Saving Images for the Web or E-Mail - IrfanView

It is considered a breach of "netiquette" to place high resolution files with little or no compression in e-mail or on web sites. Sizing and compressing pictures is easy in almost every image processing program or even viewer utilities.

IrfanView is an excellent freeware application that includes browsing, sideshows, thumbnail generation, and basic image processing. It does a fine job of Resizing and compressing.

Resizing the Image

On the left is Resize on the Image menu. Select it and the requester below comes up.
Under "Set new size:" enter a width. Generally a value between 480 and 640 width is polite. As long as "Preserve aspect ratio of:" is checked, IrfanView will enter the other dimension automatically. For Internet preparation, you can ignore "...Percentage of original". Resolution in dots per inch (DPI) is also of no relevance whatever for the Internet. Always use "Resample" for highest quality.

Optimizing and saving the compressed image

Under the File menu select "Save as..".

A "Save Picture As..." requester will pop up. Click on "Options" and the "Save Properties" dialogue will pop up. There is no preview like Photoshop and PSP, so trial and error will be needed to determine the the best setting for "Save Quality". A value of 25 is a good starting spot. Save the image under a different name, and click "Save".

For a 480 pixel wide image, a size of 48K or less would be polite. Under the File menu, select Open. If you saved the image in a folder other than the original, use "Look in:" to navigate to where the saved image is now stored.

When the open requester shows, chose "Details". This will show the size of the Internet-ready image. It is shown to be 47 KB, which should be the perfect size of file for this size of image. If it is larger, resave the original image with greater compression.

IrfanView is an indispensable program that should be on any Windows computer where images can be viewed. It is freeware, but do not hesitate to reward the developer for his fine efforts. It can be found along with all plug-ins at




© Larry N. Bolch 2002