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Tutorial on resizing pictures for printing


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I know this has been discussed but I can’t find the relevant threads. I want to resize images to print, and have read about how people do it - such as in Word - without losing quality. I just can’t find the info now. I used to be able to do it, but years have gone by and the programs I used to use seem to have changed. Thanks for your help!

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If you're on a pc, you should have a built in Windows program called Paint. Newer computers have Paint 3D, which is a different program. If you don't see Paint on your Windows pc, use the search box to find it. Microsoft writes that it's still on there as an app. The icon looks like an artist's pallette.

Once you've opened it, and selected the picture you want to resize, you'll notice resize in the program toolbar - up on top. Click on it and a small window will open allowing you to elect to resize the picture either by % or pixels. I always use pixels, myself.

I hope this is the info you were looking for.

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2 hours ago, havanaholly said:

Our Chromebook has a program in our photo section to edit pictures.

Don't know about Chromebook, but in my experience, many of the basic photo editing programs don't seem to be capable of resizing. 

I ought to refine that - by resizing, I don't mean cropping, I mean changing the size of the picture while keeping the picture intact. Instead of a big photo, you're just making it smaller.

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For purposes of printing in Word, you can simply grab a corner of the picture with your mouse and drag to make it smaller.  You want to do it on the diagonal (grab the lower right-hand corner and drag it upper left), to keep it from distorting the picture.   A couple of things with the newer version of Word:  I sometimes can't seem to drag to resize until I've selected, on the Picture Format bar, "Wrap Text," then "In Front of Text."  The default is "In line with text," which can make moving and resizing a picture difficult.  The other thing is, before you start playing around with your pictures, go to File/Options/Advanced and scroll down to "Image size and quality."  Make sure that "Do not compress images in file" is checked, and make sure that a high DPI is selected in "Default Resolution."  Otherwise, it's been my experience that when I size an image small enough to print in mini, Word "helpfully" compresses it into an unrecognizable blob.  Hope this helps.

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On a mac I use Preview. I always save my images at 300dpi for sharp details. In Preview, I can view the image size to make sure it is how I want it -  can adjust it to the size I want by entering the measurements too. A 5 inch image at 300dpi is going to be sharper than a 5 inch image at 72dpi. How it looks on the screen to you is not necessarily how it will print. But if you do a "print preview" before printing or simply view the auto-preview (each system is different), that will give you an idea at least that it isn't too small or too large.

Then when printing - make sure the printer doesn't try to "help you" by printing it to fit the paper, or shrinking it or whatever - make sure it is printing at 100%. That is what has gotten me in the past - the printer likes to to try second guess me.

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Using Word, copy the picture and then paste it into a blank word document. Once the picture is in the word document, double click the picture and it brings up a box which says "Format Picture". There are several tabs. To resize simply choose the tab that says "size" and you can change it by percentage. Hope that's what you were trying to figure out.

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Thanks for all the tips everyone. I will have to have a fiddle and see how I go. I should’ve mentioned I wanted to put multiple pictures on one sheet of paper. I may also have a crappy printer that doesn’t print clearly. My husband doesn’t think so but I can’t seem to get good clear pictures even in large size.

Grazhina, thank you, I do have Paint on a laptop (where I don’t store any photos - we have everything Apple and the laptop is used only to operate the laser cutter). I had a short play last night and it has changed since I last used it. It’s clunky but will persevere.

Thanks Holly - no Chromebooks here. We do have an app that resizes images but I should’ve mentioned I want to put multiple pictures on one page to print lots on one A4 sheet of paper. 

Thanks Deborah - I will check all those things. When you resize the image in Word, it seems to resize incrementally though. So I am limited to the size that Word allows me, is that correct?

hi Jenn. We have Mac/Preview but should’ve mentioned I want to put multiple pictures on a sheet. It used to be easy. Now it just seems way harder. Paintbrush or whatever it was called used to be great but not anymore.

And Linda, thankyou. I will try that too. 

 

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7 minutes ago, shannonc60 said:

So I am limited to the size that Word allows me, is that correct?

Actually, if you follow Linda's instructions, you can put any number in the "size" boxes, down to hundredths of an inch.  So I can set a picture to, say, .38 inches by .25 inches.  Another thing I forgot to mention:  When I got a new computer, I let Windows use default printer drivers for my printer.  Big mistake.  Suddenly, my images just weren't as clear.  I went onto the HP site (I have an HP printer) and downloaded the HP drivers specifically for my printer, and that made a world of difference, too.

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Many years ago I wrote an article about this for Miniature Collector. Technology has improved but the basics are still the same, so maybe it will help you: https://www.emilymorganti.com/samples/miniaturizingprints.pdf

Seashore is a free graphics program you can use on your Mac: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/seashore/id1448648921

As Elsbeth mentioned, the main thing to make sure of when you're printing images is that you want the resolution (also known as dpi, or dots per inch) to be 300 or higher. Images on a computer screen are only 72 dpi and when you print them they'll be fuzzy because not enough ink is used to create a sharp image. This works in our favor for minis because you can take an image that looks big on the computer and increase the dpi rather than reducing the dimensions of the image. This causes it to print out at a smaller size (because the dots are being compressed into a smaller area) but it comes out sharper than if you had reduced the dimensions.

Hope that makes sense!

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2 hours ago, shannonc60 said:

Grazhina, thank you, I do have Paint on a laptop (where I don’t store any photos - we have everything Apple and the laptop is used only to operate the laser cutter). I had a short play last night and it has changed since I last used it. It’s clunky but will persevere.

And Linda, thankyou. I will try that too. 

 

All computers have "paint". It's a program pre-installed. Click on your "start" or "window" icon at the left hand bottom corner of your screen and it brings up programs. If you don't see paint, then search for it in the search bar. It will pull it up.

And you're welcome on my word instructions. You can also add several pix into a word document and re-size each and every one. I use that all the time...

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7 hours ago, fov said:

Many years ago I wrote an article about this for Miniature Collector. Technology has improved but the basics are still the same, so maybe it will help you: https://www.emilymorganti.com/samples/miniaturizingprints.pdf

Seashore is a free graphics program you can use on your Mac: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/seashore/id1448648921

As Elsbeth mentioned, the main thing to make sure of when you're printing images is that you want the resolution (also known as dpi, or dots per inch) to be 300 or higher. Images on a computer screen are only 72 dpi and when you print them they'll be fuzzy because not enough ink is used to create a sharp image. This works in our favor for minis because you can take an image that looks big on the computer and increase the dpi rather than reducing the dimensions of the image. This causes it to print out at a smaller size (because the dots are being compressed into a smaller area) but it comes out sharper than if you had reduced the dimensions.

Hope that makes sense!

Thanks Emily, I found your tutorial and saved it! I have an app already to resize images but have to do it picTure by picture. I am wanting to put a bunch of pictures into one document and print that. I should’ve been clearer in the first post but forgot.

 

 

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6 hours ago, LPCullen said:

All computers have "paint". It's a program pre-installed. Click on your "start" or "window" icon at the left hand bottom corner of your screen and it brings up programs. If you don't see paint, then search for it in the search bar. It will pull it up.

And you're welcome on my word instructions. You can also add several pix into a word document and re-size each and every one. I use that all the time...

Thanks Linda. We only have one Windows laptop which does have Paint on it. All our other devices and desk top computer are Apples. We have Word/Excel etc on our Mac but it doesn’t include Paint. I have apps that I can do this all in but I am not happy with the print quality, which is maybe the problem. I might need to investigate the printer instead.

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11 hours ago, shannonc60 said:

Thanks Emily, I found your tutorial and saved it! I have an app already to resize images but have to do it picTure by picture. I am wanting to put a bunch of pictures into one document and print that. I should’ve been clearer in the first post but forgot.

You can do that in Seashore, too. Just create a new image that's 8.5" x 11" at 300dpi and then copy/paste your resized (300dpi) graphics into that until you fill up the page. I don't know if Word respects the dpi, that's why I suggest using a graphics program.

 

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Ahhh yep Ok, thanks Emily. That is useful. And you find that 300dpi is enough to retain clarity when printing? I have Graphic and can do all these things in it and it saves at 300dpi, but I find the printing clarity isn’t good enough, hence my asking for advice. I need to investigate my stupid printer/printer driver too I suspect.

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300 dpi works for me, with my current printer. I have done 600 before and don't see much of a difference (but the file sizes are a lot bigger and they take longer to print).

Sometimes you can specify dpi on the printer and sometimes you can't. That could be the culprit. You should also be able to control the printing quality (draft / normal / best), and printing on paper designed for inkjet printers and photos can make a difference too. What kind of printer do you have?

Also it depends on what size the image was to begin with. The software can't create dots that don't exist and maintain a sharp image, so if you start with an image that's already relatively small, there might not be enough dots there to make it the size you need in mini at 300 dpi. The software will try to compensate by adding new dots, which will make the picture blurry. (That's why you should change the dpi first -- which will reduce the printed size of the image -- and then reduce your image size further if you need it to be even smaller. If you reduce the size to what you want it to be first and then try to increase the dpi, you will end up with a blurry image.)

 

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I have selected the best/photo quality and used good paper but doesn’t seem to help much. And the photos/pictures are quite large. Some pictures I have made twice the size needed and printed at 50%. In the past, this has been fine. We have a Canon inkjet. 

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