How to Resize a Photo

By: HowStuffWorks.com Contributors

With digital cameras, customizing photos to fit your needs is easier than ever. You don't have to be a computer whiz to learn how to edit photos to make them bigger or smaller. If you're printing a digital photo, you may want to change the size to fit your picture frame. When e-mailing photos, smaller files take less time to download and less space in your mailbox [source: HP]. With Windows XP, you can resize your digital photos in just a few seconds. Read the steps listed below and learn about how to resize a photo.

  1. Open the folder that holds the picture you want to resize.
  2. Right click on the thumbnail of the picture you want to edit. A dropdown menu will appear.
  3. Select Resize Pictures from the menu. A new dialog box will open entitled Resize Pictures.
  4. Select the size that you want the photo to be (small, medium, large or handheld PC) and click OK. Keep in mind that if you're planning on e-mailing the photo or posting it on the Internet, a small photo is big enough. You can manually set the photo size by clicking on the Advanced tab, which is located in the bottom left corner of the dialog box. Then click on Custom and enter the height and width you want. Click OK to resize the photo to your specifications.

Windows will automatically create a new file of your resized photo with the same name as the original and the size in brackets. For example, if your original photo was called wedding.jpg and you decreased the size of the photo to small, the new file will be called wedding (Small).jpg and will be found in the same folder [source: Saltzman].

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Resize Photo FAQ

How do you resize an image on Windows?
On Windows XP, you can resize your digital photos in just a few seconds. Right click on the thumbnail of the picture, click "Resize Pictures" in the menu that appears, select the size you want the photo to be from the dialog box that pops up, and click OK.
How do you crop a photo on Windows?
On Windows 10, open the Photos app and click on the image you want to crop. Click the Crop button from the top-center toolbar and either use the pins in the corners of the photo to select the area you want to crop or use the Aspect Ratio drop-down menu and select one of the predefined options. Once you're happy with it, click "Save a copy".
How do you zoom in on a picture without losing sharpness?
The best way to enlarge your photos without losing quality is using free software like Gimp. Once you've downloaded it, open the photo in the software, and use the Zoom Tool in the toolbox. Alternatively, hit the shortcut — Z — for the tool on your keyboard. The best way to avoid losing quality is to ensure you're working with a high res photo to begin with.
What's the best software for editing photos?
Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom are the best professional software options on the market, but they aren't free. If you're looking for a free option, try Adobe Photoshop Express or Gimp. Express can be used on your PC or phone as a free app and Gimp can be used just on your computer.
How do you compress an image without losing quality?
This will depend largely on what software you're using. But generally, you'll want to ensure you're reducing the file size of the image, not the resolution. This runs a different algorithm, reducing the size of the image without losing a single pixel.