A bit of a crop can make improvements.
At some point you will need to change the size of your images, or crop them, so they represent your work properly and can be used in different situations. We show you how, using free online software.
If you are a Photoshop Guru, this isn’t for you! However, for those starting off with digital images, this may be useful.
We are going to use the online image editor Pixlr, which is free and contains all the bits and pieces we need for this basic operation.
1. Make a copy of the image you want to edit and place it in a folder on your computer. Don’t EVER edit the original. We normally make a new folder, on our desk top, so it is easy to find.
2. Visit www.pixlr.com and click on the "Open Pixlr editor (Advanced)" link on their homepage.
3. Select "Open image from Computer" and navigate to the folder you placed your image in, on your desktop, select it by clicking on it and then click “Open”.
4. Your image will open up in the Pixlr site. If you look at the bottom of the image window, it tells you it is being displayed at 100% and the dimensions (in our case 400 x 300 pixels). You can change the viewing size (%) if you need to so that it is easier to work with.
MAKING A CROP
5. On the left of the screen you will find the tools pallet. Similar to many applications, it has a number of options. If you place your cursor over any of them, you can read what they do. Select the ‘crop tool’ - top left.
6. Now move your cursor, which is showing the crop icon, over to your image, and place it in the top left. Click and hold, then drag the cursor towards the bottom right. Pixlr draws a ‘crop grid’ to help you see where the image is in relationship to the crop you will make.
7. Use the blue ‘handles’, in each corner of the crop grid, to click and drag the size of the grid until it is exactly the way you want it. In our case we want to crop the bananas so we no longer see the foot/leg on the left side. You can also click and hold in the centre of the crop grid to move the entire grid around your image, if needed.
8. When you are happy with the layout of your image, double-click in the centre of it and Pixlr will make the crop. You will see that the size, in the lower left of the image window, has changed to the new dimensions.
9. Now we want to change the size of our newly cropped image. In the menu at the top of the Pixlr window (not the top of your computer or the browser), select “Image” and then “Image size”. A small window opens where you can add new dimensions.
10. We want our image to be 200 pixels wide - so, making sure you keep the “Constrain proportions” box ticked, enter ‘200’ into the width box. It immediately resizes the image and you will see that the height box has changed to reflect the new proportions. Click “OK”. The image is resized, the new dimensions appear in the lower left of the image window and that’s it.
11. Save your newly cropped, and sized, image by clicking on the small cross in the top right corner of the image window. You will be asked if you want to save the image before closing. Select “Yes” and in the next window, make sure your new image has a new name - in our case “bananas_edited.jpg”.
Make sure the “Save to my computer” button is checked, that the format is JPEG, the quality ’80’ and click \"OK”. You will be asked where, on your computer, you would like to save the file. We normally put it in the images folder we started with and make a new folder called “Edited”. That way you can always find the starting image and the edited one. Click “Save”.
You can, of course, apply this process using any image editor - just hunt around for the equivalent menus and buttons - they all work in a similar way.