Making Basic Adjustments

Making basic adjustments to your images can greatly improve their quality. Learn about making image editing adjustments here.

Resizing images

screenshot of Pixlr

Because digital images can be displayed at different sizes, you probably won't need to resize your images most of the time. However, resizing is an easy way to reduce the file size of an image, which can be helpful if you want to send an image as an email attachment or upload it to the web. You can see an example of resizing below:

resizing an image to make it smaller

Remember, you should avoid making images larger than their original size. When you do this, the image simply won't have enough detail to look good at the larger size. As you can see in the example below, the resized image is blurry and doesn't have a lot of detail:

resizing an image to make it bigger

To resize an image:

  1. With the image open in Pixlr Express, click the Adjustment button, then click Resize.
    screenshot of Pixlr
  2. Enter the desired dimensions for the new image. When you enter the new image width, the height will be adjusted automatically to maintain the original aspect ratio of the image (we'll discuss this point in more detail below).

    screenshot of Pixlr
  3. Click Apply. The image will be resized.
    screenshot of Pixlr
  4. If desired, click the Save button to save this new version of the image.

Some programs, such as Microsoft PowerPoint, require you to click and drag sizing handles until the image is the desired size. You can review the lesson on Inserting Pictures from our PowerPoint tutorial to learn more.

resizing an image with sizing handles

Preserving aspect ratio when resizing

When you resize an image, it's important to make sure the new version uses the same proportions, or aspect ratio, as the original. For example, take a look at this image:

image in original aspect ratio

If you want to resize this image while maintaining the same aspect ratio, you will need to change both the height and width by equal proportions. Most image editing programs can do this automatically when you resize an image. However, if you just try to guess what proportions to use, or if you're using sizing handles, it's easy for an image to become distorted. A distorted image may look too wide or too narrow, as in the examples below:

the same image resized to the wrong aspect ration

While it may not always be this obvious, these examples illustrate why it's so important to preserve the original aspect ratio when resizing an image. There are a few easy ways to make sure a resized image will use the same aspect ratio as the original: