Changing File Sizes Using FastStone Image Viewer



When writing or blogging, there are few things that will take up space faster than images, yet images make the article or blog more enjoyable for the reader. Many of the public domain images are also quite large in file size. Those taken with your own camera are usually even more so. Large file sizes don’t just take up a lot of space, they make pages load slower. Image editors like FastStone Image Viewer make it easy to correct this. This is a freeĀ imageĀ editor available at cnet.

Image size, file size and resolution

The image size refers to how tall and wide a graphic is. The bigger these dimensions are, the larger the file size usually is and the problem is in keeping the file size small. Obviously, an image that is 2 MB in size takes up substantially more space than one that is only 50 kb in size.

The image size is only one thing that leads to large file sizes, though. The other major player is the resolution of the image, usually given in dpi or dots per square inch.

The idea is that the more dots there are per inch, the clearer the picture will be. For this reason, most cameras, even those on cell phones and tablets, usually display and save images at 300 dpi, 600 dpi or larger. Here is the thing, though; computer monitors only display at either 72 dpi or 96 dpi. This means that an image that is 600 dpi won’t actually appear different than one that is 100 dpi, although it will be a far larger file size.

Resizing in FastStone

Resizing, which is the part regarding the image size, is simple in FastStone. The first step is to locate the image and to single click on it on the right pane in FastStone. In the image below, notice that the image on the right named ‘SANY0035.jpg’ has a blue border. This means that it was clicked. A larger version of the image appears in the lower left.

selecting image

Other things to note is that the image size is displayed under the picture (1600 x 1200) in the right pane. Under the larger image in the lower left, the file size is also listed; 569 kb.

To resize the image, notice the buttons above the right pane. The one that looks like the two trees is the resize button.

selecting image_cr

If you click on that, you’ll see the following box. Changing the higher number to 640 and then clicking the OK button resizes the image to the smaller dimensions.


If you make this change and then click on another image or otherwise move away from the image you were just working with, FastStone will ask if you want to save the changes. This is the point at which you can change the resolution of the image. Click Yes to the question, do you want to save the changes and on the Save As screen, click the Options button.



In the file format screen, notice the quality slider shown by the arrows below. Moving the slider to the left drops the resolution of the image and makes the file size smaller. You might note that in the example, I have it set at 68%. For most computer monitors, that is a good setting for good quality but small file size.

resolution 2

Once this is changed, you can save the image at a much smaller file size. Also note that you won’t have to bother with the options screen on subsequent saves, because it will stay where you set it to save the last image, until you go in and change it, if you ever do. I leave it at 68%.

FastStone Image Viewer is a free program that functions as a full image editor. It does a lot more than what I’ve explained, but this is a simple way to make your images much smaller in file size, saving both space and the speed with which the page loads. After you’ve done it a few times, it only takes seconds to save a lot on space.

Look again at the first image. Note the original file size, displayed under the selected image. It is 569 kb in size. Now look at the difference after resizing the image and saving it at a lower resolution:


I just cut the file size by nearly 90%! This means that I could save 10 pictures and only take up the space that the original picture took. I really like this image editor. Incidentally, the arrows and circles in the pictures above were also done in FastStone.



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