Whether you need to create a thumbnail for your latest YouTube video or need to resize an image for your website, you don’t need a powerful image editor like Photoshop. No matter what OS you use, there’s a quicker and easier way to resize images. And as an added bonus, they’re all free.
Download an Image
First thing’s first, download your image. If you already have your image, feel free to skip ahead. To save an image from the Internet, simply right-click it and select “Save Image As” in the drop-down menu. Which image format you decide to save the picture in is entirely up to you; however, the most common are JPG and PNG. PNG files tend to be larger in size; however, they are usually better quality. That being said, JPG is more common. Finally, pay attention to where you are saving the image, as you’ll need to remember where it is in order to edit it later.
1. Pixlr X
Note: using Pixlr requires an active Internet connection.
The Pixlr software suite is a web-based image-editing app that has been widely available for over ten years. Pixlr offers many of the same functions as Photoshop, like cropping and even basic color correction tools. However, the advantage of Pixlr is the fact that it runs completely within your browser. This means you don’t have to download or install anything to your machine. Furthermore, Pixlr doesn’t require a powerful computer in order to run smoothly. In fact, all you need is a computer that can run a modern browser, and you’re ready to start editing images.
To get started, navigate to the Pixlr website. You have the option of using Pixlr X or the older flash-based version of Pixlr. They’ll both get the job done, so you can go with whichever version you want. That being said, we recommend using the newer Pixlr X version, as it’s more secure. Once the Pixlr interface has loaded into your browser, you can begin using it.
1. Select “open Image from computer.” This will open a new window that will allow you to select the image you want to edit. Your image will be uploaded to the Pixlr tool within your browser. Once you see it, you can begin editing.
2. Click on the “Arrange” icon located in the left hand menu.
3. From there, select “Resize.”
Here, you’ll be able to enter the desired values for height and width. You’ll also notice an option labeled “Constrain Proportions. ” Leaving this box checked will maintain the image’s original proportions when resizing, ensuring the picture isn’t stretched or altered. That being said, it may prevent you from applying specific values for height and width if they do not adhere to the original image’s proportions.
When you’re done, click on the “Apply” button. Now that you’re done editing, you’ll need to save a copy of your new modified image. To do so, simply click on the blue “Save” button in the bottom-right corner. Here, you’ll be able to rename the file and adjust the quality of the image. When you’re done, hit the “Save” button one more time to download the image to your computer.
2. Windows Paint 3D
If you don’t have an Internet connection, you can still perform basic image-editing using software already on your PC. In Windows 10 this can be done with a program you’re probably already familiar with: Paint. The Windows 10 version of Paint has undergone some changes since the old days of primitive scribbles, adding the ability to make some quick edits, including resizing images.
1. To open Paint, place your cursor in the Windows search box and type “paint.” The first option that appears in the search results should be the Paint app. Click on it to launch it.
2. Once Paint is open, click “File -> Open,” and navigate to where your image is located.
3. Once your image is open in Paint, click on the “Home” tab, and use the resize tool to alter the image.
3. Mac Preview
If you have a Mac, you can use the default application for viewing images and PDFs to perform some basic image editing tasks. To resize an image using Preview:
1. Open the Preview app, and use the File menu to import the image you want to edit.
2. With the image open in Preview, select “Tools -> Adjust Size.” A new window labeled “Image Dimensions” will pop up, giving you the ability to choose a new width and height for your image.
3. When you’re done editing your image, click OK to resize the image.
4. To save your new resized image, click File, and select Save from the drop-down menu.
When it comes to working with images in Linux, many opt for GIMP, the open-source image editor that takes its cues from Adobe’s Photoshop. GIMP is a great option if you’re looking for a more robust editor, but it’s not really necessary if you just want to make quick, minor alterations. Fortunately, there is ImageMagick, a suite of image-modifying utilities run from the command line.
1. To get started, you’ll first need to install ImageMagick. To install it on Ubuntu or other Debian-based distros, fire up the terminal, and input the following command:
Once ImageMagick has been installed on your machine, you can quickly resize images. In the following example, the image is going to be called “sample.jpg,” and we are resizing it to 700 pixels in width by 400 pixels in height:
ImageMagick will convert the image to the desired size, while preserving the aspect ratio. That being said, depending on the dimensions of the original image, the end result may not be exactly 700×400. To force ImageMagick to produce an image with those exact dimensions, even if it messes with the aspect ratio, add in an exclamation point after the desired size:
You don’t have to have shell out for expensive software like Photoshop to do basic image manipulation tasks. Which methods are your favorites for quick image alterations? Let us know in the comments!