Have you ever uploaded a picture for your social network profile only to discover it was resized on you?  The problem is not that it was resized, the problem is with the scale.  If the scaling isn’t proportional then that great picture might not be so flattering.  It will be like looking in one of those Distortion Mirrors in the Fun House.  It could distort the picture so much that it doesn’t represent the true you.

There are 3 options to resolve this issue:

  1. Offer your techie friend a coffee, Jolt or Rockstar in return for helping you scale your image to the right size.
  2. Resize and crop it yourself using a graphic program.
  3. Resize and crop it yourself using an online utility.

Option 1 should be relatively quick & painless.  They’ll ask you to send them an email with your picture enclosed.  They might ask you the following questions:

  • Which social network is this for?
  • What are the dimensions in pixels?
  • Which image format do you need?

Option 2 is not as simple, since you will be doing the work yourself.

  • Open your image file using a graphic program that will allow cropping and resizing images.  My favorite is Paint.NET, a free photoshop like program.
  • To keep the whole image
    • Select Image Resize
    • Make sure “Maintain aspect ratio” is checked.  This will ensure the width is proportional to the height.
    • Resize to the desired pixel size.
  • To keep part of the image
    • Change view from inches or centimeters to pixels
    • Use rectangle select tool to outline the area of your image you want to work with.  As you resize the rectangle, it should show the approximate size of your cropping area.
    • Crop selected area.  This might be an icon or a menu selection depending on the graphic program you’re using.
    • The cropped area might not be the perfect size yet.  Your width or height might be a few pixels too big.
    • Now you can resize the canvas.  Paint.NET has this option.
    • Turn off the aspect ratio.  We don’t want to distort the cropped area.
    • Adjust height or width to fit the exact pixel dimensions required for your profile.
    • Save the file using the dimensions as part of the name “myPic_50x50.jpg” or “myPic_50x50.gif”

Option 3 is probably the simplest method of all to resize your image for social networks.

  • Visit http://mypictr.com/ a web based social picture resizing application
  • In most cases it takes only 4 steps to create a resized picture that is customized to the desired social networking profile requirement.
    1. Browse and load the picture from your local hard drive.
    2. Select the desired social network.  This determines the required dimensions.  From what I could tell they have most of the networks I know about.  They also allow the user the manually set the dimensions.
    3. Select image view
      • Drag the floating visibility frame to your desired picture focus
      • NOTE: The darker area outside the box will not be part of the picture.
      • You can use the zoom to adjust the scale of the picture.  Zoom out to get more of the picture.  Zoom in to get less.
    4. Create the picture
      • Once the picture has been created, you can download it to your local hard drive or send it to yourself via email.

My personal choice was Option 3. Of course, I’m already that techie guy and the web application mypictr.com saved me a lot of extra work.

For those who aren’t techie people, just choose Option 1 and ask your techie friend to show you how they did it.  Then you’ll know how to do it the next time you need it.