“A picture is worth 1000 words” - Anonymous

Whether its a jpeg or a gif, sometimes you’ll need to resize your images. Certain platforms won’t accept files of a certain size, which can become a problem. That’s why image file sizes are important. You want it to be as small as possible without a loss in quality.

The size of the file might need to be reduced or you might need to change the dimensions of the picture.

So how do you change the dimensions or the file size?

In this article, we'll look at how the size of an image, the image resolution, the type of file compression, and the file type can all affect file sizes and how you can alter them to make your images more manageable.

Reducing the Size of an Image in Paint

“I don’t trust words. I trust pictures.” - Gilles Peress

If you’ve got a Windows PC, Paint is useful for resizing images. This windows programme can be used to crop images, change their dimensions, or save them as gifs, png, etc.

How do you resize images in paint?
You can use Paint, a free program with Windows, to resize images. (Source: itkannan4u)

In this article, we’re going to look at how to change the size of photos. To do this in Paint, it only takes a few clicks.

Right click on the image you want to edit, and then click edit.

  • Paint will open.
  • Click on “Resize” and the menu will open.
  • In the same menu, change the dimensions to what you want.

To resize an image to a certain percentage, you should probably work this out first. This will also stop you from deforming the image.

To change the size of the photos in terms of pixels, you just have to enter the size you want. You can also check a box to ensure the ratios are respected. Just click on OK and you’re done.

You just need to save the image to ensure that it retains its new dimensions.

Before you resize your photos, you'll need to import them onto your computer.

Changing the Size of an Image with Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom

If you’ve got a Mac or have Photoshop or Lightroom, keep in mind that you can resize images with very little loss of quality.

Great, isn’t it?

How do you resize images with Photoshop or Lightroom?
If you have software like Photoshop or Lightroom, you can simply resize images. (Source: markusspiske)

Resizing an Image with Photoshop

To modify the size of the images on Photoshop, you just have to do the following.

  • Firstly, open the photo in Photoshop and click on the “Image” menu.
  • Click on “Image Size”.
  • Type in how many pixels high and wide you want your image to be with a resolution of 72dpi.
  • Click on constrain proportions.
  • Click on File and Save as... and you’re done.

Pretty simple, right?

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Resizing an Image with Lightroom

If you have Lightroom, it’s very easy resizing images.

  • Open your image.
  • Click on “File” and then “Export”.
  • In the export tab, choose the destination, the filename, the format (png, jpeg, pdf document, etc.).
  • Choose the size of the image.
  • Just like Paint, you need to type in the width and the height.
  • Opt for 72 pixels per inch as this has a good quality to size ratio.
  • And there you go.

Resizing an Image Online

You mightn’t have a photo editing programme on your computer or just prefer to use online tools. No problem, because there are online resizing tools. You just need to search a few keywords and Google will do the rest. Try a few different ones and see which is the best for you.

The steps are usually the same as they would be for a programme. You choose the number of pixels, the height, the width, and the format, and click OK.

By choosing the file destination on your computer, you’ll find the resized photo on your computer without needing photo editing software.

Whether it’s a jpeg image or whatever, you can download the same image resized in the same or a different format. Have a look online for an image optimizer or resizer online.

What about the file size? Can a photo editing programme make the file size of a snap smaller?

The answer is yes!

Learn more about editing photos.

Reducing the File Size

When you reduce the size of an image in the right format, the file size will also decrease. However, if you want your photo to have a specific file size, you can do that too.

How do you make image files smaller?
No matter what type of computer you have, you can easily make your images take up less storage space. (Source: Free-Photos)

Photo editing software will allow you to change the file size without worrying about the dimensions. So while the dimensions are the main criteria to consider when it comes to the file size, there are other ways to change the file size including the image quality, for example. You should know that you may need to sacrifice the quality if you want a smaller file.

No matter which programme you’re using, be it Paint, Lightroom, GIMP, Photoshop, etc., you can change the quality through the Image menu. To decrease the quality, you just need to reduce the quality percentage. Don’t forget to confirm your changes.

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Of course, the reduction in quality is the price you have to pay if you want a smaller file without changing the size. Another way to reduce the file size without altering the quality or the dimensions is to compress the image.

Keep in mind that the file format affects the size of the file. Jpeg images won't be the same size as bitmap images or a png images, for example. Since jpeg compression isn't the same as other file formats, different digital image formats use different types of compression.

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You should keep in mind that the same is true for other types of file, too. For example, a pdf file (for use with Adobe Acrobat Pro) tends to be a large file in comparison to a Word document but you won't need Microsoft Word to use it. That said, it can be difficult to convert pdf files to other file types. You can find a pdf converter, pdf optimizer, or pdf printer online, but it's rare that you'll get a free pdf compressor.

As long as you have the original file to manipulate, it's a good idea to save as pdf as well. If you keep ending up with massive files, you might need to convert to another file type.

Want to draw attention to the subject of the photo?

Try blurring the background.

Compressing Files to Reduce the File Size

Compressing photos is one of the best ways to keep the overall image quality without reducing the dimensions. Whether resized or not, you can adjust the file size by compressing it.

How do you improve image storage?
Just like storage of certain things in the physical world, digital storage can benefit from being compressed. (Source: Pexels)

Compressing Files on a Computer

On Mac

If you’re using Apple products, it couldn’t be simpler.

  • Right-click on the photo or folder in question
  • Click “Compress”
  • The new compressed files or folder will appear alongside the original.

This compressed folder will contain the image in the same resolution without a loss in quality and in the same dimensions as before.

On Windows

The process is very similar for a Windows PC. You can use software such as Microsoft Office, for example. To compress files in Microsoft Office, click on the image you want to compress, go to "Image Format Tools", and then "Compress Images".

You can click on “Resolution”, then “Print”, then “Web” or “Email”. You just need to choose what you’re using your photo for and it’ll put it in the right format.

There are also compression tools you can download to help you save disk space, convert pdf to Word (allowing you to open it in Microsoft Office), or keep the quality of the original image while making it better for use with other services.

Compressing Files Online

The easiest, quickest, and most effective way to compress images is online. There are plenty of websites where you can compress a photo in just a few clicks. You just need to search “Image Compression” online and you’ll find plenty of sites offering that very service.

When it comes to compression of an image file, you really want lossless compression, which means the data is can be perfectly reconstructed. On the other hand, lossy compression means that the compression will actually irreversibly alter your data every time you do it.

Generally, the file compression process is quite simple! You just need to upload your photos, choose the level of compression, confirm and you’re good.

The site will give you a compressed folder or file which you can download onto your computer.

It’s pretty simple, isn’t it?

In addition to being able to send compressed images in an email, they’ll also take up less space on your hard disk. It’s a useful idea.

It’s a very simple way to ensure that the photos are the same dimensions and quality. Each technique has its pros and cons.

So why not try a few of them and see which one you like the most?

Keep in mind that these file compression services aren't just a simple way to compress pictures. You can use them to compress pdf files, a word document, or large files to make them easier to store or send to others.

Whether you're working with png images, raster images, a jpeg file, a video file, or even Word documents, there are plenty of things you can do to make your files more manageable. Each image format and document format has its pros and cons.

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Joseph is a French and Spanish to English translator, language enthusiast, and blogger.