EDITING AND ORGANIZING YOUR PHOTOS

A friend of ours didn’t know how to resize photos to put on a website. It wasn’t file compression she was after, but changing a large photo to a smaller one. We think Google Picasa is the easiest way to do things like this and it’s free at Picasa.com.

To resize a photo: Go to the “File” menu, choose “Export” and browse to the folder you want to place the photo. Then guess on a pixel size. That’s the dimensions of the picture measured in screen pixels; the exact number will depend on the image quality you want. If you don’t like the way it came out, try it with different numbers, up or down; your original photo remains unchanged.

Open Microsoft Word or a similar program and go to the “insert” menu and choose “picture” to see how it looks. You’ll also see how big it is. It helps if you have rulers showing in Word. To get the rulers, go to the “View” menu and check off the rulers box, or look up “rulers” in the help menu.

For photo organizing, we again use Picasa’s Export command. Although Picasa automatically scans your hard drive for all the pictures on it, with the newest photo folders at the top left, we find that it includes far too many mediocrities we don’t have time to scroll through. So we create a “best photos” folder and export to that.

You can use Picasa’s facial recognition feature to bunch together people you know. After we tried this, it created a “Bob” folder and a “Joy” folder. The help menu has details on how to do this. To tag a photo yourself, go to the “View” menu and choose “Tags.” Then click a photo and type in a name.

PhotoImpact was our favorite photo editing program for many years. But it’s apparently no longer made. We recently saw an old version selling for $4 at Amazon.com. Once you know the commands, it is very fast.

To resize any picture in PhotoImpact, you hold down the “Ctrl” key and tap “G.” Up comes a menu letting you type in the size you want in inches or the percentage reduction. To optimize a photo for the web, choose “web optimizer” from the web menu at the top of the screen.

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