IUG Internet Top Tip #6 .... E-mailing Images

Using Photoshop Elements to prepare a digital picture for emailing.

Photoshop Elements for Windows or Mac is a good choice for manipulating digital images. Its price varies from $50.00 to $99.95 (based on sale prices and different vendors)
  1. Duplicate your original (usually a jpeg) and store the original in a safe place.
  2. Open your duplicate image into Photoshop Elements. (Never work on an original.)
  3. The jpeg is a compressed file and tends to lose its integrity if manipulated too much. If you want to make a lot of changes you should probably Save As a photoshop format file first. Otherwise, proceed as follows:
  4. As necessary (you judge)
    1. Enhance the image by adjusting Brightness/Contrast Levels
    2. Select Auto Levels.
  5. Resize the image (4x6 works well for emailing)
    1. Select the Crop tool.
    2. In the size boxes that appear in the menu bar when you select this tool: type, for example, a width of 6, a height of 4 and resolution of 72 ppi (72 is the most appropriate for this purpose)
    3. Drag the mouse (holding the mouse button down) from top left corner to as close to bottom right corner as the tool will allow. (It is gauging proportions so that there will be no distortions.) When you release the mouse the move tool will be automatically activated.
    4. Part of the image may be shaded. This part is destined to be cropped away but, because the move tool is activated, you can drag the brighter, selected area of the image so that the result of the cropping will give you the content you want.
    5. Double click on the image or select Crop from the Image menu.
    6. Your image is now 4x6 and is suitable for emailing. NOTE: it is NOT suitable for a ‘nice’ glossy print. If you want a ‘nice’ glossy print you must make another duplicate of your original to work on differently.
  6. Save the image: Select Save As from the File Menu
    1. Give your image a name that makes sense to you and your correspondent.
    2. Save the image as a JPEG (JPG) and make sure that the name has a jpg extension.
    3. JPEG options will be presented to you as you save:
      1. Use high quality until you decide you can choose another level.
      2. Keep the default ‘Baseline Standard’
      3. Check OK.
  7. Your images prepared for emailing will always look brighter and better on screen than when they are printed. If you want good prints you will need to use a different procedure.
Courtesy of the Internet Users Group [http://www.dcn.org.dcn/iug/] July 2003