Resizing an image doesn’t have to be rocket science. It’s true that more robust image-editing software sports all sorts of magical functions – i.e. content-aware analysis and 3D image rendering among them – but resizing an image is as basic as it gets. However, it’s still a vital function when it comes to printing, uploading images to the Web, or emailing photo attachments under a non-negotiable size limit.
Almost all, if not all, image-editing software contains easily-accessible resizing tools capable of rescaling your image to your desired proportions, whether it be in pixels, inches, or by a specified percentage change. Plus, there are plenty of standalone applications and programs available if you decide to forgo your operating system’s innate image-editing software in favor of something that’s less incommodious. They may not be the most fully-featured, but they certainly don’t have to be.
Here’s our guide to how to resize an image using five different software methods for Windows and Mac OS X. Also, check out our picks for the best free image-editing tools if you’re looking for some capable programs without having to resort to your savings fund.
Writer’s note: Although it is generally fine to shrink an image, enlarging an image often results in quality degradation, progressively reducing the said image’s crispness and visual fidelity depending on how large you expand the image. Avoid doing so when you can and try to stick to large image sizes to begin with.
Choose your method:
- Photoshop (Windows/Mac OS X)
- GIMP (Windows/Mac OS X)
- Windows Live Photo Gallery (Windows)
- Preview (Mac OS X)
- Pixlr (Web-based)
How to resize an image using Photoshop (Windows/Mac OS X)
Photoshop is often heralded as the premiere image-editing software – and rightly so. It’s powerful and intuitive, chock full of great features that can be used by professionals and novices alike given it’s easily-recognizable interface and custom settings. However, it’s also a fantastic tool for resizing an image if you already have Adobe’s flagship software buried within your image-editing arsenal. If not, check out our quick guide on how to get Photoshop for free for Windows or Mac OS X. The screenshots and method below utilize Photoshop CS3, but CS2 and the latest incarnations of the software work in the same manner.
|Step 1: Launch Photoshop and open your image. Launch whatever version of Photoshop you have installed and open the image you’d like to resize. To do so, click File in the Photoshop top menu and choose Open from the resulting drop-down menu (second or third option from the top). Then select your image from its save location and click the Open button in the bottom right-hand corner.|
Step 2: Resize your image. Once the image is opened, click Image in the Photoshop top menu and choose Image Size from the resulting drop-down menu. A small pop-up window will appear housing various options for resizing and altering your image to your preferred specifications. Select your desired width and height – either by specifying the dimensions in pixels or percentage – and make sure the “Constrain Proportions” and “Resample image” boxes are checked. This will ensure you maintain the proper proportions when rescaling your image. When finished, click the OK button in the top right-hand corner of the window.
Next Page: How to resize an image using GIMP (Windows/Mac OS X)