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Making Your Photos Small Enough To Send By Email

One of the things that I get asked a lot, is how do I reduce the size of photos easily so they can be uploaded onto the Internet. While there are heaps of different software packages on the market, both free and paid versions, there seems to be some confusion as to how to go about it.

The most important thing to take into consideration when you are thinking about sending photos to the Internet, (whether emails or uploads), is that just because the photo looks to be the right size on your screen, it doesn't mean that it is the size it appears to be.

Computers are designed to display pictures and images on a screen. Generally speaking, if a picture is much larger than the screen, the computer will compensate for this and show you a reduced size photo. It looks normal, but when you try to send the photo via email, it takes forever to send and will probably take that length of time or longer depending on the recipient's Internet speed, for them to receive it. That is, if it gets through the email size restrictions filters. Most email servers have a restriction on them which will only allow up to a certain size attachment to pass through. Any bigger than the maximum size will result in your email being returned as undeliverable.

If you want to have a look at your photo and see just how big it really is, try opening it up in Microsoft Paint. I have provided an example below. The 2 images are the same photo opened up in different programs

      

You can clearly see that Picture Viewer shows the entire photo whereas Paint only shows the top left corner of the picture. If Paint shows the picture at 1:1 ratio, picture viewer has reduced the size by about 30 percent. This means that the picture is about 3 times larger than it looks in Picture Viewer

So, how do I find out how big the file really is?

The easiest way to find out how big the file is on your computer is to navigate to where the file is located on the drive, Right click the file and select properties from the drop down menu.
This will give you information similar to the image below

If you could read the information in the image above, you would see that the photo is 1.88 MB. This is quite large and would take a long time to upload to ebay, facebook, or send via email. A better size would be under 200 KB. The remedy to this problem is to reduce the size of the photo so it still looks normal, but reduce its size so that it won't bring the Internet to its knees whenever you send photos to someone.

The easiest way that I have found to resize 1 or multiple photos is by using a tool called Image Resizer for Windows. You can find it here Just click on the downloads button and click the Image Resizer link.

This program adds itself into the context menu which means that after its installed, when you right click on a picture, you will get the option to resize pictures. See highlighted below

Click on the Resize Pictures option and you will get the following image:

From this point you can make a few selections, click on Resize and you are done. If you don't tick the "Replace Originals" tickbox, it will make copies of the original pictures, scaled to the size that you have
specified and it will append Small, Medium or large to the file name.
This makes it very easy to find the modified files by doing a search for "small", for example.

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The second method, is one that we used back in the old days, but will still work on a number of email client programs, although Live Mail does not support this method anymore.

Using this method, you can reduce the size of 1 photo, or a group of photos. I will take you through this step by step.

Step 1

Prepare your photos. Create a folder on your desktop and call it pics for example. Copy all the photos that you want to upload to ebay, facebook or other online service to the pics folder

Step 2

Select all of the photos that are in the pics folder by whichever selection method you choose, I use the "ctrl a" method which selects all of the files in that folder

Step 3

Right click the selected files and select Send To on the drop down menu and select Mail Recipient on the secondary drop down menu At this point, you should get a message asking if you want to leave the files at the original size or to reduce them. You will want to reduce them. Select Small, Medium or Large. Once you select OK, it should open up your default email client and attach the files to a new email message

Step 4

In your email client, select the attached file. You should see the option to Save Attachments in the drop down menu. Click Save Attachments

Step 5

Browse to your pics folder on the desktop and create a new folder inside the pics folder called smaller or something like that so you know the files inside have been modified. Open the smaller folder and click OK. The attached files will now be saved in the smaller folder

Now you will have pictures that are ready to be uploaded to the Internet that is not going to take forever to upload,
download or view over the Internet. Of course, if you are wanting to email the photos, you won't need to save the attachments, simply place addresses into the address bar and hit send.

Done!

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