Resize photographs while keeping the quality
Perhaps you plan to share a photo of the family that you've taken over Christmas. In that case, you may want to resize it to produce a file with a specific print dimension (such as 5 x 7 inches for example). Thanks to modern digital cameras you can capture files with a very large size, which gives you plenty of resizing choices.
For example, a Digital SLR such as the Canon 650D captures images with a dimension of 5184 x 3456 pixels. If you multiply these values together you get an image containing 17,915,904 pixels, which gives you the camera's advertised 18-megapixel capacity.
This large file size enables you to produce an A3 print that features almost 300 dots (or pixels) per inch, which is larger and more detailed than most people will require.
With such large images you can crop your shots quite tightly in Photoshop Elements and still produce a range of typical print sizes. This freedom to crop gives you much more control over the composition and content of the finished print.
You can even set the Crop tool to improve composition and create an image with a specific size (such as an 8 x 10 print) at the same time.
You may also need to resize a shot without cropping it. A huge digital photograph will be too large to upload and display on social networking galleries, so you'll need to create a lighter, smaller version.
When you shrink a large shot down to a smaller size there's no danger of losing image quality. However, if you resize a shot to make it larger, Photoshop Elements has to generate extra pixels and this can result in fuzzy-looking enlargements.
We'll show you how to resize your shots while keeping artefacts at bay.
1. Discover the document size
To display an image's size in a print-friendly value such as inches, go to Image > Resize > Image Size. In the Image Size window you can see the shot's dimensions in pixels.
Our start image measures 5184 pixels wide by 3456 pixels high. In the Document Size section, set the Width and Height drop-down menus to Inches. This creates a shot that's 21.6 inches wide by 14.4 inches high. It has a Resolution of 240 pixels per inch.
2. Resample the image
If you're planning to print a shot then you'll need to keep the Resolution nice and high. This enables the printer to reveal more detail in every inch of the print.
Before you scale the shot down to a more useful print size, tick the Resample Image box. Keep the Constrain Proportions box ticked too or you'll squash or stretch the shot when you resize it and distort its original proportions.
3. Choose the interpolation method
To scale down a shot Photoshop Elements needs to throw out some of the original information. This shouldn't reduce the image quality as the resolution will still be high enough for your printer.
However, to enlarge a shot it needs to add extra pixels. This can produce less sharp-looking details. Set the interpolation drop-down to a suitable setting. Since we're shrinking our shot, we chose Bicubic Sharper.
4. Resize the shot
If you want a print that will fit in a 10 x 8 frame, type in a Width of 10 inches. The constrained Height in our example automatically changes to 6.667 pixels (to avoid stretching the shot horizontally).
The Resolution remains at 240 pixels per inch, so it will produce sharp results on a printer. Click OK to resize the image. As the shot is smaller it has a lighter file size. Our start image was 14.7 MB. The resized version was 4.3 MB.