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Smallifying pictures to post with Win10

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I've been asked to write a short tutorial for how to do this under Win10.  No really! 

Seriously I totally understand why this has become an issue under Win10 for people who managed it just fine previously under Win7 (I actually have computers that still run Win7, and even a micro laptop that still runs Vista).  

I immediately had issues with Paint 3d, the dumbest damn piece of crap software I've ever been forced to deal with.  Well one of, anyway.  Turns out - Paint is STILL on Win10, they just hid it.

So - I'm assuming folks used to use Paint to resize their pics, I know I always have (do).  On that assumption here is how to find Paint on your Win10 system.  Yup.  It's still there.  The MicroSoft folks just hid it from us, maybe they were embarrassed!

Click on the magnifying glass icon in the toolbar at the bottom - it is the second icon from the left (right next to the Windows Start icon).

Type in Paint. Paint will appear in the list of found items.

You can pin it to the start menu, or to the taskbar by right clicking and selecting one of those options.  

You can create a shortcut on the desktop by left clicking on the desktop, select New, select Shortcut, enter %windir%\system32\mspaint.exe , click next, name it Paint or whatever you want to, then it will place that shortcut on the desktop.

Now just copy-paste the image you want into Paint (or open the file if you have a local copy), select all, and use the resize option just like we have been doing for 90 bazillion years.  Save.  Eh voila, your photo be SMALLER.

Anybody need more info than that, I will happily provide.


Fellow hater of Paint3d

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@oldlady You can still use pixels if you want to.  When you click on resize just select the radio button that says Pixels and it will switch to that.


Sorry if you actually already know how to do that and just have been choosing not to.  This is one of the few things I can actually help with around here, I was a software engineer once upon a time.  LOL!


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hulk, you and pye are both assuming that i have the vocabulary to understand what you take for granted.  MS means  what?  pye, radio button?  huh?

got to be in the studio today.   believe it or not i checked out the book computers for dummies and the computers for old people.    the writers mean well but they do not start with a glossary  and absolutely nobody can define "FILE   or FOLDER" !     some jellolike substance that flows all around everywhere is the only thing i can think of.

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@oldlady No problem!  We can tell the story in pictures.  I'll start from the beginning for those who don't have Paint already on their toolbars.  I'll have to do this in two posts because the limit is not just 1MB per picture, it is 1MB per POST.

Note that I use a dark theme so the background on your own computers will look a little different (unless you, too, have turned to the Dark Side MWAH HA HA HA HA!)

So first lets find Paint on your computer. Go to your toolbar and click the magnifying glass icon:


Type Paint in to the search field (see red circled areas below).

Then Right Click on the program Paint represented by the palette icon.  That brings up a popup menu where you can pin it to your start menu or to the taskbar, I arbitrarily chose the task bar.  That will put it into the bar at the bottom of  your screen.  See the first post for how to get a shortcut on your desktop.


It will put it last on the toolbar, you can move it if you want by left clicking it and dragging it (hold down left click and move the mouse)


OK Now you have access to Paint!  Now just click on that as usual to run it.  It will open the program with the Home tab activated.  That little white box is your canvas - I size that to be really small (using the Resize option, see next post) so that when I copy something in (using CTL-A to select all then CTL-V to paste in whatever image I copied before) it will resize to the size of the image so I don't get white space.  If you DO get white space for some reason, just immediately click CROP after you do your paste and it will crop to the size of the image you just pasted in.


OK now we all have access to the Paint program.  How to use it coming up in the next post.

I don't know why but it keeps putting an extra picture here at the bottom that doesn't belong.  I've deleted it THREE TIMES.  Just ignore anything after this text.


Edited by Pyewackette
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OK, part 2 of the Paint tutorial - how to use Paint to open a file.  Click on the FILE tab


Which brings up the file popup menu.  If the picture you are after happens to be in the list of recent photos, click on the title.  You're home free.  If not, click on the OPEN button to bring up the file browser.


Use the file browser (aka Windows Explorer) to browse to wherever your pictures are.  All of mine that I care about are currently on the Desktop because this ISN'T my computer so I keep them where they can easily be deleted whenever I finally get my new PC hooked up and my poor son gets his laptop back.  So just select whichever photo you want to smallify by double clicking on it as usual. If you click on the drop down next to the picture icon (circled in red) you can select thumbnails/icons to make it easier to find your pictures.


I picked Gecko My Gecko for our example picture because I'm that much of a narcissist.  Here it is in its full ginormous beauty:


So this thing is enormous at 4120 x 3096 pixels and 3.3MB (Paint shows photo dimensions and file size at the bottom, circled in red - note that it DOES NOT UPDATE these values until you have saved to a named file).  This is more than 3x the max allowed to upload for an entire post.  ALL your files in a post have to be less than a total of 1MB in size.  So lets SMALLIFY!  First lets get it to where we can actually see it to work on it.

Go to the VIEW tab (cirled in red) and click on ZOOM IN however many times it takes to get it fully on your screen, but still big enough to see what you're doing.  Note the caret I circled at the top far right - if you are on a stinky little laptop screen like I am, and you just don't have enough space to see the whole image because the stupid Paint zoom function doesn't have the granularity to let you get it just where you want it (it only zooms in and out preset amounts), you can click on that caret and it will collapse the menu to give you more space for the image.  The tabs (File, Home, View) will still show and you can bring the icons back by clicking on the caret (which will now point down) again.  Gets you a little more room to work with when you need that.


So now you can see the whole picture but its still ginormous.  Now lets start smallifying!

NOTE: If at any point you accidentally move or cut something, HIT CTL-Z.  It will save you.  It will undo whatever you just did.

In this case there is a lot of extraneous stuff that nobody needs to see.  Well actually probably nobody needs to see Mr. Gecko either, but for sure all the studio mess is altogether unnecessary and uninteresting.  So lets start by cropping.

Click on the HOME tab so we can get back to work.

First we are going to SELECT the area we want to keep - everything OUTSIDE the area you select will get deleted.  So first click SELECT - that will give you a crosshair that you will use to draw a rectangle around the area of interest.  I start at the upper Left corner, you can start wherever you want but that's just what I do.  You position the crosshair where you want to start and then push the left mouse button and HOLD while dragging the mouse to draw that dotted white line around the area you want to keep.  Let go when you have it how you want it.  You can't change it once its drawn but you can throw it away and start over - just click once anywhere outside the selected area and start over.  When you've got it how you want it, hit CROP (purple circle, the last thing you will do in this step).


So now its been cropped, and saved so we can see how far we've come.


OK we've cut it down from 3.3MB to 777KB (about .78MB) which is TECHNICALLY smaller and will fit under the 1MB limit as long as its the only picture you're posting - but there IS a lifetime limit for all attachments (uploaded photos to the forum) so I would suggest you may not want to leave it at that.  I don't remember the exact lifetime limit but given the high probability that the forum will probably change before most of us hit that anyway, I won't go into how but you CAN if you want go back and delete photos to free some of that space up.  But it is way easier not to risk hitting it to start with, so let's smallify it some more.  We will do that by actually resizing it next. Staying on the Home tab;

Click Resize to bring up the Resize popup menu.  Make sure Maintain Aspect Ratio IS selected (has a check mark in the square).

You can do this either by percentages - which I use, its just easier.  I use 50% unless text is involved - text can get hard to read at that level, I usually go for 70% if there is text.  YMMV.

NOTE THAT if you want to do it by absolute pixel size, all you have to do is click on the empty circle next to the PIXEL label and it will display in pixels, see this post for a picture of that.

Click OK when you've got the values the way you want them.


Ignore the sizes circled at the bottom, I changed these pics a lot while writing this tutorial up and they're not meaningful any more.  I resized the picture to 50% and saved, then resized again another 50% and saved again.  Here are the pictures and I doubt you'll see a significant difference between them except for the file sizes:

First resize to 50% = 1381 x 793 pixels, 267 Kb


Second resize by another 50% (75% total) = 691 x 397 pixels, 92.3Kb


To save you would select the FILE tab and I always do SAVE AS and pick Jpeg as the type, otherwise it defaults to png.  If you just pick SAVE it will try to save it over the original file, but it will ask you first.  If you want to save to a new file name still pick SAVE AS and if you don't pick a file type it will automatically save it as png with whatever file name you choose to give it.

Does that help?


Edited by Pyewackette
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With all due respect to Occam shaving with his razor, aren't we complicating things here? Move the picture to your desktop or wherever you keep pictures. Right click on the picture, and one of the options in the top group is "Edit with Paint 3D." Click on that and the picture will open right into Paint 3D. I'm not going to engage a debate whether the new Paint 3D is better or worse than the old Paint (or that both are abominations), but it is Win10's default built-in raster image editing  program. Once in Paint 3D, the crop tool is right there above the image. Click on the crop tool and the image will be surrounded by a white line with little white circles in the corners and midpoints. Push any of them in with the mouse to change how the white lines enclose the part of the picture you want to keep. Click Done when you like it. Then click on in the Canvas item in the tool bar across the top. This will surround the image with square white dots instead of the round ones in crop mode. With your mouse, drag any of the corner spots inward and the image will shrink. (Don't use the spots in the middle of a side - they will squish and distort the image. We just want to smallify it.) When done with this step, go to File and Save As to a new filename. This preserves the original in its full bigified glory. Find the new picture (yeah, Winblows will always put it somewhere you can't easily find it), hover your mouse over it and the preview box will show the file size. It needs to be less than 1 MB to be uploaded here. If the new picture isn't small enough yet, rinse and repeat with the canvas resize feature.

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IF you're happy using Paint 3d, have at it.

Personally I HATE it and I was specifically asked by another forum member for info on how to do this.  If you don't need the info, why grouse about those who do?

The story in pictures was in response to someone asking for exact directions.  My directions in English were not clear enough for someone who is not comfortable with computers and software.

Edited by Pyewackette
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BTW I totally forgot, one of the functions I was asked about was how to rotate pictures that end up sideways.  It's easy to do it in Photo and I won't go into that for anyone who already knows how to do that, but it can be done in Paint pretty easily as well and here is how (IN  PICTURES):

Make sure the HOME tab is active (click on it if you're not sure)

Then find Rotate under the list that goes Crop - Resize - Rotate and click on Rotate to bring up the rotation popup menu.


If you have a sideways picture you're going to want to rotate it by 90 degrees. If you pick the wrong direction at first it is no big deal, just click the same rotation until its oriented the way you want it.

And for anybody - anybody at all - having trouble with something computer related like this - if you don't want to risk some youngling's dismissive everybody-knows-how-to-do-that attitude, PM me.  I'll help you straighten things out.  EVERYTHING is easy once you know how to do it.  I won't have access to the newest version of Word but I have older versions on several of my older PCs. I've never been an Excel user so I can't be much help with that. And I can't promise to help with sophisticated programs - I'm at least 20 years behind on Photoshop and at least 8 years behind on GIMP (though since GIMP is free and I'm about to have a new PC I MIGHT be able to come back up to speed on that) but with anything less specific I will help however I can, without the risk of sneerage LOL! 

And just let me make time here for a little bit of definition.

A FILE is a document or photo of any sort, including programs.  It is any one thing on your hard drive.

A FOLDER - think of manila folders like you put in a filing cabinet.  It is a specific place where files are stored.  It is itself a specific type of file, one that tells you where to find OTHER files.

In the real world you might have many documents, say lecture notes.  You would keep those in a manila folder that is labeled with a name that makes it easy for you to find again.  Then that manila folder would go into one of those green hanging folders with other folders that might have related information in them.

Think of the files and folders on your computer as the components of a literal, real world filing system, where the PC is your file cabinet.

Think of the individual hard drives as the individual drawers of a file cabinet.  These will have names like




So C:\Users would then be the User folder in the C: drawer.  It will have a file icon next to it in Windows Explorer.  If you click on it to open it you will see more folders and maybe a few files (which will NOT have a folder icon next to them and MAY have a suffix attached such as .jpg for a picture file, .docx for a Word file, etc.) The thing is that Windows as shipped nearly always has the suffix obscured which I find less than helpful but you can tell the difference between another folder and a terminal file (eg a document, photo, or program file) by the presence or absence of the folder icon.

Each folder is just the electronic representation of a folder in a real-world file cabinet. Each terminal file is the electronic representation of a single entity such as a document, a letter, a photo, a movie, or a song.

I hope that hasn't made things clear as mud.



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@Pres Gimp is a professional level program.  But its a bit much for the non-computer person. The most recent versions have gotten a bit complex even for people who have used it for years.

I absolutely encourage its use for anybody with enough tech savvy to do so.  Just not a solution here.  It'd be like nuking a fly, LOL!

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By "MS" I meant Microsoft; the thread title specifies "Win 10" (Windows 10), however, there is a similar MacOS function*.

MS Snipping Tool** is included in most Windows versions.
There are many other tools/programs available to do the job...

I don't know "pixels" - there are many many programs similarly named...

The concepts of "file" and file type "directory" are subjects in many articles, books, etc.
Try searching the web for "files and directories" - from there, perhaps cast about to find appropriate level of detail***.
There's a lot to know about file systems.
How to "drive" may be enough, however.

*MacOS snipping tutorial here: The snipping tool on Mac and how to use it - Geeky Gadgets (geeky-gadgets.com)
try searching the web "Snipping Tool for MAC" for alternatives, tutorials, etc.

**Try searching "MS Snipping Tool" - e.g., here's a tutorial: How to use the Snipping Tool for Windows 10 and Windows 7 - Digital Citizen
***Perhaps also cast about for imagery, approach, context - for what works. What often works for me, someone I know, who knows me, who is willing to take some time to explain/help/demonstrate/guide...

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Just a friendly reminder, we can have different methods of achieving our goal in reducing photo size. Everyone is entitled, and more than welcome, to  post their thoughts/methods for doing so. Just as with making pots, glazes etc there can be more than one way to get results.

Let's keep it civil, thanks.

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For more than 20 years, IrfanView has been a very useful tool for me for quick rotation, cropping, changing total size, adding text, and some other tools. Not an Adobe Photoshop tool, and not for non-Microsoft hardware. cost is your time to download. 


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@oldlady No wars here, and if there were, it wouldn't be you who started 'em, LOL!

I tried to be complete for anybody who needs the information but if you don't need to crop, just skip that step.  For most pictures taken with a cell phone camera reducing to 25% of the original size will be just fine.  The last two pictures I posted were reduced to 50% for the first of those 2, and 25% (75% total reduction) for the second.  I can't tell a difference between them.  Of course it depends on how large they were to start with.

BTW - my avatar?  Made in Gimp over a decade ago from an original drawing of mine that I scanned and processed. Clearly my drawing skills are not all that, but I still like it.

Edited by Pyewackette
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10 hours ago, oldlady said:

get it small enough to post here

Just open your image in Paint, then select Resize , select Pixels & choose just about anything between 500-600 for the biggest number and it'll probably be fine. Do some trial & error on posting it so that after a few tries you'll find the largest number to use for the result that you like. I use 680 mostly and all my pics are posted this way, using Paint.

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Here is a simpler, less complicated  way to reduce an image size

This program has been around since Window 98, back when almost everyone was using dialup for the internet and getting a pizza delivered was quicker than uploading a 700k image. I use it on both Win 10 and 11 and it still works


With this program you can resize a single image or a full folder full with ease

I usually go with the 600x 450 image size


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Okay. To add a third option that has nothing to do with Mac or Apple, and is available on Android (version 9 and higher) and IPhone, I’d like to introduce the Snapseed app. Most people take their pictures on their phones these days, and having an editing app right where you work is very handy.  It’s a google property, so it’s ad free and no cost.  I personally find very intuitive to use, and it has a very low learning curve. Unlike programs meant for desktops, it doesn’t have a lot of functions you don’t use frequently, and as a result is less confusing.

If you’re writing your post on a desktop, you can do the typing on your keyboard, and after you save, log into the forum from your phone’s internet browser and edit your post to add in the photo. 

*most newer phones will offer you the option of choosing your file size when you go to upload the image. Small or medium works just fine.*

But. If your phone doesn’t do that, you can resize your pic like this:

Download snapseed from wherever you get your apps, and allow it to access your photos when prompted.

1. Before you open your photo,  tap the three dots at the top right corner of the screen.

2. Settings>Image Sizing, and select 800 px (the default is no resize).

That’s the # of pixels on the largest side of your image. Making this number small  will only affect image quality if you try to print this picture off. The resolution on your computer screen shouldn’t chang, but smaller images load faster for those with spotty internet. 

3. Return to the menu and open your photo.

4. The option to export is at the bottom. It offers a few ways to save. I usually “save a copy,” so I can edit the original multiple ways, but save works fine if you don’t need the original for anything else. 

5. Your smaller image will be saved in your photos file.

If you want to crop or do other edits, I can do other tutorials in the business section, but I want to keep this simple. 
(shameless dog content credit goes to Bruiser, the Boston pug X studio “helper”)






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A bit late to the party, but I don't have a magnifying glass on the bottom row.  On laptop (Windows 10) or new desktop (Windows 11).  

I do know how to crop and re-size, was an IT Trainer for many years.  

I spent over 20 years writing courseware and reference materials, and one of the impossible things is knowing where to start with instructions, and how any individual's computer is already set up.

Kudos to anyone trying to help, but you have to know what your customer has/knows already.


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It’s a problem with trying to teach strangers anything on the internet, for sure. We need to know where people are starting from to give them useful-to-them instructions, and not everyone starts from the same place. 

Just like any other thread on this forum, I hope anyone who needs more clarification will tag the poster they’d like more info from. 

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  • 4 months later...

The cameras in our phones keep getting better and the pictures keep getting larger! First world problems. :) 

I look up “image compressor” on the internet. Go to some website, follow the directions, save them back to my phone, and viola. Works until it doesn’t. Then I compress the compressed ones until it does. 

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