How to Prepare a Digital Image for Web Publishing

If you have a digital image, whether taken with a digital camera, scanned from a hard copy or obtained some other way, there are often several adjustments that need to be made before you can put it on the internet in the form of email or a website. If you own Photoshop but don’t know how to use it, you can still edit your images easily without wasting a lot of time.

1. Cropping

Sometimes, you might have a picture and you wish you could just cut out the part you want and leave the rest. Open Photoshop, go to the left toolbar and look for “Crop.” Put in the size you want near the top edge of the panel. 600×800 is a standard web size. Now click on the cropping tool and click and drag to select the part of the picture you want. Double click to finish.

2. Auto Contrast, Auto Color, Auto Levels

Instead of spending hours trying to guess at what your image needs, just go to “Image Adjustment” on the main menu. There you’ll find “Auto Contrast,” “Auto Color” and “Auto Levels.” Don’t just randomly press them. Do them one at a time and decide if you’ve made an improvement. If you don’t like what you see, you can always press ctrl and z to undo. Experiment until you have what you want.

3. Sharpness

You can set parameters for image sharpness easily with the “Filter>Sharpen>Unsharp Mask”. The preview box will show you what’s going on and you don’t have to apply your adjustments until you’ve gotten the picture how you want it.

“Filter>Sharpen>Sharpen” or “Sharpen Edges” will also improve your image, but they do it automatically. Whatever works best for you is what you should go with.

4. Black and White

Converting a color image to black and white is very simple. All you have to do is go to the main menu and select “Image>Adjustments>Desaturate.” If your image looks too pale, just go to “Image>Adjustments>Brightness/Contrast” and watch the preview as you make changes. Find your balance and click “OK.”

5. Saving for the Web

Photoshop actually has an option just for this. Go to “File>Save for Web.” Select a format, which in this case would be “jpeg,” which creates small files with the least loss in definition, and choose a quality to save it with. Set a size on the lower left and press “Save.”

Always save a copy and keep the original.

One important thing to note about saving pictures in different formats is that you should always retain the original. Number one, you may want it for something else, and number two because every time you save a picture to a different format it loses quality, so you always want to start with the original.

Now you’re ready to publish your pictures on the web. There’s really nothing to it.

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