Optimize File Size


Supplies: Comfort Zone by Heather T.

Whether you use Photoshop Elements or full Photoshop for your scrapbooking, you’ll know that there are seemingly dozens of ways of accomplishing the same task.

Let’s take saving a layout for use on the web. For years, I used the save-for-web dialogue box, and played with a quality level slider bar to get the file to the right size for posting in the galleries. It was finicky and took a relatively long time to accomplish such a simple task.

Then, one day, I was in a forum, and somebody mentioned the “optimize to file size” option in the save-for-web dialogue. I searched, found it and I was hooked! It’s a timesaver that resizes the layout to exactly the right size in a couple of clicks.

How To Use the Optimize to File Size Option

I’m going to work with this finished layout as an example:


The image size in the full-size, layered file is:


Reduce size

By going to Image>Image Size, I reduced the size of my layout to these settings:


I chose 600×600 pixels because that is the size supported by the galleries I use. The resolution of 72 is the standard web resolution.

Flatten Image

Flatten the layers by going to Layer>Flatten Image.

Sharpen For Web

The reduced resolution and resizing adds a bit of softness to the image. I use a commercially available sharpen-for-web action by Totally Rad to add back some crispness to the image. You can also check out this article for sharpening for the web.


In the File>Save for Web & Devices dialogue box, you’ll see this:


In the very top, right-hand corner is a tiny little down arrow and block of lines. It’s very easy to overlook. But, if you click on it, you’ll see this menu:


Click on the Optimize to File Size… menu option.

Since most galleries require images to be under 150 kb, that’s the file size being used here:


By clicking OK, Photoshop will select the image quality level that will be as close to 150 K as possible.


Select save and save the web sized version to your folder.

I scrapped and saved-for-web for years without knowing about the Optimize to File Size option. I relied on playing with the quality value while keeping an eye on the file size. But, the Optimize option is much faster and easier. A simple trick worth passing on!

Now time to upload to the galleries!