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Preparing Images For Emailing

Before you attach your photos to an email and launch them into cyberspace, you’ll need to follow a few easy steps or they’ll take forever to send (and receive) and usually be too big to be viewed without scrolling,. In most cases, they’ll have to be resampled in your imaging program, not just re-sized. What’s the difference? When you re-size an image, the file size stays the same- pixels are just pushed together or spread apart to make the picture smaller or larger. This also changes the image’s resolution. It becomes higher (with more pixels-per-inch) if those pixels are scrunched closer together or lower (with fewer pixels-per-inch) if they’re spread apart.

When you send photos as email attachments, you’ll want to specify resolution -such as 72 pixels-per-inch (ppi) for display on a monitor- and an exact image size so the picture won’t look too large or too small on the screen. To achieve this, the image will have to be resampled and "interpolation" will be used to add or subtract pixels in order to give you exactly the size you’ve specified without changing the resolution you’ve selected.

Once that's accomplished, you’ll want to sharpen the image a bit and then compress it so its file size becomes smaller yet. The smaller the file size, the faster the picture will fly to its destination and the quicker it will download at the other end. It can then be brought up in any imaging program or browser for viewing. Let’s go through it step by step:

1. Select the image to be sent, copy it, and bring the copy into your imaging program.

2. Trim (crop) the photo, and make esthetic changes, if desired.

3. Bring up the "Image Size" or "Resize" dialog box (found under the "Image" menu in most programs.)

4. If your program has a "Resampling" option, checkmark it and choose "Bicubic." Also checkmark "Constrain (or Keep) Proportions." If your program has a "Keep File Size" option, make sure it is NOT checked. (If your program doesn’t have a "Resampling" option, checkmarking "Keep Proportions" and NOT checking "Keep File Size" will put it into the resampling mode.)

72ppi Resampling
Adobe Photoshop's "Image Size" resizing and resampling dialong box is typical of most imaging programs. Use the "Print Size" section only and make sure both boxes at the bottom are checked.

5. Set the "Resolution" box to 72 pixels per inch (or ppi). Then type in new image dimensions. If the picture is horizontal (or "landscape") type in 5 or 6 inches in the width box. If it’s vertical (or "portrait") type in 4 or 5 inches in the height box. In both cases the program calculates the other dimension so the photo keeps its original proportions. If you stay within these width and height sizes, recipients will usually be able to see the entire image without scrolling.

 

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