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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
(Thread is for reference - please don't reply to test image uploads)

This "How To" covers uploading pictures to threads, and also creating avatars, for all image tyes, even animated GIFs. The tool used in this article to resize images is called PIXresizer and can be downloaded from here;

http://bluefive.pair.com/pixresizer.htm

Additionally you can try this Image Resizer which is a point-and-shoot site for resizing images for posting and also making signature images and avatars.

The three main picture types you will come across are BMP, GIF and JPG. The main aspects that govern the size of a picture are the size of it (width and height) and the amount the image has been compressed. Note that BMP files have no compression which is why they are always huge, but JPG and GIF files have an internal compression that affects how it looks and the size of the image on your hard drive. The higher the rate of compression the lower quality the image but the smaller it is on your hard drive. The lower the rate of compression the higher the quality of image but the larger it is on your hard drive.

In order to add an image to a thread it has to be no more than 112,400 bytes in size, or 112 KB. If your image is bigger than this then you need to reduce it to the required size. This is a balance between image size and compression. To make an image into your avatar it needs to be no bigger than 100 pixels high/wide and no more than 20 KB.

This is an image that has come from my digital camera. As you can see it is over 900KB in size, so far too big. If I was to open it up it would also be 1280 pixels wide and 960 pixels high. The reason it is 900 KB is because my camera has saved it with the lowest compression possible to get the best image quality.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
To reduce the size of the image the first thing you should do is consider the width and height. Regardless of file size, 1280x960 (1280 pixels wide, 960 high) is far too big to post on a forum and might even be considered rude. In terms of size, aim to make your images around 500 or 600 pixels wide maximum. If your image is already smaller than that then you don't need to worry too much about changing its height and width.

Start up PIXresizer and load the image up;
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
To load the image click the Load Picture button in the first box. The second box shows us the size the image is at 100% (1280x960). Looking at the other percentage sizes 50% would be a good one to select as it would make it 640x480 so click that radio button. If you want to make it a custom size then make sure "Maintain aspect ratio" is checked and enter your custom size in the box provided. Now click the Save Picture button in box 4 and select the default name. Now we have these two images;
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
It is now 287 KB. This is still too big so we can increase the compression until the file size is 120 KB or less. This will retain the image's width and height but lower its quality. To alter the compression of the file click on "Joint Photographic Experts Group" link beside the JPEG radio button and it will turn blue and open up the quality window. We'll select around 60 as a test.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Click OK then Save Picture again. Call it something unique as PIXresizer isn't happy overwriting existing files. Now the image is down to 43 KB. That is well below the size required to make the image now suitable for posting on a thread.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Despite the vast difference in file sizes you'll probably be surprised at the lack of difference in image quality between the 287 KB and 43 KB picture. By juggling your size vs quality requirements in this way you can get your image to a suitable size to post. The bigger you want it to be on screen (in terms of height and width), the higher the compression you need so the lower the image quality will be. The smaller it needs to be on screen the lower the compression you can use so the higher the quality of the image. Also remember that the 43 KB image will load substantially faster for browsers than the 287 KB version despite being the same width and height.

If we want this image to be suitable as an avatar then use the custom resize feature. Avatars can be no more than 100 pixels in height or width so select the higher of the two values in the custom box and change it to 100. For us this is the width (originally 1280). You might as well set the quality to be high as the image is so small anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Our avatar image is now 9 KB, well below the 20 KB maximum so it can now be used as an avatar. To set it as your avatar select My MLR->User CP from the menu, then Edit Options. Scroll down to the bottom section and click the Change Avatar button. Click Browse in the section that says "You can upload an avatar from your computer" and select your file then click Submit Modifications.

If your image is a BMP file and you want to attach it to a thread then convert it to a JPG first. To do this load it into PIXresizer as normal, only select JPEG as the file format in box 3, adjust the size and quality then save as normal.

PIXresizer can handle GIF images also, but not animated ones. If you need to resize an animated GIF for the purposes of posting or using as an avatar then this web site can do it for you.

http://www.gifworks.com

GIFWorks will let you toy with size and quality settings to get your animated GIF down to 20 KB and no more than 100x100 in size.

No matter what application you use to resize your pics the above theory still applies. Note that when it comes to setting the compression of a file different applications will use different terminologies. PIXresizer uses "quality", so the higher the number the higher the quality so the lower the compression it is applying. However some applications will let you set the "compression" so setting it higher will give you a lower quality image.
 

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i have tried downloading this picture resizing programme but it just keeps coming up that the file is empty or corrupted. can you suggest anything else or am i just doing something wrong?
 

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mkilpatrick said:
i have tried downloading this picture resizing programme but it just keeps coming up that the file is empty or corrupted. can you suggest anything else or am i just doing something wrong?
Looks like the main link is to a bad zip file.
Try this: Clicky
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I think you do. Non-members with no avatar are ones who had one when they were members but their membership has lapsed.
 
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