Anth's Computer Cave Tutorials

Resize an image in Microsoft Paint

12 July, 2016

Today I'll show you how to resize an image in Microsoft Paint to easily upload it to a website.

Picture: Anthony Hartup

We often need to upload images to the web for various reasons, and sometimes the process can be a bit hit-and-miss. One common reason for image upload failures is image file-size. Most image-upload sites have size-limits, and each site may have a different limit.

To know when you should shrink an image before upload it pays to have a basic grasp how images display on the web. I won't bore you with all the details, but essentially most of the images you see on a webpage are between 600px and 1200px wide. The image of the ship above is exactly 800px wide, and you can see it displays well in the browser.

The thing is, when I took this picture with my four-year-old smartphone, it was 3264px wide with a file-size of 1.85MB. A newer phone would have taken an even higher-resolution image. If you placed that image directly into a webpage it could take an extra five or ten seconds for visitors to load the webpage. If people are viewing the webpage on the phone, that large image will also use more of their data to view.

Fortunately, this is easily fixed if you are using a computer or laptop. We'll copy and resize the image using Microsoft Paint, which is built-in to Microsoft Windows.

Note: If you plan to keep the image, do not resize the original image. Make a copy of the original and resize that.

Picture: Anthony Hartup

Right-click on your copied image and highlight Open with, and select Paint.

Picture: Anthony Hartup

The image will open in full-size and overflow off the screen. Click the View tab at the top-of-screen then click Zoom out until you can see the entire image.

Picture: Anthony Hartup

Now, return to the Home tab and select Resize.

Picture: Anthony Hartup

In the popup window, click the Pixels radio button. You can see in the Horizontal field the image is 3264 pixels wide.

As mentioned earlier, this image needs to be between 600 and 1200 pixels to display without lag on a webpage. Therefore, it's a huge waste uploading it at that size.

Picture: Anthony Hartup

As an example we'll shrink the ship image down to 1200px. On the average webpage that's large enough to fill a 1920*1080 computer monitor or television. Change the Horizontal field to 1200. Notice that Paint has automatically adjusted the Vertical field for height to match the width you entered and keep the image in scale.

Picture: Anthony Hartup

Click OK.

Picture: Anthony Hartup

The image may look smaller than expected, but that's because we zoomed out when we first started.

Click Save and turn off Paint.

Picture: Anthony Hartup

If you look at the files again you can see the the file-size has shrunk from 1.85MB to 290KB. That will load about eight-times faster on a webpage than the original image, yet it will look almost identical.

Resizing on your phone

Resizing with Paint is great if you are on a computer or laptop, but you can't use Paint on you phone.

If you are taking an image just to upload it to a website you can take the picture with your smart phone camera set at a lower resolution. There should be an option for this in the settings menu for your camera.

In the next image tutorial I'll look at some apps for editing and resizing directly from your phone.

Leave a comment below if you have any questions.





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