Compress Images for the Web Using Picasa

One issue that has come up lately with friends and clients is how to compress images for the web. The reason this isn’t working out so great for you is that the pictures you take with your digital camera are high resolution, high resolution means more pixels packed in to every image to give greater detail. This means the pictures will be very large if printed out, and the file size will be large and make a website load very very slow. A picture taken with you average digital camera can be over 2,000 or 3,000 pixels wide, the average computer screen is 1024 pixels wide. I would say that most of the time you would want to make your images around 600px for the web. I made a video to illustrate the point.

People have been asking me how to remedy this so they can post their images to their website. The easiest, most cost effective solution I have found is using Picasa. Picasa is an online application from Google which allows you to sort, edit, print, and upload your images to the web. The only thing I am currently using Picasa for is to compress/resize images.
There are many ways to do this, I have chosen this path because it is simple and free.

First thing you have to do is install it.
here is the link to grab the program: http://picasa.google.com/
Download and run the program.

It will ask you a couple questions, like if you want a short cut on your desktop or if you would mind sending anonymous data to Google, I usually check yes to the shortcut on my desktop and to let Picasa run after it is done installing and no to everything else. After it is done installing, when Picasa opens up, it will go through your computer looking for your pictures and sort them. When this is all done it is ready to go. There are a lot of features in Picasa but the only reason I use it is to quickly compress images for the web. When it is done installing and loading all your pictures, you can begin compressing pictures, just selct the images you want to compress, click “Export” (it is located at the bottom, and has a folder icon)

Picasa export to folder
Picasa export to folder
Use the left sidebar to locate folders.
Use the left sidebar to locate folders.

The first option in the “Export to Folder” window is “Export Location”, Picasa has automatically made a folder, but you can change this if you would like to. It will then ask you to pick the name of the exported folder. Now on to the reason we set all this up: image compression for the web. Select the “Resize to” option and pick the pixel width you would like to use. If you are not sure, go with something around 640px – 680px, you can always resize it again later. “Image quality” I usually set to “Automatic”. You can also add a watermark if you want, a watermark is either a copyright notice, or a website name, so that if other people try to use your photo, your copyright/name will be on the image. Hit the “export” button and you are good to go.
This was a quick example on how to compress your digital photos for the web, if you have any questions or suggestions please comment below.

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