Q. How do I resize a photo so I can e-mail it?
A. Good news: You don’t necessarily need fancy photo-editing software to resize and edit your photos. In Windows XP, simply click My Computer, then go to the folder where you saved your photo. Click on the picture so it’s highlighted, then hit E-mail This File in the Tasks panel on the left. A box will pop up asking if you want to resize the photo for e-mail. Choose the Make All My Pictures Smaller option and bingo! Windows XP automatically resizes a copy of the photo and attaches it to your e-mail message. This decreased the size of my image from a gigantic 2.13MB file to a mere 37KB.
If you have an earlier version of Windows or you prefer to resize the photos yourself, you can use an image editor such as Adobe Photoshop Elements ($99.99, <www.adobe.com>) or Picasa (free download, <picasa.google.com>). You’ll want to decrease the resolution to 72 dots per inch (dpi) and the size to about 640×480 pixels (in Photoshop Elements, you’ll find this under Image>Resize>Image Size). Using the Save As option, give your file a new name to avoid overwriting your original image. Be sure to save it as a JPG or TIFF file.
And remember: The lower the resolution, the poorer the image quality. So if the recipient of your e-mail plans to print the picture, the image should have a resolution of at least 300 dpi. Alternatively, you could use a photo-sharing and print-ordering service such as Snapfish <www.snapfish.com> or Shutterfly <www.shutterfly.com> to get higher-quality prints without clogging up your relatives’ inboxes.
From the August 2006 issue of Family Tree Magazine.