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Optimising photographs using MS Photos and Apple's Preview

Before uploading a large photo to your website, it's a good idea to optimise it first

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Resized photo

Optimising photographs using MS Photos (Win 10) and Apple's Preview (macOS)

News Posted: 15 March 2021
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Before uploading a large photo to your website, it's a good idea to optimise it first. In this post, we will learn how to shrink the dimensions and file-size of a photograph. Optimising images before upload will improve page loading times, save space on the server and speed-up your website editing workflow.

Tools and file-types

We will not be using 3rd party photo editing apps, just the standard image editing tools available with Windows and Apple Mac operating systems. There are many image file-types, jpg, png, gif, bmp and raw, to name a few, but we will keep things simple and focus on photographs saved with the .jpg or .jpeg extension.

Using Windows 10 'Photos'

There are a few ways to open up the 'Photos app'. The quickest way is to double click on your jpg image file. Doing this will open your selected photograph in 'Photos'. You can also open 'Photos' by right-clicking the file and then choose 'Open with Photos'.

To resize your photograph, click on the three dots, top-right.

Photos App 1
Screen 1: Click/tap to view larger image.

Next, click 'resize' from the drop-down menu.

Photos App 2
Screen 2: Click/tap to view larger image.

We will resize the photo using custom dimensions, so click on 'Define custom dimensions' as in the following screen.

Photos App 3
Screen 3: Click/tap to view larger image.

We can adjust the size of the photo by only changing the image width. Ensure that the 'Maintain aspect ratio' option is checked and then adjust the image width. Try setting the width to 900px. The app will automatically calculate the correct height based on the photo's aspect ratio. Finish by saving a copy of your image.

Photos App 4
Screen 4: Click/tap to view larger image.

Your new image will now be smaller in terms of dimensions, as well as file-size. Your photograph is now ready to upload to your website.

Using Apple Mac's 'Preview'

The Mac OS has a helpful (or unhelpful) autosave feature that saves your work as you make changes and edits. You may wish to keep the original photograph, so let's make a copy of the file and work with that.

To make a copy of your photograph, right-click on your .jpg file and select duplicate. The duplicate file will be created and will appear alongside the original. It's a good idea to rename the new file to something more useful.

Launching 'Preview'

There are different ways to launch the 'Preview' app. The quickest method is to right-click on your jpg file and select 'Open with Preview'.

Your image will display in 'Preview'.

Depending on your preferences you may or may not see the editing toolbars (toolbar and markup toolbar). If the toolbar is present, click on the pencil icon, this will reveal the 'markup toolbar'. The markup toolbar displays various editing options. Click on the 'Adjust size' icon.

If toolbars are not present, activate them via 'View' or instead skip the toolbars completely and go to 'Tools > Adjust size'.

Screen 5: Click/tap to view larger image.

We are going to resize the photo using custom dimensions, start by making the following adjustments:

  • Set the 'Fit into' option to 'Custom'.
  • Set the width and height to pixels.
  • Ensure that the 'Scale proportionally' and 'Resample image' options are ticked.
Screen 6: Click/tap to view larger image.

We only need to change the width of the image; try setting it to 900px. Note the resulting file size, in this example we have reduced the size from 2.9MB to 140kb.

Finally, click the ok button.

The dimensions of your photograph, including the file size, will now be reduced. It is now ready to upload to your website.

In a future post, we will take a closer look at image file-types and aspect ratios.

View original Rabbit Montage image.


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