How to Edit Picture Resolution

Written by c. taylor
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How to Edit Picture Resolution
You can edit a picture's resolution through Paint. (photo camera image by A74.FR Ben Fontaine from

Confusion surrounds the term "resolution." Resolution is argued to mean the pixel size of an image, such as 800 by 600 pixels, or dots/pixels per inch, such as 300 dpi. Neither argument is incorrect. Resolution encompasses both of these closely related uses. Although you can change dpi in some programs, you are not changing anything unless you also increase the picture size, since your monitor can only display the image at the monitor's resolution. The only time changing dpi is effective is when printing, but that only affects the print and not the picture resolution. Effectively, to change the resolution of a picture, you will need to change the picture size, which you can do with Windows 7's Paint program.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Open the Paint program by clicking "Start," "All Programs," Accessories" and then "Paint."

  2. 2

    Open the picture in Paint by clicking the blue document icon in the upper-left corner of the Paint window, selecting "Open," clicking through the folders in the pop-up window and double-clicking the picture.

  3. 3

    Choose to resize the image by clicking "Resize" on the "Home" tab's "Image" section.

  4. 4

    Click "Pixels" in the "Resize and Skew" dialogue box that pops up. This will enable you to enter exact pixel dimensions. Click the box next to "Maintain aspect ratio" to toggle between modes. With "Maintain aspect ratio" checked, the horizontal and vertical dimensions will remain proportional. If it is not checked, you will be able to distort the image with whatever sizes you wish for either value.

  5. 5

    Enter values next to "Horizontal" and/or "Vertical" to change the resolution. Changing pictures to smaller resolutions will produce much better results than trying to make them bigger. Increasing the resolution will usually cause the picture to appear pixelated, or dotted, which is similar to the effect you may have seen when zooming into a photo. Click "OK" to accept the changes.

  6. 6

    Click the blue document icon again in the upper-left corner and select "Save as." Choose a different name and click "Save" to save it without overwriting the original picture. You can also just press "Ctrl" and "S" simultaneously to overwrite the file and save your changes.

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