Stump the PC Club is a free tech-advice column written by members of the North Orange County Computer Club, which has been in existence since 1976. Visit the club’s site at noccc.org. And don’t forget to stop by the Gadgetress’ home for the PC Club, at ocregister.com/link/pcclub, to find out how to ask a question and read past answers.
QUESTION: When e-mailing a photo, everything seems to work OK, except that the picture comes out so enormously big that no one can reduce it to a reasonable size, so basically no one can look at it. This also happens when a friend sends me a picture. But it doesn’t happen with every friend. Some of them are received and printed in normal size.
PC CLUB: I get this question a lot. Let’s start off with some theory first and then we’ll discuss the solution.
Let’s assume that the pictures we’re discussing were taken with a 10 megapixel camera. The first thing you should do when you purchase a new camera is set it up the way that suits your needs which may change from time to time.
For example, if you plan to print the pictures taken with your camera, you could set it up to take the largest size and highest quality pictures. However, if you plan to only e-mail your pictures you should use a smaller size picture.
Below is the guide from an actual 10 megapixel camera manual illustrating the various pictures sizes that can be taken. Notice that this particular camera can take pictures with various aspect ratios including 3:2 and 16:9.
|Image Size (Pixels)||Suggested Print Size and Application|
|10M (3648×2736)||Poster Print|
|3:2 (3648×2432)||Poster Print|
|7M (3072×2304)||A3 Print|
|4M (2304×1728)||A4 Print|
|2M (1600×1200)||3.5″x5″ Print|
|VGA (640×480)||E Mail|
You can see from the above table that different settings could be used for different end results. Does this mean that you need to periodically change your camera settings? No it doesn’t. My recommendation is to leave your camera on the setting for the largest image size and solve the e-mail problem using another method.
The method discussed below is completely independent of which version of Windows or which e-mail program you are using.
When people e-mail pictures, they e-mail various sizes and are sometimes not even sure of what they are sending. Here’s the problem: Our PC screens have various dimensions but a very popular size is 1024 by 768. This means that the screen is 1024 pixels wide and 768 pixels tall. Thus, a picture that is 3648 pixels wide (see the 1st row of the above table) will not fit on the screen. An e-mail recipient of this is likely to have to scroll quite a bit to view the entire picture.
To make life simple for the recipient, resize your pictures prior to e-mailing them. By using the free Picture Resize imageresizer.codeplex.com you can easily do this. Download the program being careful to choose the 32-bit or 64-bit version as appropriate for your PC and install it. If you are using XP chances are that you are using a 32-bit operating system. For Vista and Windows 7, you can tell whether you need the 64-bit version by clicking My Computer (Computer in Vista or Windows 7) and selecting properties. This Picture Resizer is compatible with XP, Vista and Windows 7.
After installation is complete, just right-click any picture and one of the choices will be Resize picture. You will have several choices including 854 x 480 and 1366 x 768; either of these two is OK. You can also click the Advanced button and choose a custom size. Should the recipient want a full size picture for printing purposes, just send them the original picture and warn them that it should be saved to the hard drive for viewing as discussed below.
As a recipient, if you receive an image that is too large to view, just save it to your hard drive in a location where you can find it later. The safest location is My Pictures (Pictures on Vista and Windows 7). After you save it you can double-click it and it will open in any one of several programs depending on your particular PC.
You should now be able to view it without any scrolling. This is due to the fact that all picture viewing programs automatically resize pictures to fit on the screen. Many of these programs also allow you to magnify the picture to full size so you can examine the details more closely.
You can also visit an old Gadgetress Q&A about resizing photos for e-mail: “Stump the Gadgetress: Resizing photos for e-mail.”
~Ed Schwartz, NOCCC member. View his Web site at www.edwardns.com.