Cropping & Sizing Graphics

Use this study guide to learn how to crop and size graphics in several different applications. First, let's get some terminology straight:

Cropping is not particularly problematic, but sizing is. Notice that when you try to size a .gif or .jpg, file, things start blurring and distorting pretty badly. You have to use special graphics software to convert bitmapped image to vector images.

Crop images

Let's start with the easy stuff—cropping.

  1. In your graphics application, find a graphic file to open.

    Note: Some word-processing applications, such as Word, also enable to crop images. Try cropping an image in your preferred application.

  2. Search for the way your application does cropping. In some applications, you may see a crop icon (often, an icon with two opposing right-angles). Or you may be able to click something like Image > Crop.
  3. If you use the cropping tool, you draw a box around some portion of the image you want to crop, and press or click an interface element that performs the crop. Or, you may be able to draw the cropping border around the portion of the image you want to crop, and click a button that performs the crop.

That's it! Just save the cropped image using whichever name and graphic file format you want.

Size images

As pointed out earlier, sizing is tricky—you cannot size a bit-mapped graphic image such as a BMP, GIF, or JPG without distorting it. Instead, you have to use an application that converts bitmapped graphics to vector graphics. Vector graphics can be easily sized and without distortion. (Search Google for "convert bitmapped to vector," although the tools you will find must be purchased). Still, you can do limited sizing—in particular, making bit-mapped graphics smaller—without much noticeable distortion.

To experiment with sizing:

  1. Make a simple screen capture of something and then paste the image into an open project in your graphics software.
  2. You may need to first select the entire image. Then find how your application handles sizing—for example, Image > Image Size.
  3. Try different sizings, both larger and smaller than the original.
  4. Notice the distortion in the enlargements.

    Note: Some word-processing applications, such as Word, also enable to size images. Try sizing an image in your preferred application.

Write your procedures

  1. Write up brief instructions on the preceding tasks.
  2. When you have completed these tasks and instructions, send the files by e-mail attachment to your instructor. If you have problems, also contact your instructor by e-mail and explain the problem you are having.

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