of the screen you can click on Add File/Folder in order to select the images you’d like to resize.
- The second tab is called “Output Files” and allows you to choose the folder location on your computer (the Directory) as well as several options for renaming your photos.
- The JPEG and PNG-24 tabs allow you to select the file type you’d like the resized images to output as. If you are using this tool to resize the images for the web, we recommend using the JPEG setting. Choose a compression level around 75 and click the button Resize Images to JPEGs. A lower compression level will make the file size smaller, but will also result in a lower quality output.
- The next step is to navigate to the folder on your Mac that you choose in step 2. These images are resized and ready for you to upload to your website.