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How to reduce the size of a photo for upload

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Joined: 23 Mar 2005
Posts: 102

PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2005 12:59 am    Post subject: How to reduce the size of a photo for upload Reply with quote

This post is aimed at people who want to upload photographs from digital cameras or similar but do not know how to reduce the size sufficiently to allow this. My aim is to describe this using Microsoft Paint which I would expect most people have on their system if they are using a Windows PC. Most people who have other types of systems will probably know how to do this anyway Wink

Remember, the current limit for upload is 256 KB.

Firstly paint can normally be found on the Programs menu in the Accessories group. You need to start this and use File->Open... menu item to load your image. Most systems will display an image in a image previewer if double clicked in an explorer window although Paint may be started if you right mouse click on an image and select 'Edit'. Depending on what you have loaded this might edit the image in some other package though.

You should always ensure you have a backup copy of your image before you start and take care to use File->Save As... menu item to save to a different name to avoid overwriting your original file. I would hate you to loose your valuable high quality images by saving a reduced picture on top of your only original Exclamation

Make sure you save the image as a JPEG image since this is a web viewable compressed format which takes less space than a GIF for example. Note though that this is "lossy" which means every time you edit, save and then start again you will loose some quality. You can save many times within Paint without loosing quality but if you exit out and edit again you will loose something every time. Many (most consumer?) cameras store images in JPEG format so they are probably on your system as a JPEG already.

To reduce the size of an image you can either shrink it or crop it (or a combination of both).

To shrink an image in Paint, the simlest method is to use the Image->Stretch/Skew... option which allows you to specify a percentage reduction for both height and width. Remember to specify the same value for each to avoid squishing your birds!

Once you have saved the file using File->Save or File->Save As.. if you are saving for the first time and don't want to overwrite the original, you can see the size on disk by using the Image->Attributes... option. If the image is still too large you can go back and reduce further. Note the size on disk does not change until the picture is saved!

Cropping an image is slightly more complex and involves cutting out a section of a picture you are interested in and discarding the rest. To do this in Paint click on the select button on the toolbar on the left (it looks like a dashed rectangle) and then use the mouse to select the area you wish to cut out. Once you have done this you should click on the area you selected and drag it up to the top left of the window. The last step is to chop off the waste area to the right and bottom of the area you are interested in which is now at the top left. Click briefly on the image to select the whole thing and then move the mouse over the small square which should be visible at the bottom right hand corner of the original image. You should then see a diagonal arrow which when clicked allows you to drag the corner of the original image to discard the waste area leaving only the section you want. You can now reduce the size further as described above or simply save it ready for upload.

If you make a mistake use Ctrl and Z together to undo your last change or use the Edit->Undo option. Note you can only undo your last 3 changes so don't make too many mistakes Wink

These notes are based on the version of Paint which comes with Windows XP. Apologies if this does not match the version you have loaded, although I expect it will not be too different.

There are many far more advanced packages such as Photoshop, Paint Shop Pro and many more you can use or ones which may have come with your digital cameras and these often have far more options to help you. For example they may have a quality setting you can use when you save your JPEG image. The lower the quality the smaller the file size.

Alternatively there may be an option to allow you to specify you want to save the image for a web page which is normally optimsed for slightly lower quality pictures but a much smaller file size.

I hope this helps those of you who have expressed an interest in posting pictures but are unsure what is required to make them smaller.

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Joined: 24 Mar 2005
Posts: 2165
Location: Derbyshire

PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2005 4:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You star - just what I need, a step-by-step guide.(or idiots guide in my case Confused )

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Diana May

Joined: 26 Mar 2005
Posts: 340
Location: Southampton, Hampshire

PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2005 7:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You and me both Dawn. I've printed it off so some when or other I may try to do it!!!!! Diana May Rolling Eyes
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Joined: 08 Apr 2005
Posts: 3579
Location: Surrey

PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2005 5:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


Applause Fantastic - I add my thanks to Diana May's and Dawn's
From another needing idiot's guides and plain speak!

What is this life if full of care, We have no time to stand and stare?
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