How to Make a Picture Smaller

Resize images quickly before uploading them to a website

A smaller image is faster to share and faster for folks to download (or just see on Facebook, Instagram, or just download via email). If the image(s) is part of a presentation, a smaller image can make the whole presentation smaller and easier for more computers to handle

Resizing is About More Than Just Stretching and Shrinking

When working with images on your computer, you'll sometimes see selectable arrows on the sides and/or corners of the image. You could simply move the arrows as needed to make it just the right size. This is not the best way to resize images, however, since it stretches (or compresses) the image, making it look blurry, out of focus, and pixelated. 

A better way to resize your image is to use image editing software, where you can control the image quality better, making the resized image look polished and professional. 

It Starts with an Image File

The quality of your resized image depends on the original image you're working with. Image files (PNG, JPG, TIF, etc.) are the best type of images to resize as they tend to have more detail. More detail means higher resolution, which makes it easier for the software to resize the image without losing any of that detail. 

Keep the Image in Perspective

When you resize an image, try to keep the same ratio of width to height. This will prevent your image from looking stretched or warped as you resize it. Most image editors let you do this with a "constrain proportions" option that automatically does this for you as you resize the image. The Shift key is a shortcut way to do this in most image editing software. 

How to Resize an Image

Resizing an image is easy to do. You can do it with an online image resizer such as Pixlr or Simple Image Resizer, or you can use image editing software (either on your computer or your mobile device).

How to Resize an Image in Photoshop

There are several ways to resize images in Photoshop, but the two main ways are by using the Crop tool and the Image Resizer

Using the Crop Tool

Here's how to resize an image using Photoshop's Crop tool.

  1. Open Photoshop and either open or drag and drop your image into the main window to begin.

  2. Select the Crop tool from the Tools menu.

    The location of the Crop Tool in Photoshop.
  3. With the Crop tool selected, click (or tap) and drag across the image to select the portion you wish to crop to.

    Alternatively, you can use the Crop Handles on each side of the image to change the size of the crop area.

  4. When you're happy with the selection there are a few ways you can accept the crop. You can press Enter on your keyboard, click outside the image in your workspace, or you can select the checkmark at the top of the page.

    A screenshot showing how to accept a crop in Photoshop.
  5. Click File > Save As to resave your image in the new size and with a new file name.

Using the Resizing Tool

You can also use the Resizing tool in Photoshop.

  1. Open Photoshop and either open or drag and drop your image into the main window to begin.

  2. Select Image > Image Size.

    The Image Size option in Photoshop.
  3. Using the Image Size dialog box, adjust the sizing options as needed: 

    • Fit To: Choose from one of the defined resolutions, paper sizes, or pixel densities.
    • Width and Height: If you know the exact dimensions you need for the image, enter them here.
    • Resolution: Enter the number of pixels within the image on a per-inch or per-centimeter basis. 
    The Image Size dialog box in Photoshop.
  4. When you're satisfied with your selections, click OK to resize your image.

  5. Click File > Save As to resave your image in the new size and with a new file name.

Resizing with SnagIt

SnagIt is another image editing software you can download to your computer and use to resize images.

  1. Open SnagIt and either open or drag and drop your image into the main window to begin.

  2. Click Image > Resize Image or click the image size at the bottom of the canvas.

    Resize options in SnagIt
  3. Type the Width and Height in the appropriate fields in either pixels or inches.

  4. Click Apply.

  5. Click File > Save As to resave your image in the new size and with a new file name.

Resizing with Preview (MacOS)

Apple's Preview app is a handy tool for many common image editing tasks, such as resizing images.

  1. On your Mac, open the Preview app.

  2. Click File > Open and find the image you wish to resize.

  3. Select the image file and click Open.

  4. Click Tools > Adjust Size.

    Image Preview in iOS/Mac
  5. Choose the size you need and click OK.

    Resize Images in iOS Preview
  6. Click File > Export.

  7. Choose a new name and save location for your resized image.

  8. Click Save.

Resizing with Paint.net

Paint.net is a free image editing software application similar to Photoshop.

  1. Open Paint.net on your computer and either open or drag and drop your image into the main window to begin.

  2. Click Image > Resize.

  3. Choose a way to resize the image, either by percentage or absolute size. If resizing by absolute size, select Maintain aspect ratio and enter the pixel Width or Height for the image. This option will automatically maintain the aspect ratio based on the width or height you choose.

    Resize options in Paint.NET
  4. Click OK to resize the image.

  5. Click File > Save As to resave your image in the new size and with a new file name.

Resizing Images with Online Tools

For most of these online image resizers, you'll need to ensure that Adobe Flash is enabled in your web browser. Follow the instructions for your specific browser as directed.

Resizing using Pixlr

Pixlr is an online tool you can use to resize your images.

  1. Open Pixlr in a web browser.

    Pixlr main splash page
  2. Click OPEN IMAGE FROM COMPUTER to upload the image from your computer.

  3. Select the image you want to resize and click Open.

  4. Click Image > Image size.

    Pixlr Image resizing
  5. Select Constrain proportions. This will automatically adjust the width or height to the new size based on what you choose.

  6. Type a width or height in the appropriate field or click the down arrow to use the slider to choose a measurement.

    Pixlr Image resizing
  7. Click OK.

  8. Click File > Save.

  9. Type a new name for your resized image and select the save location on your computer.

    Pixlr Image resizing
  10. Click OK.

Resizing with rsizr

rsizr is a free online tool that lets you resize images to a custom pixel size or even crop out a portion of the image to its own custom size.

  1. Open rsizr in a web browser.

  2. Click open a picture to get started.

    rsizr.com splash page
  3. Choose the image to resize and click Open.

  4. Click rescale.

    rsizr.com - rescale tool

    [Graphics: Annotate as needed.]

  5. Select Maintain proportions. This will automatically adjust the width or height to the new size based on what you choose.

  6. Type a width or height in the appropriate field and press Enter. Your image is resized.

  7. Click save picture.

  8. Choose your file type and click Save to Computer.

  9. Type a new name for your resized image and select the save location on your computer.

  10. Click Save.

Resizing with Simple Image Resizer

Simple Image Resizer is a free online tool is very simple, allowing you to resize images with a slide bar. 

  1. Open Simple Image Resizer in a web browser.

    Simple Image Resizer.com splash page
  2. Click Select Image. Choose the image to resize and click Open.

  3. Choose your resizing options, either by percentage or by dimensions. Enter the information as appropriate.

    Simple Image Resizer.com splash page

    [Graphics: Annotate as necessary.]

  4. Click Resize.

  5. Once the site has finished resizing your image, a download box appears. Click Download. The resized image opens in a new browser tab or window.

    Simple Image Resizer Download

    [Graphics: Annotate image as necessary.]

  6. Right-click the image and choose Save image as.

    Simple Image Resizer - Save As
  7. Choose a filename for your resized image, save location, and click Save.