Using Digital Images in Documents, Presentations and Displays
Digital photographs that have been taken with a high-resolution camera using the highest resolution and quality settings are too large to be emailed directly and can be inconvenient to include in PowerPoint presentations. But it's very easy to re-size them and there are a number of ways to do so.
1. Some cameras have a function that automatically creates and saves a small copy of the picture at the appropriate resolution for emailing.
2. Most editing software has facilities for resizing digital pictures, although some applications provide few controls over the dimensions and resolution of the end result.
3. Image sharing websites like Flickr (www.flickr.com), Snapfish (www.snapfish.com.au), and PhotoBucket (www.photobucket.com) provide automatic resizing when pictures are uploaded.
However, the process is so simple and straightforward, it's worth learning how to do it yourself because then you can control exactly how large - and at what resolution - your pictures are duplicated.
Standard Picture Sizes & Resolutions
Before you start resizing pictures, it's important to know the standard resolutions for various end-uses. Essentially four resolutions are in common use:
* 72 pixels per inch (ppi) for emails and images that will be used in web-based applications (websites, browsers, online catalogues) and screen-based viewing (computer and video monitors).
* 92 ppi for PowerPoint presentations.
* 96 ppi for high-definition monitors and TV screens.
* 300 ppi for prints and documents that will be printed (see Chapter 7 on Printing Digital Photos).
When resizing pictures for viewing on a computer or TV monitor, you should also take account of the native resolution of the screen itself. Most monitors can display a range of resolutions, from 640 x 480 pixels, through to 3200 x 2400 pixels. The ideal resolution for a standard 4:3 aspect ratio display for image editing is between 1280 x 1024 pixels and 1920 x 1440 pixels. Widescreen displays typically range between 1280 x 800 pixels and 1440 x 900 pixels.
If your picture size matches the monitor's display parameters, the picture should fill the screen when it is opened. Pictures that are smaller will open at a smaller size, while larger pictures are usually automatically re-sized to fit the screen. (This re-sizing is for display only and will not affect the actual file size.)
Changing the resolution setting on your monitor display will also change the size at which pictures and text will be displayed. The ideal resolution for a standard 4:3 aspect ratio display for image editing is between 1280 x 1024 pixels and 1920 x 1440 pixels. (Note: this dialog box refers to a dual-monitor set-up.)
Resizing for Emails
Picasa2 (www.picasa.com) provides one of the easiest ways to re-size a batch of pictures for emailing. Simply find the album of shots you wish to send and click on Tools>Options>Email. Under the Output Options menu, set the slide bar under "When sending more than one photo, resize to:" to the desired pixel size. (The default 480 pixel width is fine for portrait-format shots but you should slide the bar to the right to a resolution setting of 640 pixels for landscape format shots.)
Clicking on OK automatically resizes the images in the folder and opens the selected email program.
Picasa2 also provides an option for sending image files at full resolution but only when images are sent one photo at a time. Video clips can also be re-sized for emailing but, because even small movie files tend to be very large, both the Picasa Mail and Gmail services limit each message to a maximum of 10 MB. (Note: Some ISPs will not allow their clients to accept such large file sizes.)
Another useful batch resizing program is Irfanview, which is available from www.irfanview.com. This freeware graphic viewer is fast and supports a huge variety of file types. It also includes an emailing facility, multimedia player, searching and printing functions. Basic editing controls are also provided.
Picasa2 will allow you to choose the email program for sending your pictures.
Microsoft has a freeware 'PowerToy" application called Image Resizer that allows users of Windows XP to resize one or many image files. It's available from www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/downloads/powertoys/xppowertoys.mspx. The 521 KB file is very quick to download. Users simply right-click on the selected file(s) and choose from four different size options:
Irfanview's batch resizing facilities allow photographers to re-size many files at the same time.
* Small (which fits a 640 x 480 pixel screen),
* Medium (which fits an 800 x 600 pixel screen),
* Large (which fits a 1024 x 768 pixel screen),
* Handheld PC (which fits a 240 x 320 pixel screen).
No provision is made for larger screen sizes or widescreen TV sets but all four settings can be useful for re-sizing shots for emailing. Use the Handheld PC if you're emailing pictures to a camera-phone.
Resizing for PowerPoint Presentations
Microsoft's PowerPoint is a popular business tool that can also be used for creating simple slideshow-style presentations for displaying a set of photographs on a computer screen. It's best to set up a special folder containing the image files you wish to use in your presentation and then re-size these images as a batch. Match the size of the images to the screen on which they will be displayed (for example, 1024 x 768 pixels for a typical computer screen) and set the resolution to 92 ppi.
PowerPoint contains its own image re-sizing facility but it does not reduce file sizes. Consequently, if you have shot your pictures with a high-resolution camera, you will quickly reach the data-handling limit of the software.
Problems are likely to occur if your presentation file is 40MB or larger. You can produce an excellent presentation that is much smaller in size by re-sizing the image files before you begin to assemble it.
Step 1: Resize the images in another application and save them in a separate folder.
Step 2: Open PowerPoint and select blank presentation, choosing the blank page from the Content Layouts menu.
You can change the background colour by clicking on Format>Background and selecting an appropriate background colour from the palette. (If the colour you want is not displayed, click on More Colours to access the full palette range.) Click on Apply to All.
We've used Irfanview to re-size all the pictures in a folder and save them in a new folder, from where we will collect them when assembling our PowerPoint presentation.
Step 3: Insert your picture. Select Insert>Picture>From File. Then locate the file you wish to use in your re-sized pictures folder. Click on this picture then click on 'Insert' to superimpose the picture on the slide. If it's the wrong size, you can adjust by positioning the cursor over one of the dots on the edges of the picture and dragging them in or out. This does not adjust the actual size of the image file.
If you wish to add a title at this point, select Insert>Text Box and draw the text box over the area where you wish to locate it, keeping the mouse button held down while you position and adjust it. Then type your title into the box. PowerPoint provides a variety of text styles and colours to choose from.
Step 4: To create the next slide, click Insert>New slide and insert and position your next picture(s). It is possible to place two or more pictures on a single slide but, remember, PowerPoint does not re-size the image files so putting several pictures on one slide can create quite large files.
Step 5: When you have completed your presentation, it's worthwhile checking the file size to make sure it is not too large. Here's how to go about it:
On a Mac
1. Quit out of PowerPoint.
2. Click once on the icon for your PowerPoint presentation to select it.
3. From the File menu choose Get Info>General Information
4. In the window that appears look for the Size of the presentation
On a PC
1. Quit out of PowerPoint.
2. Right-Click on the icon for your PowerPoint presentation.
3. In the menu that appears, choose Properties.
4. In the window that appears look for the Size of the presentation.
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