Quick and Easy Image Editing
by Todd Powell

There have been several requests for a simple tutorial on resizing and compressing images. I will do my best to hopefully explain the process here and not confuse anyone.
After some searching on the internet, I found that many people using windows based machines really like IrfanView. This is a simple and free graphics viewer that also offers some image editing features. The program is relatively small and seems to work very well and best of all it is free. The web site for IrfanView is located at: http://www.irfanview.com

I have also loaded the installation file to my server and it is available for download here

Once you have the program installed. Editing files is very easy. First you start IrfanView, then click "file" then "open"

Find the file you want to edit, select it then click open.

Once the file is open, you will notice in the lower left hand corner there is alot of information available. For example, this image is 1760 x 1168 pixels, a very large image. The File is also the 30th file of 170 in the folder. I am currently viewing it at 100%. The file size is 382.94 kb and the total of all files in the folder is 5.88 Megabytes. Since this file is so large and the file size is so big, we need to make is smaller and compress the image.

We'll start by clicking 'image" then "Resize/Resample"

This will bring up a new window that allows us to resize our picture. As I mentioned in the forum. Usually you'll want to keep your image width at 700 pixels or below. If it is larger, people are forced to scroll left and right to view your files.

If you change the "width" to 700 the software will automatically recalculate the height as long as you leave the box below "Preserve Aspect Ratio" checked. There are several other options available and as you get more comfortable try them out. Once you have the size set, click "OK".

Now you can save the image. Click on "File" then "Save As"

Find the folder you want to save the file in, then select the file type from the drop down box. JPEG files offer the best compression and quality and are most often used. Another box will allow you to select the amount of compression. There is a simple slider that allows you to go from highest to lowest compression. I have found that staying around 70% offers good compression while still offering good quality. You should experiment and find out what works best for you. When you are finished, click "Save"

If you look at the bottom left you will now notice your image is much smaller than before. For example my image size has gone from 1760 x 1168 down to 700 x 464. The image size has also decreased from 382 kb down to 48.99 kb.

I hope this simple little tutorial helps some people that have been having problems managing their graphics. There are lots of things you can do with more advanced graphic programs such as Paint Shop Pro or Adobe Photoshop, but for simple editing, IrfanView really works well. Good Luck

2004 - Todd Powell - Rotary Wing Forum