How do I make my digital pictures smaller for online viewing?

We need some learning here as well as lesson so this is a long one!
Make sure you read this WHOLE THING through at least once before performing this task!

Some of you already know how to upload your images to the web, some don't, this will help you all I hope! If you uploaded your image and have no idea why it is so huge, why didn't it ask you to do anything to make it smaller when you uploaded it? Easy answer.. because thats how big it was! It s not the file transfer programs business to ask that question! Some email programs, when you insert an image into the mail (specifically AOL email), it will ask you "would you like to resize this image to fit in the email?". That's a great thing, but it does not work that way when you upload your images to the web for viewing for instance on a web page. What size it is, is what size it will be transferred.

The first question is: Where is the image stored?
It is either still on your camera, or already it was transferred to your computer.
You have to know WHERE (which folder) it lives in on your computer. If you know the name of the image file you can do a search and find it. Or try taking another picture and transferring it to your computer and this time pay much more attention to the folder names where it will drop the image on your computer.

Most cameras today are set to take images at a fairly high resolution, translated that means a large file, which can be measured using a number of different measurement units. We commonly use inches, but images more commonly like to use "PIXELS". There are a number of very technical explanation as to how to convert pixels to inches and vise versa (like you would convert Fahrenheit to Celsius) but thats even out of my realm to explain it here.

The common resolutions for your camera are 800x600 1280x960 1600x200 and 2048x1536 The larger the resolution the larger the image file, the less images you will be able to store on your memory card but the better the image will come out the larger it is.

These large image files are usually too large to be viewed online. So if you plan on uploading to your web site or to any web service so people can see it, you need to resize (make it smaller) on your desktop then upload it to the Internet.

Every digital camera comes with image editing software to look at & manipulate your images.. The challenge here is to locate that program in your computer so you can edit (in this case make smaller) your image.

The software came on the disk that cam with the camera.

Look thru your Start -> Programs menus and try to find this software. Generally the name of the program will say "photo something" or "image something". There are a million different software packages that allow you to edit and manipulate images, so this part is up to you to find the one you have on your computer.

When you find the right program, start it up and open your image file (usually File -> Open then navigate the folders to find the file you need).

Another way to do this would be to: Right click the START button and choose Explore. poke around until you find your file. When you find it double click on it and the program to edit it SHOULD start AND your image should open in it.

Your image is there now.. REALLY BIG!!!!

Look at the top left of that screen and see what it says there.. it SHOULD tell you the name of the program that started AND the image name. File that in your brain for future reference!

Now lets work on making that puppy smaller.

Across the top portion of the screen should be the File Menu Options.. They should include:
File.. Edit.. View.. Image.. {{maybe other stuff}}... Window.. Help...

We need to locate the choice/option that says resize or resample?? Look in the EDIT, IMAGE and other choices to find this option.

NOTE: CROP is NOT what we want but its close..

The resize popup should brings a small window with numbers.

As I said up there, your camera took a picture.. it designates the size in a value called pixels {{PIX eLL's}}, the program may have choices as to pixels or inches. I prefer to work in PIXELS when converting/resizing for the web, so lets use that unit of measurement.

Is there a drop box to choose pixels? If so choose it, if it is not selected already. Your numbers for the current size of the image should show up in the boxes (according to the sizes I mentioned up there somewhere..)

Lets work with an image that originally is 2048x1536.

The average computers screen width is either set to 800x600 or 1240x680 (both stated in PIXELS)
I always suggest you resize an image down to maximum of 500 wide then let the height adjust itself automatically. There might be a choice in the resize box that says something to the effect {Maintain Aspect Ratio}, make sure that is checked if it is there.

Now we can finally do something!

In the width box, change the 2048 to 500
The program may want to force the number slightly different, thats fine let it do what it needs to.

When you think you have your numbers right you can click OK (or whatever the button choice says).
The image will be made smaller for you now. It MAY appear VERY small in the program window. Thats OK also. The program will often change the ZOOM factor to fit the program window. you were most likely viewing the large original image at 25% of the original size, so now you are looking at the smaller image at 25% of the original size. Look in the VIEW menu choice for an option that says FULL SIZE or ZOOM and make it bigger on the screen.

VERY IMPORTANT: If you just click SAVE at this point.. the smaller image will over-write the large one, the large one will be gone forever! Most people do NOT want to lose the original large images, so be careful here. If you OOPS.. check the edit menu for: UNDO or look on the button bar for a little curly arrow. Clicking either should return your image to full size again.

You need to make the size changes to your image THEN do a SAVE AS, not just SAVE.

When you do SAVE AS, you MUST change the name of the file {{see the 2nd to bottom box in the SAVE AS popup, it should say: File Name:}} And type in a new name for your image, for instance: "nalart1". Usually you don't have to add the 'jpg' to the end of the file name, but you should check the next box down to see what type of file it is. For the web you want either JPG or GIF. 99.999% of all camera use the JPG format as default, so you should be safe there, if thats not what the FILE TYPE SAVE AS box says, change it.

So you have the NEW small image AND the big original one!!

The last thing you have to do is upload it to your web space. There is another FAQ here on that topic.

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