How To Resize & Shrink Photos in iPhoto & Mac Preview

computer frustrationHave you ever spent hours of frustration trying to resize a photo in your Mac’s iPhoto down to Avatar size?  Yesterday I was trying to fill in my Profile in a Forum I’d just joined.  I tried to upload a photo of myself for my Avatar. They had a pixel limit of 100×100 pixels, and no matter how I cropped and saved and uploaded, this site’s software stubbornly refused to upload my edited photos. I tried doing it in iPhoto itself, but the size adjustment was already on the smallest setting.

Here’s What Didn’t Work

First I tried to use my Gravatar – you do have a Gravatar….don’t you!  I’ve never had any problems using Gravatar before, and I’ve been posting comments on lots of other forums and websites.  Why? Because posting comments on other people’s websites is a good method of generating traffic back to your own site.  But this particular Forum had some weird, antiquated software for uploading that I’ve not seen anywhere else before – and it didn’t do a good job!

confident boy heroTip for young players: when something you are trying to do online, refuses to do what you want it to do, blame the software.  That’s what I do. Why? It preserves your self-esteem, and allows you to sail serenely on, with supreme, super-hero-self-confidence in your tireless pursuit of … Living the Dream!….. for example, making a bundle online, and retiring to a tropical island (substitute personal dream of choice here).

OK, if you haven’t been paying attention and following my advice and instructions in How to Add a Photo to Your Online Comments, consider yourself noticed…..and go to at your earliest opportunity.  Make some Avatars/Gravatars, and start adding Authority to your online comments – it’s a free Gravatar service and in most forums and websites, and it works a treat.

Note to self: Focus!! Quite right.

So yesterday I gave up the photo shrinking struggle, but today I started researching how to resize photos in Mac iPhoto – because no one wants to be defeated by a machine, and… I saw an opportunity to help out my readers in case they ever run up against this same problem.  Here is what I learned – and yes, this works.  I show you 2 ways to shrink photos: one using iPhoto, and one using Mac Preview App – that is shipped free with all Mac computers.

Personally, I use the Preview app for shrinking (or increasing) my image sizes, rather than iPhoto for changing image size – it’s much easier and ALWAYS works.  But try both methods and see which suits best for you.

But I do use iPhoto for Cropping, and Adjusting (exposure, sharpness, shadow etc) if I need to do that first.   Then I Export the Adjusted image to my computer, where I upload image to Preview and do size adjustments there.

If you are uploading your images into a website, don’t forget to Optimize your Images so they don’t slow down your website’s loading speed.

I always use free to do that. If you use Tinypng to optimize images – don’t forget to first save your images in png format (not jpg) or Tinypng doesn’t work – you can easily do this in Preview’s Save Options as well.

Step By Step Instructions How to Resize Photo Sizes in iPhoto

  1. Select your photo in iPhoto by clicking on it
  2. Do any adjustments of Exposure, Sharpness, Cropping etc
  3. Select ‘Export’ from the drop down menu: iPhoto > File > Export
  4. Select Maximum Quality
  5. Select ‘Custom’ from the iPhoto ‘Size’ option (not the large, medium or small)
  6. Set the dimensions in pixels you need in the Height, Width, or Dimensions text box
  7. Click Export, and on the next screen select somewhere on your computer outside iPhoto where you want to export it to.  For example, to Documents or Desktop.
  8. it’s now saved as a .jpg or .png file format where you chose to save it, and can be found in Finder.
  9. When you use ‘Custom’ size adjustments in iPhoto, you can sometimes cause distortion of the image.
  10. Keep calm….you can just use Preview for your size adjustments and use iPhoto only for image Editing/Adjusting.

How to Shrink Photos using Mac’s Preview App

  1. Open a saved .jpg or .png format image using Finder>Apps>Preview – just clicking on it should automatically open it in Preview.
  2. If you want to keep a copy of the original image, and make a new image with different dimensions, go to Preview>File>Duplicate.
  3. If you haven’t opened this photo/image for a while, you might now be shown an option box which tells you that this file is ‘locked’ with an option to Unlock it.
  4. Click Unlock.
  5. Close you original image (out of harm’s way).
  6. Now make your size adjustments on the copy of the image you just made.
  7. Go to Preview > ‘Tools’ in the top line menu
  8. Select ‘Adjust Size’ from drop down menu
  9. Choose the pixel size/dimensions you want – some avatar uploads limit size to 100×100 pixels max
  10. If you uncheck the automatic ‘Scale Proportionally’ check box in Preview, you can stretch or squash images, but this will distort the image.  For small adjustments, this might not matter – or, you can use this stretching/squashing feature to make some interesting ‘new’ images – useful for background images.
  11. Go to File > Save
  12. If you want to, you can increase the Quality slider to Max.  I find that for ordinary screenshots and image uploads into posts, you do not need to set quality to Max.  Using Max resolution increases the KB size/weight of your image, which can slow down your page’s loading speed. However, if you have a Photography blog, you might want to use Max Resolution anyway, and not worry about the weight of the image.
  13. Save – all done.   Congratulations!

P.S. If you have a rectangular image that you need to make square e.g. for thumbnail uploads, it’s best to crop the photo (to make it square) in iPhoto first.  Then Export the square image to your computer.  Upload it into Preview, and then you can shrink (or increase) the photo (which is already square) and keep the Scale Proportionally box checked, and you avoid any distortion.

Alright!  Time for a treat! 

Hint: rewarding yourself for your achievements, saves you waiting around for others to do it for you. That always works for me.

Carpe Deum, friends!  Carpe Deum……

           Cue Motto…… Plan Well. Start Small Think BIG!

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How To Resize & Shrink Photos in iPhoto & Mac Preview — 15 Comments

  1. Heya are using WordPress for your blog platform? I’m new to the blog world but I’m trying to get started
    and set up my own. Do you need any html coding expertise to make your own blog?

    Any help would be really appreciated!

  2. Pingback: Personal Things: Tulsa Wind Events – Vacations – Shrinking iPhoto Images for a Blog

    • Hi Maggie, thanks for the rave Review! I remember exactly the extreme frustration of going through those same steps and not getting anything to work! Once I worked out how to do it, it’s not difficult at all.

      Glad you found it useful, I use this method everyday and don’t know what I would do if, for some reason, Mac took these Tools away.

  3. Pingback: Reviving and Refreshing Maggie’s Wine – Vacation – Rain Wind Storms – Shrinking iPhoto Images for Blogs

    • Hi Maggie, thanks for the rave review. Resizing and optimizing images is a big headache for lots of people, as it was for me before I worked out how to do it. Glad this info was useful.

  4. “How to Shrink Or Resize Photos in MAC iPhoto” honestly causes myself imagine a tiny bit more.

    I actually admired each and every particular section of it.

    Many thanks ,Frederick

  5. Spot on with this write-up, I seriously think this
    site needs far more attention. I’ll probably be back again to read more, thanks for the advice!

  6. Thank you. Simply yet brilliantly written step-by-step directions for resizing photos in iPhoto. Worked perfectly the first time. [Can’t say that for the other directs I found online].

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