Custom Search
Senior Computer Tutor Don Edrington, Specializing in Help to Beginning PC Users since 1980

    Camera Icon
    Digital Photo Basics
  1. Pictures from Camera into Computer
  2. Getting Acquainted with Irfanview
  3. Basic Terms: View Size vs Print Size, etc.
  4. Virtually Free Photography - Naming Pics, Albums
  5. When Digital Camera Photos Can't Be Found
  6. Digital Photography for Not So Digital Seniors
    Crop, Resize, Align, Colors
  1. Problem Enlarging Digital Pictures
  2. Understanding CYMK & RGB Colors
  3. How to Straighten (Rotate, Align) a Photo
  4. Darkrooms Replaced by Computers
  5. Be Your Own Photo Processing Studio
    Text in Pictures
  1. Adding Text to a Photo
  2. Text & Picture In a Word Text Box
    Displaying Your Pictures
  1. Printing Multiple Photos on a Single Page
  2. Displaying Your Photos as a Slideshow
  3. Printing Photo Thumbnail Sheets
  4. When Multiple Photos Don't All Fit on a Print-Out
  5. Print Yourself or Have Pics Processed Elsewhere?
    Online Images - Emailing Pics
  1. Reducing a Digital Photo's File Size
  2. Red X Instead of a Picture
  3. Reducing the File Size of a Video
  4. Print Yourself or Have Pics Processed Elsewhere?
  5. Copying Images from a Web Site or an Email
    Pic Formats - File Extensions
  1. Digital Picture Formats (JPG, BMP, GIF, TIF, etc)
  2. Difference Between "Drawing" & "Painting" Programs
  3. Digital Cameras & Megapixelss
  4. Choosing File Associations for Picture Files
  5. Understanding "Animated GIFs"

How to Crop and Resize a Photo

Image-Editing Basics

One of the advantages of using a digital camera is being able to edit your shots in all kinds of creative ways. Obvious edits might be, say, removing a blemish from someone's portrait or filling in someone's bald spot.

Beyond cosmetic editing, you can make pictures darker or lighter or change their contrast levels. You can even superimpose an object from one picture onto another, or change a trio of friends into a duo if you decide you no longer like one of them.

How to Crop a Photo

The first editing command most of us learn is cropping, i.e. eliminating all but the most essential part of a photo. Image-editing programs often come with phonebook-sized manuals that explain how to turn simple snapshots into works of art worthy of upscale gallery exhibits. The best I can offer here are some beginning tips.

Dozens of image-editing programs exist, each with its own set of tools and command structures — but I will only be specific about Windows Paint and Irfanview, since they are available to all users of Windows-based PCs. The former is found at Start>All Programs>Accessories>Paint, while the latter is free from

Let's start with Paint.

Paint, as its name suggests, was designed more for "painting" a picture than for editing a photo. But it still has some useful photo-editing features. Let's say you have a cute shot of a laughing child, and would like to eliminate most of the extraneous background. Launch Paint, then click File>Open, which should take you to your My Pictures folder. Double-click the target photo.

Click on the rectangular "crop" tool in the upper right corner of the toolbar. Now hold down your left mouse button and draw a rectangle around the photo's subject, leaving just the amount of background you want. Then click Edit>Copy to copy your selection to the "invisible Windows clipboard."

Now click File>New to create space for your cropping. Answer NO when asked if you want to save the previous picture. Click Edit>Paste to display your cropped picture. Finally, go to File>Save As to give your cropped picture a name.

Doing the above with Irfanview is faster and easier. As before, use File>Open and double-click the target photo, which will automatically be in the "cropping" mode when displayed. Draw your rectangle and click the Toolbar Scissors, which will cut the cropped area from the picture. Next click the Toolbar "Paste" icon to make your cropped section replace the original photo. As always, use File>Save As to name the finished job. Your original will remain unchanged.

How to Resize a Picture

To re-size a picture in Paint, click Image>Stretch & Skew and choose your new dimensions. In Irfanview click Image>Resize/Resample.

Irfanview will also let you do some basic color enhancement by clicking Image>Enhance Colors. Paint has no such feature, but will let you change colors on a bit by bit (pixel by pixel) basis, and will also let you add text to a picture.

This is just the tip of the photo-editing iceberg, and you probably have software which will do lots of more sophisticated things.

Questions or comments can be sent to:

Custom Search

Top of Page

Free Newsletter

If you would like to receive our weekly newsletter just send an email to Mary Hanson at:
Mary Janese Hanson
  There are no fancy sign-up forms – just mention newsletter in the subject line of your email.
  We've been sending out this PC Help Newsletter since 1994, and it contains no advertising of any kind – just useful computer tips.
  Furthermore, your email address is safe with us – we don't share it with anyone under any conditions whatsoesver.

PCDon's Free Newsletter of Helpful Computer Tips

Mission Statement
Privacy Policy