When you take a picture with your digital camera or your phone, and then manage to get it into your computer so you can use it in your newsletter or on your website, sometimes size is an issue. Bigger really isn’t always better!

Take this picture of an angry bird. The original image was 2.28 MB, and 4288 pixels wide by 3216 pixels high – nice if you want to print it out, but waaaayyy too large for most applications you will be using on the web.

Most newsletter formats are about 600 pixels wide, and if you want your image to fit nicely into the text, you don’t want it to be any larger than about 300 pixels wide. Websites are usually a little wider, but if you have a sidebar that takes up part of the width, again, 300-400 pixels is right in the ballpark.

So how do you make your image smaller? Very easily if you have a PC, and FREE!

Open the image in the program called Paint. You can do this 2 ways

  1. select the image and right click, then choose “Open with…” and choose Paint.
  2. Open Paint (Start >> All Programs >> Accessories >> Paint) and then choose Open – and from there you can pick your image.

Once the image opens up in Paint, it will be huge – you won’t even recognize it! Click the Resize option in the toolbar at the top and follow these steps:

  1. Make sure “Maintain aspect ratio” is checked.
  2. Switch from Percentage to Pixels
  3. Put in either the width or height you want (the other one will automatically adjust)
  4. Click OK.

Your image has now been shrunk to a manageable size, and you can save it. This now has the added benefit of making the file size much smaller. On the Internet, the larger image files are, the longer they take to appear (load). Ideally you want to keep your images below about 70kb.

And just for your reference, 1000kb = 1MB. That means that the original image, which was 2.28MB, was 2280kb, which is a far cry from the desired 70kb. This image actually turned out to be 115kb, which is a little larger than optimum, but not overly large.

Let me know if you have any comments or questions!