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"Resize to the correct pixel dimensions."


You should first find out the size of image the projector displays. With older projectors this may be 1024 pixels wide and 768 pixels high but increasingly popular in photographic circles is a width of 1400 pixels and height of 1050 pixels. If you allow the projectionist's software to resize your image for you, you have lost vital control over how your image will appear. So, find out the size of image the projector will be displaying and set up your image appropriately.

For the purposes of this article I have assumed we will need our image to be 1400 pixels wide and 1050 pixels high.

Use Image Size to set the image dimensions in pixels.

Ensure that options to "constrain proportions" and "resample image" are selected. The first retains the ratio between width and height so the image does not become squashed or stretched. The second tells the software to recalculate the pixels throughout the whole image, something that must be done when altering an image's pixel dimensions without cropping it.

For an image in landscape format, begin by setting the width to 1400 pixels. Then check the height:

Resize window 2

If the height is more than 1050 pixels, change it to 1050 pixels.The width should automatically be reduced accordingly:

Resize window 3

Resize window

Resize window 4

For an image in square or portrait format, set the height to 1050 pixels. The width should automatically be reduced to less than the maximum of 1400 pixels.

Resize window 5

The settings inside the "Document Size" box are irrelevant.

Assuming your image resize function has its options set correctly as described above, this simple process should work every time.


Note: in Photoshop there is an additional option, "Scale Styles", which worries some people. Should it be selected or not? For most photographic images, it won't matter. It is relevant only if your image contains a layer with a style attached to it, such as a drop shadow. If the image has no style attached to any of its layers, the Scale Styles option will have no effect. If you want to see how it works, try resizing a multi-layer image where one layer has a drop shadow. Do it twice, once with the option set on and once with the option set off, and compare the results.

There is an alternative some people prefer when cropping an image, which is to set the crop dimensions to 1400 pixels wide by 1050 pixels high. This has the advantage of filling all the available screen while combining a crop and resize into one simple step. Just be careful you do not crop so severely that the cropping process ends up enlarging a small part of your image.

© David McHutchison (Deemacphotos)
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