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PC Basics

Change the Size of Your Pictures

It's easy to change both a picture's dimensions (length and width) and file size. The only way to change the file size of a picture you've already taken is with a picture-editing program.

Why Change the Size of Your Pictures?

Many people change the size of their pictures before e-mailing or printing them. The actual size of a picture can be measured two ways: its physical dimensions, such as 4 x 6 inches (10 x 15 cm), and its file size, such as 500 kilobytes (K or Kb). The bigger a picture's physical dimensions, the larger its file size. Large picture files take longer to send in an e-mail message and longer for recipients to open, so many people make their pictures smaller before sending them. This is considered a courtesy. People don't like to wait several minutes to see a picture they receive.

You might also change a picture's size so you can make a specific-sized inkjet print, for example 4 x 6 inches (10 x 15 cm), instead of 8 x 10 inches (20 x 25 cm). Again, by changing the size of the picture, you reduce its size and the printer produces it faster.

Increase Print Size, Reduce Picture Quality

The amount of pixels, or picture elements, in a digital picture determines the file size of the picture. Think of it as a can of paint. If you want to make a smaller picture, you simply pour off the extra paint. The remaining paint has excellent quality and will provide full coverage but for a smaller area.

The only way to make a bigger picture than was intended is to add something that wasn't in the original picture. For paint, you might add enough water to create a gallon. However, the paint will be thin and will not provide acceptable coverage. In effect, you've reduced its quality.

A similar situation occurs when you want to enlarge a digital picture. In this case, your picture-editing program adds pixels when you tell it to increase the size of the picture beyond its original size. Adding extra pixels is similar to adding water to paint; the picture quality decreases. Increasing the size of the picture by only 10 percent may not noticeably reduce quality. Increase the size by 50 percent or more and the difference will be obvious, especially if you print at its new, full size. The printed picture will be grainy.

Resize Pictures with Picture-editing Software

If you are using a picture-editing program other than KODAK EASYSHARE Software, look in your program to see if it has a simple, automated procedure for e-mailing or printing pictures. If it does, you'll find the automated procedure easier to follow than the steps below.

Since there are many picture-editing programs, the following steps are generic. You'll have to find similar steps in your specific picture-editing program.

Resize a Picture for E-mail

To resize a picture for e-mail:

  1. Open the picture in your picture-editing program.

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  3. Look through the menus to find a command for resizing or rescaling an image, and click that option.

  4. Menu options might include Image Sizing, Resizing, Rescaling, or Photo Size. A window opens that lets you change the size settings for your picture.

  5. In the size settings window, look for a resolution setting: pixels per inch (ppi) or dots per inch (dpi). If one is available, change the setting to 72.

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  7. Type the dimensions (width and height) for the size of the picture you want to send.

  8. Keep in mind that large pictures take longer to open. We suggest setting the dimensions for 4 x 6 inches (10 x 15 cm) or smaller.

  9. Click OK or Done.

  10. The size of the picture on your screen will probably change.

  11. From the File menu, click Save As, then type a new name for your file.

  12. By typing a new name, you make sure that you don’t overwrite the original file.

  13. In the Format section of the Save As window, choose the JPEG (jpg) file format (if it’s not currently selected).

  14. This file format further reduces the size of the file.

  15. Choose a place to save your pictures by drilling up or down.

  16. It's a good idea to have a folder named "E-mail pictures" so you always know where to look for pictures you have resized for e-mailing.

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  17. Click Save.

  18. If you are given a choice of how much to compress your picture, choose medium or a number that is in the middle of the range allowed.

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    The picture-editing program compresses the file and saves it in the folder you selected. The picture is ready to be e-mailed.

  19. Close the original picture on your screen without saving changes.

Resize a Picture for Print

To resize a picture for printing:

  1. Open the picture in your picture-editing program.

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  3. Look through the menus to find a command for resizing or rescaling an image, and click that option.

  4. Menu options might include Image Sizing, Resizing, Rescaling, or Photo Size. A window opens that lets you change the size settings for your picture.

  5. In the size settings window, look for a resolution setting: pixels per inch (ppi) or dots per inch (dpi). If one is available, change the setting to 225.

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  7. Type the dimensions (width and height) for the size of the picture you want to print.

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  9. Click OK or Done.

  10. The size of the picture on your screen will probably change.

  11. From the File menu, click Save As, then type a new name for your file.

  12. By typing a new name, you make sure that you don’t overwrite the original file.

  13. In the Format section of the Save As window, choose the file format for saving the picture.

  14. When in doubt, choose the TIFF file format, which are large files, but do not lose image detail.

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  15. Choose a place to save your pictures by drilling up or down.

  16. It's a good idea to have a folder named "Pictures for printing" so you always know where to look for pictures you have resized for printing.

  17. Click Save.

  18. If a TIFF Options window appears, choose None for Image Compression.

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    The picture-editing program will save your file in the folder you selected. The picture is ready to be printed.

  19. Close the original picture on your screen without saving changes.

A Brief Explanation of Resolution

Pixel is the abbreviation for picture element. Pixels are the smallest part of a digital picture. They are like little square tiles in a mosaic – only they’re much smaller, usually less than 0.001 inch (0.025 mm). Just as more square tiles let you make a bigger mosaic, more pixels let you make a bigger picture.

The number of pixels in a digital picture determines the picture’s resolution. For non-professional digital cameras, resolution typically ranges from 1 to 4 million pixels, or 1 to 4 megapixels (mega means one million). The greater a camera’s resolution, the larger the picture you can print:

1 megapixel – 5 x 7-inch (12.7 x 17.8 cm) print

2 megapixels – 8 x 10-inch (20.3 x 25.4 cm) print

3 megapixels – 11 x 14-inch (27.9 x 35.6 cm) print

4 megapixels – 20 x 30-inch (50.8 x 76.2 cm) print