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Tips & Tricks: Image Editing

Today's digital cameras, including the cameras on smart phones, produce images that are much larger than necessary for most web pages. And by large, we mean both in dimensions (pixels) and file size (megabytes). An image exported directly from a digital camera can be 3 MB or larger. Why is this bad?

Let's say you have a slideshow on your homepage with just 5 images and each image is 2 MB in size. This scenario would require each visitor to your homepage to download 10 MB of images - not a big deal for those on a high speed internet connection, but a bigger deal for schools where bandwidth is limited.

The solution is to edit your images before uploading to your website, which sounds like a daunting task, but in reality it's easy work with the right tools. This tip is geared towards the novice. No specialized knowledge or software is required.

Free Online Batch Resizing

If you have a lot of images that need resizing, what you need is a way to process all your images at once. There are many such online batch editors, but we will use Pic Resize as an example.

1. Click the Add Multiple Files link to select images from your hard drive, then click the Upload Files


2. Once your pictures have uploaded, choose Custom Size and set the width to 750 pixels, unless your slideshow will cover the full width of a page - in that case, use 1000 pixels.

3. Save your images as JPG and click the Submit Batch Job button. 


4. When your images are processed, you will be presented with a link to download your images.


Now your images are ready for upload to either your School Loop images albums or slideshows.

Free Online Image Editors

While batch processing is great for a lot of images, sometimes you'll want more tools for editing your images. There are many free online image editors that will do the trick. For this tip we'll use PicMonkey to illustrate how to resize your images.

1. Start by clicking Edit to upload a copy of your image.


2. Now choose the Resize option in the menu on the left. Additionally there are lots of tools for adjusting the quality of your image or adding special effects.


3. The resize tool indicates the size of your image in pixels. Reduce the width of your image to 750 pixels (the first number in the image size illustrated below) unless your slideshow will cover the full width of a page - in that case, use 1000 pixels.


4. Finally, give your file a name using the "jpg" extension. Without getting technical, the "Quality" setting can further reduce the size of your file (in terms of KB). Some editors use a slider control with 100% being best. PicMonkey gives you just 3 choices. Their "Pierce" setting will be fine in most cases. If the quality of your image wasn't too great to start, choose the higher quality setting.


Now your images are ready for upload to either your School Loop images albums or slideshows.