mediaAdjusting the size of photos before importing them into TNG can be advantageous at times.  This is referring to the pixel dimensions of the photo which also affects the megabyte size of the file.

There are times when you would want to keep the original size.  For example, an image that has a lot of detail that would get lost if it were reduced.  You might have a rare document that needs to be preserved digitally in its full form.  Not a problem, as you can always import both the full and the reduced images, then display each of them in an appropriate location.

Today’s cameras and smart phones are great at storing very large images for us.  But that can be a case of overkill on a family tree website.

Why would we want to reduce the photo size anyway?  Smaller files will upload faster.  Once installed in TNG, smaller images will display much faster.  I see a number of TNG homepages with great photos, but the page renders s-l-o-w-l-y.  When you click on an image in TNG to see the full photo, a large image can overflow the edges of the viewer’s screen, meaning that they cannot see the whole image at once and must resort to using the scroll bars.

If you are wondering how to import your photos into TNG, check out the articles on How to add media, How to import media and How to upload media.

So, how do we go about reducing the photo sizes?  There are many good photo editing software applications out there and if you have a favourite, go ahead with what is familiar.  You can also find a few freeware applications there on the ‘net as well, some good, some less so.  Windows has a built-in tool that does the job in most cases, and it is called Paint.  You will find it somewhere in your set of Microsoft accessories.  Here is an example of using Paint.

I needed to add a cemetery photograph for my Benedict ancestors, resting in Vermontville, Michigan and located a photo of the entrance.  But the image was large: 2560 x 1920 pixels and 1-1/2 megabytes in size.  The photo would overflow a normal computer screen and the file would be slow at rendering on the screen as well.  Time to put it on a diet.

Before we do anything else, make a copy of the original image and rename it something else, like: “Vermontville cemetery orig.jpg”.  Paint does not automatically make backup image files for you.

So, first we load the image into MS Paint.  You can do it by opening Paint and clicking on File > New, or you can open the image file folder, right-click on the image file, then select Open with > Paint.  Here is what I get:


You can see that the image is LARGE.  Note the choices in the ribbon toolbar at the top.  One selection is “Resize”.  Select that.

media-size-2The pop-up window now offers us some choices in resizing.  You can resize by percentage or by pixels.  Either choice works fine.  Keep the checkbox “Maintain aspect ratio” as checked, so that you do not introduce any distortion.  Usually I select percentage, as you can usually judge whether you need to cut the image in half (Percentage = 50), in a third (Percentage = 33) or whatever works for the situation.

I am going to cut this down to a fifth size, for illustration purposes.  So I enter in Horizontal = 20, and note, the Vertical automatically changes to 20 percent as well.  Click on OK.

If you don’t like the result, you have an undo icon at the top of the Paint tool.



Let’s see what we get.


Now that becomes manageable.  Click on the Save button and the new reduced image will overwrite the original image.  Or, you could click on File > Save as… and use another file name and not alter the original file.

You can now upload either the smaller file or both files to TNG and show off the cemetery entrance, or ancestor photos or headstones.