Image editing the free and easy way.

Pixlr, a FREE Web based image editing tool I think you'll enjoy.

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There are lots of YouTube video tutorials you can search for using your favorite search engine. Pixlr is very easy to use.

Why should I use it? Attaching large high resolution photos to an email is a big problem for all recipients including those with fast internet connections. If they are on DSL or dial-up, most are not going to bother waiting for the email to download and some providers have a size limit for attachments. Try to avoid large file sizes unless the image is for print purposes. If they are just for viewing reduce the size to a maximum of 800 pixels wide (10 1/2") and 600 pixels tall. An image this size and under 100KB in file size is still going to be a very nice looking picture and will download much much faster.

You can also set-up most cameras to produce smaller image files. This would be a time saver if your plan is to use them primarily for distribution through email or Web use. If you plan to print them go to a large format.

For large format pictures you plan to have attached to an email or for the Web, use the totally free Web image editing tool, Pixlr Express. It's very easy to use. Watch this tutorial, it will help you get acquainted. The main thing you will need to do is re-size the images coming out of high megapixel cameras and some cell phones.

Below is an image of the simple user interface for Pixlr Express adjustments toolbar.

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Above is a large picture on my computer, it's 3072 pixels wide (32"). It would take a long time to download in an email for someone with a slow internet connection. Clicking Adjustment, then Resize (above), you'll get the dialog box below.

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This shows the size of the current image, 3072 x 2304. When you select the width dimension, change it to 800 then click Apply, then Save (upper left of screen image #2), you'll get the dialog box below.

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In this box, give the new smaller picture a different name (very important) so you don't change the original image. You could just add _small to the end of the current name and save in the same or new location. Next grab the blue slider with your mouse cursor and drag it to the left until the image size number below the slider reads somewhere between 50 and 100 KB. If the final quality is not to your liking, start over with your original and increase the quality until it's correct. Remember the larger the file size the longer the download time. Most of us are impatient, if it takes too long we won't bother to open the email or view the Web image.

This whole process, once you do it a few times only takes a few seconds.

There are lots of other features in Pixlr you can use, but resizing for Web and email use is critically important on the user end if you want your final product to be easily viewed.

I think you'll enjoy using the free Pixlr Express and then you may want to move on to the free Pixlr Advanced. It works a lot like Photoshop without the price tag. After you really get hooked maybe buy Photoshop Elements.