Do your photos look stretched or fuzzy?
Does the text on your images get cut off in its prime?
Well, you’re not the only one.
Resizing photos for FB, Google+, and Pinterest. I always seem to use a graphic that is too big for the cover or for uploading to my FB page. I have several graphic editing software, but am not graphically gifted. How do you resize an image properly? – Michelle, UK
Great question Michelle and one that we’ve been asked several times. So here’s a foolproof way to get your images the size that you want.
Why resizing photos is important
- So your images look professional
- So you can see all of the image on each site, and not have crucial bits chopped off – this can happen on various Social Media sites particularly if you use text.
- To reduce the size so that a web page loads quickly (the smaller the image, the faster the web page will load)
- Most email providers limit the size of images that can be sent, so it’s important to know how to reduce their size.
Read this: to understand what’s happening here
The actual process of resizing the photo is pretty straightforward.
But if you understand what’s happening, you can avoid making the mistakes in the first place.
The best solution is to use a photo that’s the exact size, or larger than what you need.
Why is this? If you use the exact dimensions then you’ll know in advance that all of the image will be showing (including any text you may have on it such as a Call to Action).
If you use an image that is larger than what’s required, you won’t lose any quality if you reduce the size.
If you use an image that is larger than is required and you have text on it, some Social Media sites crop the image and so you could end up with your text missing – cut off in their prime so to speak!
If you have to increase the size of the photo to fit in a particular space, you could end up with a photo that is fuzzy (= pixelated)
To find out more about why fuzziness in a photo occurs click on the link and enjoy the slideshow.
What is also a really good idea is that you use a photo that is the same orientation
as the space you’re going to use the photo in.
Here’s an example of what I mean:
This is where the width of the image is greater than the height.
Here’s an example of what a landscape image looks like. This is a Google+ header and the size is is 2120 pixels wide by 1192 pixels in height.
Thanks to Plus Your Business for the use of the photo.
(BTW – if you want to learn all about G+, then take a look at Martin’s great training)
Portrait orientation is where the height of the image is greater than the width.
This image by Design your own Blog is 396 wide x 584 pixels in height.
Thanks to Design Your Own Blog for the use of this photo.
So if you use a portrait style photo (or even a square one) in a place that is actually landscape in shape (Facebook cover photo or web header for example) then chances are that your photo will be stretched to fit the header space and it could end up looking fuzzy.
How do you resize a photo?
Most photo editing software has some means of resizing the photo. There are 2 ways:
1. Using the Resize function in the software
Simply insert the actual sizes needed but if you do this then do make sure that you have the ‘Constrain proportions’ selected. See further down the post for the definition of this.
This will mean that the image isn’t being stretched.
Here’s an example of an image where the ‘constrain proportions’ function of the original photo has not been used. See the difference?
You may not think there is much difference but there’s enough for the photo to look not as polished as it could be.
Also if you have text on an image the issue is exacerbated!
2. Cropping the photo
Here I suggest you just put in the exact dimensions of the photo – for example 851 x 315 for a Facebook cover photo, and again make sure you have ‘Constrain proportions’ checked and you should be good to go.
What software is available to resize the images
As I mentioned above almost all editing software programmes have the ability to crop and resize images. But if you’re not sure which ones to use, you could try these.
The ones with an * are free to use and may require you to register, and they are supported by Ads.
- Select the picture to resize
- On the next web page select RESIZE (you can crop as well)
- Resize your Photo – Use the drop down menu (#1) to select Custom Size and put in the width and height in pixels
- #2 – This is where your custom size shows.
What I like about Picresize is that if you try and increase the size of the image to be larger than the original, it won’t let you do it. You get a red error message.
This prevents you from making the image fuzzy and pixelated (see the above point).
This does a whole lot more than resizing images, but here’s the resizing function.
#3 – make sure you have ticked the ‘Constrain Proportions’ option.
Constrain Proportions means: it will maintain the proportions of your photo if you increase or decrease the size of the photo. And this means the photo doesn’t get stretched or squashed.
Or alternatively, you can take the easy route and use the presets in the ‘Crop’ function with the scale photo ticked and these include Youtube thumbnail, Facebook etc.
Just make sure that once you’ve cropped the photo you pull on the handles to the size you want.
If you’d like to find out how to use ipiccy, we have a training programme specifically for it and you can find out more about it at DIY Marketing Graphics Training.
Does this clear things up?
I see the question about resizing asked a lot and so I’m keen to know if this explanation is clear.
Please leave a comment below if you now understand this or you still have questions.