More megapixels and bigger sensors may be best when buying a camera, but there is such a thing as an image that’s too big. Big digital images take up space on your hard drive, have slow uploads and will even drag out the page load times online. Sometimes, you simply want an image to print as an exact size, like an 8×10. If your image is overkill, watch as Ben Willmore demonstrates how to resize an image in Photoshop.
This video was filmed as part of Ben Willmore’s full course, Adobe® Photoshop® CC: The Complete Guide.
With your image open, head into the top menu under Image than Image Size, which brings up a pop-up window. To get a better idea of the changes you’re making, click on one corner of the Image Size window and drag, making the pop up take up your entire screen. Then, on the bottom corner of the preview image, select 100 percent so that you can see how the size changes affect image quality.
Warning: You can’t increase the size of an image without loosing quality. Keep a copy of the original image so that if you need a larger size later on, it’s no problem.
To the right of the preview image, you’ll see all the options for adjusting the image’s size — you won’t need all of them for a simple resize. First, make sure that the “Resample” check box is marked. That tells the computer that you want Photoshop to reduce the amount of data in the photo — otherwise, your resizing can still leave you with a fairly large file.
The width and height fields allow you to change the image’s dimensions, effectively resizing the photo. For an online image, leave the drop down boxes next to the image at the default setting of pixels. If you want to print out an image though, you can change that to inches or centimeters. Click on the number, then either use the up or down arrows or simply type in a new number.
You’ll notice that both numbers will change (if not, click the lock icon next to the width and height). That’s to prevent stretching out your image. If you don’t want the width and height ratio to be the same as the original file, you’ll need to resize using the crop tool (which I’ll explain in a bit).
With the preview set at 100 percent, you’ll be able to see just how big you are making that photo, so you can decide how much space you want it to take up on the a webpage, for example.
Once you’re happy with the size, click ok.
Depending on what your view settings are, your image may be smaller or larger than you thought. To quickly view the photo at 100 percent, click on the hand tool and then the 100% button at the top of the screen.
You probably noticed there were a few other options back in the image dialog box, and for the most part, you ignore the remaining settings or leave them put, but there’s one more option that comes in handy when you are resizing an image not for the web, but for print, and that’s resolution.
Resolution determines how many pixels are in each inch of your photo. More pixels mean a higher quality, but also a larger file. Too few, and you’ll loose image quality.
Ben Willmore suggests these resolutions for different printing scenarios:
If an image has a lot of detail, for example, a photo of a sign with text in it, you’ll want to use the higher end of that suggested range.
There’s one more way to reduce the size of your image, and it’s not in the image size option. Cropping will not only change the size, but allows you to change the dimensions without stretching the image.
To resize with the crop tool, select it from the toolbox. To get the crop tool to resize your image (as well as crop it), change the drop down menu at the top of the screen from “Ratio” to “W x H x Resolution.” With this selection, you can crop and resize at once by altering the resolution and dimensions.
At the top of the screen, you’ll see the same dimension and resolution boxes that you used in the image size pop-up window. Adjusting those will change the shape of the crop box so that you are using the desired measurements. Now, when you draw on the screen, you’ll get a box with the perfect shape.
Tip: In the width and height fields, you can type in the dimensions you want to use, like “in” for inches or “cm” for centimeters.
Once your box is selecting the portion of the image you want to keep and resize, hit the enter key.
Now, your image is resized and ready to save. Remember to use the save as option instead of a simple save, so that you can keep the original if you want to print larger sizes in the future.
Easy, right? Join us over the next few weeks for more Photoshop quick tips with Ben Willmore. Or, if you’re ready to really dig in, sign up for Adobe® Photoshop® CC: The Complete Guide.