How to Resample Images in Photoshop Elements 12

By Barbara Obermeier, Ted Padova

Sometimes when you are working with images in Photoshop Elements, the images are too large, and you need to reduce their resolution and physical size. In other cases, you might need a higher resolution to output your images at larger sizes. This method of sizing — changing the size, as well as the number of pixels — is called resampling an image. Specifically, reducing resolution is downsampling, and raising resolution is upsampling.

Use caution when you resample images; when you resample, you either toss away pixels or manufacture new pixels.

You can change an image’s size and resolution in a couple of different ways. One method is cropping images. You can use the Crop tool with or without resampling images. Another method is using the Image Size dialog box, which you use in many of your editing sessions in Elements.

To resample an image with the Image Size dialog box, follow these steps:

  1. Choose Image→Resize→Image Size.

    Alternatively, you can press Ctrl+Alt+I (Cmd+Option+I on the Mac). The Image Size dialog box opens, as shown in the figure.

    The Pixel Dimensions area in the Image Size dialog box shows the file size (in this example, 12.1M). This number is the amount of space the image takes up on your hard drive. The width and height values are fixed unless you select the Resample Image check box at the bottom of the dialog box.

    image0.jpg

  2. In the Document Size area, redefine dimensions and resolution.

    The options are

    • Width: Type a value in the text box to resize the image’s width and then press Tab to move out of the field to implement the change. From the drop-down menu to the right of the text box, you can choose a unit of measure: percent, inches, centimeters, millimeters, points, picas, or columns.

    • Height: The Height options are the same as the Width options for height adjustments.

      If you keep the sizing proportional, you typically edit either the Width or Height text box, but not both. When you alter either width or height, the resolution changes inversely.

    • Resolution: Type a value in the text box to change resolution, and press the Tab key to commit the change. After you edit the resolution, the Width and Height values are changed inversely (if the Constrain Proportions check box is selected).

  3. If you’re okay with resampling your image to get the desired size, select the Resample Image check box.

    With this check box selected, you can change dimensions and pixels at the same time, which results in either reducing or increasing the number of pixels. When the check box is deselected, the values for dimensions are linked; changing one value automatically changes the other values.

  4. If you select the Resample Image check box, choose a resampling method from the drop-down menu below it and/or select the other resample options above it.

    In the drop-down menu, you find different choices for resampling. See the table for details on each of the methods.

    When you select the Resample Image check box, the two check boxes above it become active. Here’s what they do:

    • Scale Styles: Elements has a Styles panel from which you can add a variety of different style effects to images. When you apply a style, such as a frame border, the border appears at a defined width. When you select the Scale Styles check box and then resize the image, the Styles effect is also resized.

      Leaving the check box deselected keeps the style at the same size while the image is resized.

      Constrain Proportions: By default, this check box is selected, and you should leave it that way unless you want to intentionally distort an image.

  5. When you’re done selecting your options, click OK to resize your image.

Resampling Methods
Method What It Does Best Uses
Nearest Neighbor This method is fastest, and the results produce a smaller file
size.
This method is best used when you have large areas of the same
color.
Bilinear This method produces a medium-quality image. You might use this option with grayscale images and line
art.
Bicubic This method is the default and provides a good-quality
image.
Unless you find better results by using any of the other
methods, leave the default at Bicubic.
Bicubic Smoother This method improves on the Bicubic method, but you notice a
little softening of the edges.
If sharpness isn’t critical and you find Bicubic
isn’t quite doing the job, try this method. It tends to work
best if you have to upsample an image.
Bicubic Sharper This method produces good-quality images and sharpens the
results.
Use this option to downsample high-resolution images that need
to be output to screen resolutions and web pages.