Windows XP tip: Image Resizer
Why Use Image Resizer?
Do you ever receive emails with JPEG attachments that take 10 minutes to download? Or, when you open up a photo that your friend sent you, it appears to be zoomed in and you can only see one corner of the image? Chances are, those files were sent at their original file size and resolution — they should have been resized before sending.
Digital cameras are so commonplace now that most households in Hong Kong own at least one unit. These days, a 3- or 5-megapixel camera is probably the lowest-quality grade you will find at a store such as Fortress or Broadway.
I took at test photo with a Canon 3-megapixel camera: left at the highest-quality settings, a 2048 x 1536 (3MP) photo took up nearly 1.5MB on the SD card. If I took 10 casual photographs and emailed them to a friend, you can bet that there will be complaints about receiving a whopping 15MB in attachments — for only 10 photos! The same photo, when resized to 1024 x 768, occupied a much-more respectable 200KB.
What Is A "PowerToy"?
Microsoft has released a set of utilities called PowerToys. According to Microsoft, they "add fun and functionality to the Windows experience." One of these PowerToys happens to be the Image Resizer — There are a bunch of other utilities out there that can resize photos, but Image Resizer is highly recommended for its simplicity of use.
To see the full suite of PowerToys for WindowsXP, click here.
Where Can I Get Image Resizer?
Download Image Resizer PowerToy (521 KB 2 min @ 28.8 Kbps)
- Click the above link to download the .exe file to a directory on your hard drive. (Your Desktop folder works well as temporary storage) Alternatively, you can choose to "run it from its current location."
- Double-click the file to open and go through the installation process. Choose "Complete" when given the choice.
- After installation is completed, whenever you have the context menu open (right-click on image file) in Windows Explorer, you will see a new option called Resize Pictures. This option brings up the Image Resizer PowerToy.
You can use the usual Windows techniques of SHIFT+click or CTRL+click to select multiple JPEG files prior to bringing up Image Resizer. This is a very convenient way to resize a batch of photos!
- Basic Options – Recommended Setting: LARGE (1024 x 768)
- Advanced Options
Make pictures smaller but not larger:If editing a picture is that has a resolution smaller than the currently selected SIZE, selecting this option will not "up-size" the photo and create a pixelated version. (try up-sizing a 640 x 480 photo to 1024 x 768 to see what I mean!)
Resize the original pictures: If checked, make sure you are editing a copy of the original photograph, or else it will overwrite your original file.