Feb 222012

I needed a picture to be sized to specific dimensions for use in website’s header. The website instructions were clear, the image needed to be 960 pixels wide and 280 pixels high.  How can that be accomplished with Picasa?  The same process applies to printed dimensions, you just need to divide the pixels by the printed dots per inch.  So a 1200 pixel picture, printed at 300/inch is 4 inches.

There are 2 steps required.  First I cropped the picture to the appropriate ratio, then export the picture and resize the export to 960 pixels.

The Export Size

As I’ve discussed in previous articles, the option that allows you to resize a picture is found on Export command.  Select a picture, click the Export button, and one of the settings available is Export Size.


But, you’ll notice that you can only specify one dimension.  If I type 960 into the image size setting, I know the longest side of the picture will be 960 pixels, but what about the other side?  Picasa will not distort your picture, so it can only allow you to specify one edge to resize, then it calculates the other edge based on the aspect ratio of your picture.

Cropping and Aspect Ratio

The other side of the picture will be sized according to it’s ratio to the longest side.  For example, if your picture is a perfect square, the two sides are equal, so your picture will be 960X960.  How do you get a perfect square?  By cropping.

Note that it doesn’t matter if you’ve cropped a small square or a big square because it’s in the second step when you specify the final size.  When you specify 960 for the longest side, you will automatically get a picture that is 960X960 if it’s ‘aspect ratio’ is a square.

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If your picture is sized appropriately for an 8X10 print, then the second side will equal 8/10ths of the longest side, or 960*.8=768.  Don’t worry if the math escapes you, Picasa makes it easy by allowing you to add a ‘Custom Aspect Ratio.’

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So now, with my Custom Aspect Ratio of 960X280 I can crop my picture, then export it to a size of 960 and be assured that the second side will be 280 – just like the website ordered!

Geeks on Tour Members can watch a video: Resizing Pictures to Width and Height, that goes thru all of the steps and shows the end result.  The video also shows how to delete the custom aspect ratio.

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  24 Responses to “Picasa Tip: Resizing a Picture’s Height and Width”

  1. I used the shrink to fit for a 4×6 photo. Now, ALL my photos are stuck in the shrink to fit mode. How do I get rid of this shrink to fit mode? Thanks, Ginny

    • Shrink to fit is a print option, the opposite option is crop to fit, just check that instead.

  2. Thanks, just what i needed now for my template.

  3. The right answer here is not to use Picasa for batch resizing/cropping. It is simply not well suited for it. Other programs are fantastic for this and have been around for years. Try FastStone and you will not be disappointed for batch renaming, batch resizing, etc.


  4. I have a couple of images of the same setting but different people & things in each one. I want to mask, cut & paste parts of one image into the other, but the two images are slightly rotated and not the same scale (size). I’m wondering if Picasa could auto rotate & resize one image to match the other. Then parts of one can be masked and combined (like layers in some programs) to make a composite using best parts of both images. The process wouldn’t need to be fully automatic, I could manually pick “registration points” in each shot to match to the master’s points.



  5. Hi… I’m near today’s deadline and I need help!!!
    I am asked to send images: 10 inches on the longest side, 72 dpi.
    How can I convert this to pixels when exporting a group of pictures?
    I really appreciate ANY help ASAP!!
    Thanks 🙂

  6. I tried manipulating my photo to 2400 x 3000 in the Export feature of Picasa. I can get the 2400 in height but the width will go no further than 1600. Anybody out there know how to accomplish this? I am trying to enter photos into a contest and there minimum is 2400 x 3000. I use no other editing software. Thanks.

  7. how to change the size of the image to some few cm using picasa3?

  8. I wish I could crop by a set number of pixels each time, rather than having to manually do it. I want a setting that automatically chooses 2400 x 3000. The custom aspect ratio doesn’t seem to allow fixed pixel settings.

  9. I have a bunch of photos, each with a different pixel count, and want wallet size (3.375 X 2.31 inches a ratio of 1.46/1). I have cropped each photo to this ratio but cannot find the resulting pixel count in the Picasa photo properties list – only the original size. So, if Picasa sizes the print to a pixel count, and I don’t know what the final pixel size is, how can I control the printed photo size by other than by trial and error?

    This is a problem I have fought for years!

    • You’ve already figured out the hardest part! Now, it depends on the printer. If it prints at 300dpi (that’s dots/pixels per inch) just multiply the inches by 300. So your longest side is 3.375 in. Multiply times 200 and that’s 1012.5 pixels.

      • I am using an Epson Stylus Photo R300 printer. Data on this printer states a “Resolution range from 160 X 160 to 4600 X 4600 pixels”. In other words, the pixel range on the printer is variable and dependent on the photo being printed. Further, I have already noted that the Picasa program does not give pixel count for cropped photos! So the pixel count for the printer is variable and the pixel count for the cropped photo is unknown.

        This leaves me somewhat confused. What now? (BTW thanks for your very quick response.)


        • Picasa’s Export command is where you set the pixels for the longest side. When you print, the printer will print at whatever resolution you tell it to.

          • It really should not be this hard! I am making some progress — but!

            I used Crop to make a photo of what I wanted and then used Export to make a produce a file that, when read back into Picasa, I learned the pixel count (740 on the long edge). Now for the printer — I looked at ALL the pages (gui’s) and found none that allowed for the adjustment of output DPI count. As far as I can tell DPI is not a value one can change — I even wrote Epson with this question — no answer. Also, a web search did not find a “How to” for this. Who knows the relationship between PPI and DPI.

            I hate to keep bugging you but this is a question that I think a large number of people are interested in.
            Thanks again,

          • First, you shouldn’t need to wait for the resulting exported photo to tell the pixels. You specify the number of pixels for the longest side when you do the export. Then, although it would be nice to understand the relationship between DPI and Pixels, you should be able to just select ‘Wallet’ from Picasa’s print choices.
            If you still need to continue this thread, we need to go to the Geeks on Tour Member’s Forum: http://www.geeksontour.tv/forum

  10. […] Picasa Tip: Resizing a Picture’s Height and Width […]

  11. Why can’t I print the same size picture that I cropped it to?

  12. […] To accomplish this with Picasa, you need to set a custom aspect ratio.  On either the Crop dimensions drop-down box, or the Page Format drop-down box, you’ll see the ability to ‘Add Custom Aspect Ratio’ at the bottom of the list.  Choose that and just enter 850X315.  See a previous tip: Resizing a Picture’s Height and Width. […]

  13. While I appreciate the specific, step by step approach, this doesn’t afford efficiency when the photos you are stuck working with are all different sizes and resolutions, and they all need to be sized to match, and there are more than 6. A resize in INCHES button, or even a drag box with rulers, would be a godsend.

    • this is my exact problem, and i couldn’t agree more. at the moment i’m having to do a trial and error with each of my five photos and i don’t know why the heck there isn’t an option that gives the actual resizing of an image

  14. being a new paid member I am having trouble logging on to your vidio tips because it times out and gives me a fatel error code how can we correct this? I am using verizon MI-FI with windows 7 64 bit

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