It is best when taking digital pictures to keep the DPI (dots per inch) as high as possible. (Best Quality)
When scanning a photo use 300 dpi.

If you intend to print your pictures you will want to keep them at the same size but if you will be sending them in an email or putting them on a web page you will be seeing them at 72 dpi so you need to reduce the size.
If you are starting to glaze over after reading the last few sentences, don't worry, you don't really need to be taking it all in. You can scroll down to the blue text if you like.

The "Resize" tool.

If you do not have the rulers showing at the top and left of your graphics you need to turn them on.
Go to "View" and click "Rulers"

If the numbers are not showing in hundreds click here

On a computer screen we don't really work in dpi.
Dpi is really a printing term. Here we work in pixels.
Your screen is divided into thousands of little square dots called pixels. This is what the screen resolution is referring to when it mentions 800 x 600 or 1024 x 768. By assigning colors to each individual dot the computer gives you the impression of the real thing. Obviously the more pixels you use the finer the detail and therefore the better the picture you see.
Most people are still using 800 x 600 resolution on their monitors so we need to be aware of this so that the pictures we show them will fit their screen and not overlap.
You will notice that the above picture measures 1800 x 1200 (a common size for a digital camera).
If you were to put it on a web site as is it would be more than twice the size of the screen so we need to reduce the size.

Click on "Resize" and make sure both "Resize all Layers" and "Maintain Aspect Ratio" are checked.
Click on the "Pixel Size" at the top and enter a size in the width box. I normally keep it under 400 as a rule of thumb.
I have explained about pixels so that you know what is happening but really all you need to know is to set this one box in the resize tool to a reasonable number.
Once you have reduced the size you will often find that the picture becomes slightly blurred
Use the Clarify tool to sharpen up the details
The final thing is to save your picture as a JPEG.
PSP has a wonderful tool for controlling the final outcome of this.
It is the JPEG Optimizer

As you can see this tool lets you move the compression level up or down until you get the desired effect.
The aim is to use the highest possible number without losing quality.
As you get used to this tool you will realize that a very detailed picture such as we have here can be saved at a much higher compression than one with plain surfaces.

I have deliberately saved the graphic at the right with too high a compression to show you the bubbling effect that it creates on the plain surfaces around the printing.

You now have all the basic skills for making the most of your photographs and since this is a beginners tutorial I will leave it at that but once you know more about PSP you will begin to see endless possibilities.
As you become more proficient you will find yourself emphasizing different parts of the picture, adding parts from different photos and even changing the expression on peoples faces.
Anything is possible.


How to change your rulers.
Go to "File" "Preferences" "General Program Preferences" and click on the "Rulers and Units" tab.
Change the "Display Units" to "Pixels" and press "OK"

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