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Image Editing and Resizing Programs

Monday, September 27, 2010 -

I’ve found when looking at websites around the net that high quality images are vital in creating a higher level of trust with your viewers/buyers. Now that you’ve got your online business, a shop with a hundred products and webpages filled with various images of all shapes and sizes, you’ve got the daunting task of having to maintaining, replacing and creating new ones. Obviously you’re going to need an image editing program.


The first and most obvious choice for most would be Adobe’s Photoshop. However, you’ve got to deal with two issues when looking at Photoshop. The first being the learning curve faced with when starting in Photoshop. The second being the price tag. Currently on the Adobe Photoshop website you are looking at around $999. Most likely you’re not willing to spend that kind of money on a program that isn’t essential to your online business.

High Quality is Key

First of all realise that though your website may not be the core of your business, keeping your website to a high standard is only going to benefit your business. Keep your product photos on nice, clean background. If you’re taking the photo’s yourself, make sure you’re in a well lit room, to stop them from coming out extremely grainy. If you are going to be taking product photos yourself, look into lighting tips from professional photographers on the net or check out some photography books. Please make sure that your camera has the date turned off as it can be viewed as rather amateur, which is not the message you’re wanting to send to people.

Once you have your photos you’re going to need Photoshop to edit them. However, this brings us back to the point at the start of the post. Photoshop costs a lot, and I don’t have that kind of money to spend on an editing program. Have no fear, a substitute is here.

Pixlr

This is a great little program that you can use online that has a lot of the same power that photoshop has, for free. From a experienced Photoshop user’s point of view, I would never trade Photoshop for Pixlr, however, if all you’re looking to do resize your images, take out the backgrounds, or do small simple things like this (yes... these things are simple... once you know how to do it), Pixlr is your best friend.

It operates in a similar way to Photoshop. Uses very similar tool bars, has the same short-cut keys and over all has the same look and feel as photoshop. Pixlr might be a great bridging point for those looking to learn Photoshop, but are daunted by it’s large menus and tools. Being on the internet you can access it from anywhere you like.

Changing Image Size

Changing the size in Pixlr is rather easy. Just open your image, click on the menu item at top that says ‘Image’ from that menu select ‘Image size...’

Up will pop a box with the dimensions of your image. Change these to the size that you want and you’re done.

I hear you ask a question though, ‘What if my image is a rectangle shape and I want it to be perfectly square. Well for this you have two options. First is the crop tool. You will need the Navigator window open on the right in order to get this right. The crop tool will delete the area around the outside of the selected area. Draw your box around the area you want, and make sure that the width and height of the selection are the same amount. Once you’re happy with the selection hit the ‘Enter’ or ‘Return’ button on your keyboard and the crop will take affect.

The second way I’m showing you can be used if you’re looking to expand the image. Go to the top menu and find the ‘Image’ menu again. This time select the ‘Canvas Size’ button. From here you can change the dimensions of the whole picture. The difference between this and the Image Size box is that this add or take away canvas area, rather then making the image itself larger smaller. Reading this back to myself this makes no sense, so I suggest testing both of them out to understand for yourself. Also test how the Anchor works. Most likely that if you’re trying to create a square image from a rectangle you will have the anchor in the middle.

This will do for now, as I want you to get in there and have a play with Pixlr. Coming up will be how to resize a lot of images in no time at all. 

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