How to make my photo files a smaller size

Written by robert gray
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With digital camera technologies continually advancing at what seems to be the speed of light, it's important to understand that some technologies that follow and parallel digital photo technology are slower. Such is the case of the Internet and digital photo file sizes. If you upload a huge file directly from your digital camera to the Internet, it will take ages to upload and just as long for your friends to download. The reason for this is the Internet is not set up to accommodate huge photo files. The way to resolve this issue is to make your digital photo files smaller.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Computer
  • Photo enhancement program

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  1. 1

    Import your photographs into your computer from your digital camera. View files and decide which photo you want to make smaller. The photos from the camera are numbered with a digital code, so record the number you are interested in making smaller.

  2. 2

    Open your photo enhancement program. Most computers come packaged with such programs and all have the ability to reduce your digital photo sizes. If you don't have a photo enhancement program, consult with your computer representative.

  3. 3

    Click on "File" at the top left of the program's toolbar. Click "Open" in the drop down menu. Select the location (such as "My Documents") in your computer where your photos files are stored. Select the number of your photo, click on it and click on "OK" and the photo will be imported to the screen.

  4. 4

    Click on the upper (or sometimes right) toolbar where it says "Resize." If you can't find "Resize" go to the"Help" on the toolbar and search for instructions. Sometimes you will have to click on "Image" on the toolbar and then click on "Resize."

  5. 5

    View the selections when you open the resize box. Most resizing features include the following choices: Document Resolution, Document Print Size and Pixel Dimension.

  6. 6

    Check the Document Resolution which will be set to pixels/inch. This states how many pixels there are per inch in your original. Most cameras are set to 72 pixels per inch. If this is not set to 72, change it to 72 and click on the button that says "Apply." This sets your photo's resolution for the Internet.

  7. 7

    Next look for Document Print Size. This shows how large you can print your picture. For example, if you have a 5 megapixel camera and you are shooting at the largest setting, this box will display dimensions like 36 by 27 inches. This is the size you want to reduce. Typically, Internet pictures that are set to 8 by 10 inches at 72 dpi (dots per inch) are a good size. Enter 10 where the larger number is. The other number will change automatically, so you will end up with something like 10 by 7.5 inches. Click on "Apply" or "OK" again to complete the task.

  8. 8

    Finally, check the box that says "Pixel Dimension." These numbers will also change when you enter the smaller number in the Document Print Size Box. The Pixel Dimension shows you the final dimension of your photos in pixels, and in this example will say 720 by 540. A rule of thumb would be to not go over 1000 pixels on one side for photos you are reducing for Internet use.

  9. 9

    To finish, click on "Save As" in the upper left file menu. Save your photo as a "jpeg" or ".jpg" and choose what folder you want the photo to be in, then label it and click "OK."

Tips and warnings

  • Some editing software programs can resize a larger group of your photos all at once instead of having to do them one at a time. For more information check out the tutorials for photo enhancement programs.
  • When you save your reduced photo, be sure to click on "Save As" instead of "Save" so you do not overwrite your original image file.

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