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Photoshop Elements >

Resampling/Resizing >


How do you change the size of your photographs?

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You may want to change the size:

1) For e-mails.

2) For web pages.

3) To make a print.

This tutorial discusses resizing by explaining resolution and resampling.

There are specific resizing instructions below.

If you want to make a photograph larger, go to Camera Phone Resampling/Resizing: Make It Bigger.

If you want to make a photograph smaller, go to Save for Web Resampling/Resizing: Make It Smaller.

Image Size Window

Go to Image > Resize > Image Resize.

The Image Size window below will appear.


On Top: Pixel Dimensions

The pixel dimensions of your photograph are on top in the Image Size window.


The pixel dimensions are not the size of your photograph.

A better term would be pixel array.

The pixel array in the above photograph is 3,008 pixels by 2,000 pixels.

You know how many pixels there are vertically and horizontally.

3,008 pixels x 2,000 pixels

But, that's not enough information to know the size of the photograph.

The size of your photograph is determined by:

• The number of pixels in the pixel array.

• The size of the pixels.

Pixels can change size.

Their size is determined by the resolution: pixels per inch (ppi).

In the Middle: Document Size

In the middle, there's the Document Size section.


You can see that the photograph is about 10 x 6.6 inches.

The photograph now has a size because the resolution is 300 pixels per inch (ppi).

The pixels-per-inch value "tells" the pixels how big to be.

The size of the above photograph, 10" by 6.6", is determined by the:

• Pixel array: 3,008 x 2,000.

• Pixels per inch: 300

If you do the math, you get the size of the photograph.

3,008 ÷ 300 = 10 inches

2,000 ÷ 300 = 6.6 inches

Change the Resolution to 600 from 300

The original photograph is 6.6 x 10 inches at 300 ppi.

6.6" q
  Size at 300 ppi

If we double the resolution to 600 from 300, the pixels become smaller.

There are more pixels per inch.

So, the photograph becomes smaller.

3.3" q
  Size at 600 ppi

Let's use white dots to represent the size, or concentration, of the pixels.

At 300 ppi, the pixels, the white dots, are larger.

. . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . .

Original Version - 300 ppi

The Pixels Are Larger - Less Concentrated

At 600 ppi, the pixels, the white dots, are smaller.

So, the photograph becomes smaller.


Resized Version - 600 ppi

The Pixels Are Smaller - More Concentrated

Change the Resolution to 72 from 300

Again, the original photograph is 6.6 x 10 inches at 300 ppi.

6.6" q
  Size at 300 ppi

If we lower the resolution from 300 to 72, the pixels become larger.

So, the photograph becomes larger.

28" q
  Size at 72 ppi

For more about resolution, go to Resolution.

Bottom Left Corner

Let's look at the bottom left corner of the window.


There are three check boxes.

Here's what they do:

Checkbox #1 - Scale Styles

You can probably almost always leave Scale Styles selected.

If you're using layers styles, such as drop shadows, say, on a banner graphic—the layers style will then change along with everything else in the file.

Checkbox #2 - Constrain Proportions

When Constrain Proportions is selected, as you change one dimension, the program will automatically change the other dimension.

In other contexts, the term aspect ratio is used the same way as the phrase constrain proportions is used here.

You'll probably want to have this box selected most of the time.

Checkbox #3 - Resample Image

When Resample Image is selected, Photoshop Elements adds or subtracts pixels from the photograph.

Choose the best resampling math for what you're doing.

Open the menu at the bottom of the Image Resize window.


If you're making a photograph bigger, select Bicubic Smoother.

If you're making a photograph smaller, select Bicubic Sharper.


As described above, you can use Photoshop Elements for resampling.

You can also use other resampling software as plug-ins with Photoshop Elements.

Check to make sure the resampling plug-ins work with the version of Photoshop Elements that you're using.

Go to Plug-ins.

There is also software just for resampling, such as:

Blow Up

Perfect Resize Formerly Genuine Fractals