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Reducing the size of pictures (2006-07-19)

How can you make a picture that you place on your PC from your digital camera smaller? A smaller size not only will make emailing the picture faster, it may be a necessity because email services like AOL frown on large sizes — and may even refuse to let you send the picture

Use photo-editing software to shrink it, if you have such a program. If you don't, I suggest you use IrfanView — it is easy to learn and use; and it is free.

Once you have IrfanView running, click File>>Open. Navigate to the folder where your picture is stored and double-click the picture file. It will open in the IrfanView window.

Next, click Image>>Resize/Resample. You can set the size on the right side in pixels. For instance, you could set it to 1024x768, or 1280x960. Both are large dimensions, but should give you a much smaller file size.

For instance, you can use IrfanView to shrink a file that was nearly 1.2 megabytes. Just changing it to 1024x768 reduces the size to 54 kilobytes.

On the left side, you can do more customization. You can specify the size in inches, pixels or centimeters.

You may also want to change the DPI (dots per inch) setting. If the picture will be viewed on a monitor, 72 is fine. If it will be printed, the DPI should be at least 150. The DPI setting also affects the size.

After IrfanView resizes the picture, click File>>Save As. Give the resized picture a new name, and save the original in case you need it again.

You will find the website at www.irfanview.com.

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