Optimizing For Web and Email

size-for-webLayout supplies from Dani Mogstad

I (Steph) remember when I first started digi scrapping, I would email completed layouts to family members and they would say the the file was too big for them to download. WHAT? My dad told me that I would need to change the file size and make it smaller…but I had no idea how to do that. I finally learned how to “resize” after attending a speedscrap chat and having the moderator walk me through it so I could post my layout and get the freebie. 😉 Today, I was able to find some great resources for learning how to use the “Save for web” feature in PS and PSE and the “Jpeg Optimizer” in PSP.

I am a little embarrassed that there is a much easier way to use this tool than how I have been doing it. Most galleries have a file size limit (usually around 200k) and did you know there is a way to input the filesize you want to stay under and “save for web” will resize your image within that number you input? Well, I did not know that until today…haha. So, let’s get started.

FIRST, let me share this interesting information, RESIZING (which most of us call what we do when we make a photo smaller in resolution) is actually RESAMPLING —-GASP—-I know! Who would have thought!?

RESIZING is changing the PRINT size of an image but not the resolution or dpi.

RESAMPLING is changing the resolution or dpi of an image.

You can read more about resizing, resampling and the differences here.

SECOND, the highest resolution that most computer monitors can see is 72 dpi. However, some of the newer monitors can see as high as 100 dpi. You can read more about that starting on the 3rd page of this article.

Some reasons you might want to resize and typical sizes:

Blog post: A smaller file size will help the image load more quickly. I like to resize images on my blog because I don’t really want people to be able to pull up the full sized image and see the dirt on my floor…haha 🙂 At TDD I usually size my images between 400-500 pixels and I’m pretty sure Janet does the same. For my personal blog, I have a 3 column layout and the middle column is 500 pixels, so I usually size those to 400 pixels or smaller.

Email: A smaller file will make it so you can actually send the attachment and people will also receive it. It will also make it so the image will appear in the body of the email and fit on the screen, so the receiver will not have to scroll from side to side or up and down in order to view the entire layout. I usually size images for email at 600-800 pixels.

Gallery Post: If you want to post your layouts in an online gallery, you will need to resize it. Most galleries allow a maximum file size around 200kb.

Images for avatars in forums, blogs, or social networking sites: Most forums or social networking sites allow a maximum file size for this. This will take a lot of time and guessing out of getting the filesize right!

Backgrounds for blogs/social networking sites: I just recently signed up for Twitter, after my dad sent me an invite to follow him…no, I am not kidding. So, I resized one of my favorite digi papers to use as my background. I resized it to 800 pixels wide and made sure it was under the filesize limit and them uploaded it to Twitter. I selected the tile effect and there is a small seam, but it is very hard to see.

“Save For Web” (PhotoShop) and the “Jpeg Optimizer” (Paint Shop Pro) are much more than just an image resizer. They help images to be much more crisp and clear and eliminates jaggies on vector layers while keeping the files size low. They also take the guess work out pf sizing files within a specific range. Here are the tutorials to help you get the most from these tools:

Bestechvideos has a GREAT video tutorial on Save For Web HERE

Spanglefish has a PDF tutorial for Jpeg Optimizer HERE.

One side note…you may need to change the image size before using these tools depending on the size and resolution of your original layout.