How to Format Pictures for Online Publishing

Uploading pictures make any story a little more interesting, but what do you do when the images are too large to fit in the size constraints?   You re-size it!   Resizing images is actually a fairly simple task, once you realize the steps involved and the places you can go to do it. Even better? The three options we are going to show you allow you to resize your images for FREE!

With Microsoft Picture Manager

Begin by locating the picture you want on your computer.   Right click the image and choose the option “Open With” and from there choose the Microsoft Picture Manager option.   If it’s not listed on the menu, click on the “Choose Program” button and then find it from there.

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Once the image opens in Microsoft Picture Manager, choose “Picture” from the main toolbar, and then choose “Re-size” from the sub-toolbar.

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This will open up a sidebar window that allows you to re-size the image in a variety of ways.   The easiest way (so long as you know what size you need) is to use the “Custom Width x Height” option.   In this option you can simply type in the sizes you need.

Below the resizing options, you’ll see the Original Size of your picture, as well as the new size of the image.   Once you have re-sized it to the size you need, click on “OK” to set the size.

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Once you click “OK,” the image will close and you will see a small preview box of your image and you will be prompted to “Save” you changes.   NOTE: If you do this, the newly sized image will REPLACE the originally sized image. To avoid this, and to preserve the original photo, make a copy of the image and then edit the copy.

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Once you have saved the image it is good to go – upload it and you’re done!

With Picnik

Picnik is a great online website that allows you to edit photos free of charge. Or, if you’d like more editing options, you can pay a fee and this will grant you a slew of options to play with.   Start by going to their site and click on either “Upload a Photo” or on the Create an Account option.

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Once you upload the photo, you’ll be taken to the main Edit screen.   In this screen the second (sub) toolbar gives you several basic option.   Choose Resize, it’s the 4th option from the left.  

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In the Resize option you’ll see the dimensions of your picture in 2 different boxes; width is first, then height.   To keep proper proportions in your resizing,i.e. to not stretch your image or shrink it disproportionately, make sure the box that says “Keep Proportions” is checked!

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When you have the new dimensions in the boxes, click on OK to save the changes to the photo. If you prematurely click on OK, don’t worry – Picnik is equipped with a handy-dandy UNDO button in the right hand top corner; click it if need be.

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After you have finished resizing, click on the main tab that says, “Save & Share.” This will prompt you to a new screen where you can rename the file and even change the dimensions once more using a percentage of the size you originally specified.

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It’s always a good idea to make sure the file extension you are saving under is a JPEG. It should be set to that on default, but if it’s not go ahead and change it.   Also, you’ll want to aim for an 8 to 9 in JPEG/JPG photo compression quality. This is a slightly larger file size, but it preserves the quality of the image.


With WordPress

Using WordPress to resize your images is the most convenient way to do this, since you will already be in the editor in order to upload your image.   Begin by uploading your image.

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Once you have uploaded your image(s) to WordPress, you will see the thumbnails listed out with the corresponding titles to the right. Further to the right you will see an option that says “Show” (see above picture).   Click on Show to open that specific image.

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Again, you will see an image preview – make sure you are resizing the correct image.   Then, to the right of that image you will see the current dimensions of the image.   Below this information you will see several options: Crop, Resize, etc.

Choose Resize.

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This will take you to a new screen where you can manually enter the new size of the image.   To keep proper proportions in your resizing,i.e. to not stretch your image or shrink it disproportionately, make sure the box that says “Maintain Aspect Ratio” is checked!

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After you enter the dimensions, you will see a little striped bar – this is to show you that the resize is taking place.   As a side note: you may be trying to resize an image to fit a certain dimension, for example the Feature Box on BurbMom’s homepage. If you are doing this and MAINTAINING the aspect ratio (proportions) then you might find you can only resize the image to one of the dimensions you need (i.e. only one side is 538 or 225, the other side is a random number). If this is the case, I suggest sizing the width to 538 and then CROPPING the image to 225.

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Once you have resized the image, go to to the bottom of the page and click on “Save all Changes” to save the new size to the image.

Voila! You’re all done!

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