How to resize photos

No matter which digital camera you use, the pictures it produces will be quite large files. To save space on your computer’s hard drive or to email or share them online, you may wish to resize photos in Windows Live Photo Gallery. This can be achieved in a few simple steps.

 
Before you can begin, you’ll need a photo software program. In this guide, I’ve used the free Windows Live Photo Gallery (see our guide How to download Windows Live Photo Gallery for more information). However, you’ll find that other programs such as Photoscape and Paint.net follow a very similar process.
 
You’ll need:
 
  • a computer with Windows Live Photo Gallery installed
  • any photos you’d like to resize saved in a folder on your computer or on an external storage device.
Follow these step-by-step instructions to resize a photo
 
In Windows Live Photo Gallery, you can either resize photos one at a time or select a group of images and resize them all at once. However, when resizing a group, you can only apply one size to the whole group. So, first I’ll explain how to resize a group of photos. Then I’ll show you how to resize an individual image.
 
Step 1: When you open Windows Live Photo Gallery, you’ll see thumbnails of all your photos tiled across the screen. At the top left, you’ll see five tabs labelled ‘Home’, ‘Edit’, ‘Find’, ‘Create’ and ‘View’. By default, you’ll be in the ‘Home’ tab when you open Windows Live Photo Gallery. To resize your photos, you first need to click Edit.
 
Step 2: To resize a group of images, select which photos you would like to make bigger or smaller. When you hover the mouse pointer over each image, a small box appears above it. Simply click to tick the box and select each of your images.
 
Step 3: When you’ve made your selection, click Resize in the third column of buttons along the top.
 
Windows live gallery resize photos
 
Step 4: A pop-up window will appear that offers a drop-down list of sizes ranging from ‘Smaller’, ‘Small’, ‘Medium’, ‘Large’ to ‘Custom’. ‘Custom’ allows you to manually enter your desired dimensions if you have a specific requirement in mind.
 
However, generally the ‘Medium’ and ‘Large’ options will be big enough to make prints or share your images online.
 
Custom photo size
 
Step 5: Once you’ve selected your desired size you can click Resize and Save if you’re happy for this resized photo to replace the original.
 
If you’d like to keep the original photo and save the resized one as a separate, new image, click Browse. This will bring up a list of folders. Selecting a different folder will keep your original image as it is, in its existing location, while your resized version will be saved to the new location.
 
Saving photo in different folder
 
Step 6: You can also create a new folder in which to save your resized photo. After you click Browse, simply click Make New Folder at the bottom of the pop-up window.
 
Step 7: Once you’re happy with your size and folder selections, click Resize and Save and you’re done!
 
Step 8: Resizing an individual photo is very similar. Simply double-click the desired image from your thumbnails in Step 1 above. You’ll then see a larger version of this photo. You can now follow Steps 2–7.
 
Cropping photos
 
Cropping a photo is another easy way to resize a picture – but you should note that, when doing this, you risk making it ‘noisier’ (that is, grainier) and less sharp.
 
For example, think of your picture as a painting on canvas – let’s say, the Mona Lisa. If you want to crop in closer on Mona Lisa’s face and remove all of that crazy background landscape, the crop tool is the same as if you took a pair of scissors and cut her face out of the painting, then stretched it out to fit the same size of frame. Obviously, the paint will crack and distort. This is what can happen if you crop a photo, even if the cropped photo is smaller than your original image.
 
That said, cropping can often be your best option. Here’s how to do it …
 
Step 1: In the Windows Live Photo Gallery ‘Home’ tab at the top of your screen, click Crop.
 
Step 2: Your mouse pointer will become a small crosshairs. Click and then drag this over the section of the image you’d like to retain.
 
Step 3: As you drag, the pointer will create a box around this section of the image. Press the ‘Enter’ key on your keyboard and Windows Live Photo Gallery will eliminate everything else from your image that wasn’t included in the box.
 
Online photo resizing tools
 
There are a number of other online photo resizing tools that you can use. Popular photo-resizing websites include DrPic, Web Resizer, Shrink Pictures and Resize Your Image. Simply type one of the names into Google and it will be the first result. All of these tools are free to use.
 
Jeff Meyer writes about camera techniques and other aspects of photography for PhotoRadar.com.

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