How to resize images

This guidance explains how to resize images in Microsoft Office Picture Manager and Microsoft Paint, both of which are free and often already installed on your PC by default.
Healthwatch staff members standing outside a hospital

Resizing pictures with Microsoft Office Picture Manager

Picture Manager is slightly more advanced than Microsoft Paint and has a few additional functions for editing pictures.

  • Find the picture you want to edit in your documents, right click and then go to Open with and select Microsoft Office.
  • To resize images, go to Picture → Resize

Top tip

When saving for web, always work from a copy of your original high-quality image. Keep the original in case you need it again. Once an image is compressed, the extra data (and image quality) is discarded.

Using the ‘Percentage of original width x height’ option in the right-hand menu, use the arrows to decrease the size. The ‘original size’ is the size the image was when you opened it and the ‘new size’ is the size that you’re changing it too. The ‘new size’ will change as you decrease the percentage.

Cropping images

If you need to crop the image go to Picture → Crop

Here you can either drag the corners of the image, or use the arrows in the right hand menu to trim your image down to a more precise size.

screenshot of how to crop an image in picture manager

Top tip

When resizing an image, avoid stretching small images to a larger size, which creates pixelation. Large images can always be scaled down, but small images cannot be made larger without sacrificing image quality.

Resizing pictures with Microsoft Paint

Microsoft Paint is a very basic picture editing program, so it has quite limited functionality. However, it does provide a simple and quick way of resizing images.

  • Open Paint – Start → Programmes → Accessories → Paint
  • Open the file you want to edit
  • Click Resize
  • This will bring up the Resize and Skew pop-up.
  • Select the pixels option
  • Untick maintain aspect ratio and put in the dimensions you need and click ‘Ok’

If doing this has distorted your image, then you will need to click undo and crop your image first. For example, if you have an image that is 246 x 246 pixels and you want it to be 200 x 74 pixels simply resizing it will distort the image.

Resizing pictures for social media

Landscape by Sprout Social is a free online tool that helps you resize, crop and scale images ready for use across multiple social media platforms.

Use this cheat sheet to to see all of the correct dimensions for pictures across the different channels. 

Don't forget

You will need to get consent from people that you take pictures of at events. Use our consent form.


Photography consent form

Additional resources

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