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In this movie, I'll show you how to downsample an image with the assumption that you want to email it, whether to a friend, client, or coworker. This time we're working with a photographic image from the Fotolia Image Library, about which you can learn more at fotolia.com/deke. This is a wide panorama, so I'm going to go ahead and press Shift+Tab to hide the right side panels as well as the panels down here at the bottom of the screen so that we can take in the entire image. Now of course, we don't want to harm the original. And another way to protect your original images is to go up to the Image menu and choose the Duplicate command.
And I'll go ahead and rename this new image something like Downsampled Moab, and if you were working with the layered image, you'd want to go ahead and turn on this check box, Duplicate Merge Layers Only so that you're working from a flat image file, then click OK in order to create that new image. Next I'd go up to the Image menu and choose the Image Size command. Now this image as you can see here, measures 7,000 pixels wide by 2,822 pixels tall, that's a total of 19,754,000 pixels, which tells me that this panorama was probably created by stitching together a bunch of lower resolution images.
Next I would make sure that both the Constrain Proportions and Resample Image check boxes are turned on. Then I'll drop down to this Resolution value and lower it to 100 pixels per inch, which is basically a random modification. I'm not suggesting you always go with the resolution of 100 Pixels/Inch. In fact, strictly speaking, the resolution value does not matter. So there's no sense of setting it to 72 Pixels/Inch either. You can do that, but the notion that that's what you have to do when working with screen images is an absolute myth.
I'm going to restore that value to 100 Pixels/Inch, the reason being that what I'm really looking to accomplish here is to create a file that can be opened up on a large screen, preferably at 100% view size. And I want the final file, which would presumably be a JPEG file, to be about a megabyte because that's a perfect size for emailing. In my case, the image is descended from 56 megabytes and changed to 3.5 megabytes, which can compress down when we save to the JPEG format just fine. All right, now I will click OK in order to create the smaller version of the image.
I'll go ahead and zoom it in. Notice it fits on this tiny screen at 66.7%, but it would probably fit on your screen at the 100% view size. And notice that we've managed to retain some beautiful detail. All right, now to save the file, I'd go up to the File menu and choose either the Save or Save As command. Since this file has never been saved, either command will bring up the Save As dialog box, then I change the Format to JPEG, click on the Save button. Generally speaking, I like to crank the Quality value to its maximum of 12 because that way we apply as little compression as possible and I could still see by this value below the Preview check box, and I will end up with the file on disk, that's about 1 megabyte.
Now I'll go ahead and click OK to save off that file. From here it's just a matter of going to your email client or web browser, attaching this file to an email and sending it off. And that's how you downsample an image for email here in Photoshop.
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