Send the Perfect-Sized Picture for Email
You have some great pictures on your hard drive, and you want to send them to family and friends; what now? You have received pictures that came in some strange ways, haven't you? Sometimes, they were so big that you couldn't see the whole thing, or it took forever to come up. Other times, it was embedded in a bunch of to's, from's and other gobbledygook, and indented too far as well. Other times, it was an attachment, and you were afraid to click on it. Maybe you've even received little, tiny pictures or bad resolution ones.
You've even received the really cute or silly pictures that people keep forwarding to you from their email. You wouldn't mind if your friends were sending you their own pictures, but they get carried away.
I'm going to make sure your email has the perfect-sized pictures, and that they appear in the right place. We'll start by figuring out what size you want, and then tell you HOW to get the size you want.
Let's start with your original picture size. When you took your pictures, your camera was set for a size. It doesn't matter whether it's a cell phone, a web cam, or a regular digital camera. It came from the factory set to make whatever size it was set for. Even if you just scanned in a picture, the scanner was set for a certain size.
If you're a tech wiz, maybe you already know how to set the size on your camera. That doesn't mean your picture is email-ready. After all, if you wanted high-resolution, then you'll end up with a picture that will be Jumbo-sized in your email.
The good news is that you don't have to go all the way back to the Grand Canyon and take your pictures with a different setting. (Unless you took your pictures at night, then you'll just have to go back during the day.) If your pictures are really big, you can use a picture resizer to make them just the right size.
But what size is the right size? There is no universal size. Even if your camera has an "email" setting, that just means that the people who designed the camera chose a smaller size that would be easy to send by email. It's nothing official.
To decide on the right size, start with why you're sending the picture. If you want someone to see what an amazing and artistic photographer you are, then you want a big, high-resolution photo. Same thing if you need to show a great deal of detail for some reason.
But in that case, how big is too big? It's best to size for the typical computer screen. Let's not worry too much about the different screen sizes. It would be a headache to call everyone and ask them what their settings are for that. They probably wouldn't know, anyway. Let's just go with a very common size, and subtract some width to make up for the program their using. For example, Hotmail has columns on the side of the email that take up some space.
The safest bet is 600 pixels wide. But, if you're sure everybody has up-to-date monitors (at least seventeen inches is typical these days) and their vision is okay, then you should be fine with 800 pixel width pictures.
But what if you just want to send some nice pictures that won't take long to load, and won't flood the screen with uncle Bill's yellow teeth? I suggest a pleasant size like 400 pixels wide. It's big enough to see some detail, but won't require a lot of time to scroll through or to download.
There is an easy program that takes care of this, called Bulk Photo Resizer. You can set it and apply it to one picture, or hundreds all at once. A great thing about this program, is that it makes sure that your picture doesn't get stretched too wide or too tall. In other words, it keeps its "aspect ratio” so everything is the right shape. When it gives you sizes to choose from, they will be pre-set to take care of this for you. Very handy!
One thing you absolutely don't want to do, is to enlarge your picture. It needs to either stay at its original size, or be smaller. Good news! Bulk Photo Resizer won't let you do that.
But what if your camera was set to a smaller size (a lower resolution), then you wanted? You will have to set your camera for a larger size (higher resolution).
Here's the problem with enlarging. If you enlarge a digital picture, you will start seeing jagged edges, called "jaggies,” or the little squares that the image is made of, like what they do on TV to hide someone's face and you see it turn into little squares. It means your turning a low-resolution picture into a picture that is too large. That effect, causing the squares or jaggies is called pixelation.
So how do you find out the picture size? Bulk Photo Resizer will tell you!
But if you aren't using Bulk Photo Resizer, and if you don't remember your camera setting (and who does?), you can find out the size on your computer. With Windows Explorer (the program that shows you where your files are) go to the directory that has your picture. If you don't know where it is, you'll need to write down the location from now on when you save files to your computer.
Here's something to make it easier to find your picture. Select View and Thumbnails from the menu row (at the top of the window) and you will see small versions of the pictures on your hard drive. Of course, you have to be in a directory that has pictures in it. It might be easier to look at the thumbnails then it is to remember the exact file name of your picture. Right click on your picture or its file name and select Properties. Click on the Summary tab and you will see the height and width of your picture.
The only thing you need to do is to make sure not to enlarge the picture. In other words, if you want it to be a smaller width, then make it a smaller width. If you wanted it to be larger, just leave it as-is.
Have you noticed that I have only been talking about the width? That's because most pictures are wider than they are tall, so if you handle the width, then they'll fit on your screen just fine.
Just to be complete, though, here's the scoop on large images that are taller than they are wide. In that case, change the height rather than the width. The conservative size is 400 pixels, but you can probably get away with 550 pixels if they have the typical seventeen-inch monitor and fairly good vision. If you use Bulk Photo Resizer, it will take care of the height when you change the width, and vice versa.
The final step is to attach the picture to your email. In most programs, like Outlook Express or an online email service such as Hotmail, you simply use the Attach command. Most people will see the image in the message, below whatever you write. Since you aren't forwarding a message, the image should not be surrounded by a lot of junky text. If you say a lot in your message, be sure to tell your recipients to scroll down, so they will find your picture after your long text.
digital photos in seconds!
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