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Why are my scanned photos so large?

Posted By : of Data Doctors on September 13, 1999

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Although I scan my photos at normal size, usually 4x6 when I drag them to AOL to send, the copies are HUGE! What am I doing wrong?


This question was answered on September 13, 1999. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

Sending scanned photos via e-mail can be fun for the sender, but it can be a nightmare for the recipient Many of us have been victims of the dreaded 10 to 20 minute download of a single e-mail message that usually ends up being a large photo of something meaningless You, fortunately, had the decency to stop the process when you noticed the amount of time that it was going to take to send the message The method that you described for scanning then “dragging” the image is most likely the problem When you drag (or cut and paste) a “raw” scanned image it is usually in the TIF or BMP format, both of which will result in a rather large file size Your best bet is to save the file to a more efficient file format then “attach” the file to the e-mail message Most scanning programs have advanced options that will let you alter the resolution of the scan (usually referred to as DPI – Dots Per Inch) or possibly change the size of the final scan Usually 75 to 150 dpi is acceptable for e-mail images, but you will want to experiment with different settings to get the best results Once you have scanned the image look for an option in the File menu such as “Save As” or “Export” One of these options should bring up a window that allows you to name the scanned image and more importantly change the file type Look for a drop down box below the box that allows you to name the file labeled “Save as type” or something similar This option should give you several different choices of file types including TIF, GIF, BMP and most importantly JPG The JPG file format will generally give you the best “compression” without totally degrading the picture quality resulting in the best quality and smallest file size If your scanned image is something other than a photograph, such as line art of a company logo or drawing, you can get even smaller files by using the GIF format When you have decided upon the file format and the file name don’t forget to pay attention to the location to which the file is going to be saved (usually at the top of the window labeled “Save in:”) Now open your AOL software and compose your e-mail message as you normally would, then click on the “Attachments” button in the lower left hand corner (AOL version 4.0) to bring up the attachments dialog box Click on the Attach button to bring up a window that will allow you to go to the folder/file that contains your image Once you have located it, double click on it to attach it to the message E-mail etiquette demands that we all learn how to perform these steps as a simple courtesy to others if we intend to send photos via our messages Remember, if it takes 10 minutes to send, then it will generally take 10 minutes to receive!

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of Data Doctors on September 13, 1999

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