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May 2009 - Picture Sizing

Reducing the file sizes of pictures

Often we receive reports from companies and others containing one or two pictures that are 1meg to 5meg in size, or see reports where the pictures are fuzzy and out of focus or have poor resolution.

For our (ERA) reports, the initial sizes of the individual pictures when taken can be 2meg to 5meg or so when taken and if merged can result is pictures up to 200meg in size, but are gradually reduced to 70kb to 100kb in size before importing them into the report. We then manipulate the settings in creating a pdf file to result in a report that contains numerous pictures, yet is close to 1meg when emailed, and perhaps 2meg to 3meg in high resolution print quality (being 60% to 80% of the size of the word report).

However, it is possible to reduce the sizes of the original ~2meg (or mb) pictures to less than 100kb and still achieve high resolution just using the included base software of any windows computer, as shown in Figure 1 of visible gold from Silver Lake Resources’ 8 Level which I visited in early May 2009. Figure 1 is only 87kb in size, compared to the original digital picture of 2.2mb.

The reduction is achieved because a picture when taken consists of 4 layers (red, blue, green and black), and that can be flattened and reduced in a screen dump, which can be saved using the free “paint” software.

So, open a digital picture on a windows computer (I don’t have a mac but a similar route should theoretically be possible). Then press the “Alt” and “Prt Sc” keys (the “Alt” key is usually somewhere in the bottom left and “Prt Sc” key somewhere on the top row usually in the top right of most keyboards.

Nothing appears to happen, but what has happened is that a picture of the “complete screen” has been dumped onto the clipboard. The reason why this occurs is that originally in the late 1970s a dump of the screen onto a printer was achieved by pressing “Shift” and “Prt Scr” or “Print Scr” and was extremely useful in computer programming in BASIC etc. A picture could also be printed of whatever was being viewed on the screen. As computers have evolved, the keys and underlying command have remained.

There are a number of ways to use the dumped picture of the screen on the clipboard. However, one of the easiest is using “Paint” which can be found in vista by clicking on the “round start icon” (or xp on the “start icon”), all programs, accessories (folder), and paint (with its paint-brush icon).

Press the “Ctrl” and “V” keys and the screen dump will be pasted from the clipboard into “paint”. It should be noticed that there is a dotted line around the picture of the screen dump, click on the picture and drag it (say towards the top left) while maintaining the part of the picture that you want to keep, and then click outside of the dotted line. This will freeze the screen dump picture from the clipboard onto the “paint” board.

Then (making sure the dotted box has been selected in the top of the second column of icons on the left of the screen – it should automatically be), drag a box from clicking on the top left of the picture on the paint-board and dragging to the bottom right of the part or all of the picture that you want, and press the “Ctrl” and “C” keys (copying your selection onto the clipboard).

Now click on “File” (in the toolbar) and “New” (or Ctrl and N) and “Don’t Save” untitled (because it is on the clipboard) and then press Ctrl and V to drop it into paint, and as before click outside the dotted line to freeze your picture in paint. If the white box is larger than your picture then click on the bottom right hand corner of the white box and drag reduce it to behind your picture.

Then click on “File” and “Save as” and use the drop down boxes to put the file of the picture wherever you want to (using the upper box) and put in a filename, and select JPEG from the “Save as Type”. Then navigate to your saved file, open it and see that in this example the file size it has been reduced from 2.2mb to 87kb, while appearing to maintain a high quality of resolution.

Enabling the picture it to be included in a document and only add 87kb to size of the document or be sent as a significantly smaller file size picture.

Disclosure and Disclaimer : This article has been written by Keith Goode, the Managing Director of Eagle Research Advisory Pty Ltd, (an independent research company) who is an Authorised Representative with Taylor Collison Ltd, and with his associates, may hold interests in some of the stocks mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article should not be taken as investment advice, but are based on observations by the author. The author does not warrant the accuracy or completeness of any information and is not liable for any loss or damage suffered through any reliance on its contents.

Figure 1. Specimens of Silver Lake’s visible gold, mostly from 8 Level at Daisy-MilanoGDNmay09

  • Written by: Keith Goode
  • Friday, 01 May 2009