Getting Things Done – Resizing Images

By Martin Jansen, Owner of Jansen-PCINFO

In my last article I wrote about how the size of an image can affect the size of a PDF.  Size does matter!  You can snicker now.

But seriously, if you have ever seen a slowly building picture on a website, you know the image was too big to load easily.  The same applies to PDF files that are large and bloated with images.

In this article, I will take a 1.7 MB image that was originally a large screen print of my Linux Mint desktop and resize into something much smaller without losing a lot of clarity.  The tool I will use for this operation is IrfanView, a free image viewer, that does much more:

  • Fast and compact ( just 5 MB )
  • Freeware for non-commercial use
  • Supports Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 10 and 11
  • 32 and 64 bit version
  • Multi language support
  • Unicode support
  • Designed to be simple but powerful

IrfanView 32 bit does run well on Linux with Wine installed, here’s some directions for installing Wine in Linux Mint, Ubuntu and Debian.

The powerful part of IrfanView comes apparent when I open the file and press Ctrl + R to resize the 1366×768 pixel image. When I reduce the image to 50 percent of its original size and save it as a .jpg file, the image size is now 66 KB.  That’s 25 times smaller than the original 1.7 MB .png file while losing some quality. Here’s a comparison of image properties:

JPEG images are highly compressed, but cannot be made larger without losing image quality.  I used the LM Desktop-50.jpg file for the beginning image of this article.

When I take the original image and insert it into a LibreOffice Writer file, the saved document is 1.8 MB.  The .jpg image inserted into LibreOffice results in a 109 KB file size.

LibreOffice does a good job of making large Write files smaller when saved as a PDF.   The 1.8 MB write file saves as a 326 KB PDF, but the smaller image is 4 times smaller at 77 KB.

The point I am trying to make is that the size of an image can greatly affect the files that we use while sharing online.  Kindly look at the size of the file before sending it out to the world.

One last thought, for those struggling to control the size of a PDF, I suggest using Hamrick’s VueScan which produces very reasonably sized PDF files when scanning from paper.  I wrote an article about VueScan here.