Leslie's Un-Geek Vista Newsletter Volume #4 ~ March 13, 2010

Date: March 13th 2010

Greetings, Dear Readers!

This issue has been illustrated specifically for Vista users. There is a Windows XP version as well. If you would like to switch, or receive both, let me know and I'll make it happen.

In this issue we will deal with questions from you:

  1. How do I resize photos for email?
  2. How do I resize photos in the built-in Windows image editor?
  3. How do I insert an image in an email so it opens inside the message?
  4. How can I send a fax without having to buy a fax machine?


When you import photos from your camera into your computer they are HUGE! What this means is that if you send them to your friends in an email or try to upload them to a website for sharing it will take way too long to make the trip from your computer across the internet to wherever they are bound, and your email program may even refuse to send anything so large. If you were to print the photo in its native size it would probably be bigger than a piece of notebook paper! So you will want to make them smaller for sharing. I'm not going to have you change the actual photo to a smaller size, but rather save a copy that will be smaller so that you can still preserve the original large photo as well. This is a good idea because any time you resize a photo your smaller version will lose a little quality. Not enough to see with the naked eye, but enough to see if you were to, for instance, blow it back up to a bigger size again. You never know. You just might want to make a poste r of it some day! So let's save the big original AND a little copy for sharing.

If you just want to email your photos your email program can actually resize them for you. There are two ways to do this. First you can navigate to the picture(s) you want to send and right click on the photo, and you will see a menu like this:

Hover your cursor over "Send To" and another little menu will appear like this:

Click on "Mail Recipient" and you'll get a little box that looks like this:

Click on the little arrow thingie to the right of "Medium: 1024 x 768" and you'll get a bunch of size options to choose from like this:

Make your choice simply by clicking on which size you want. I would prefer "Smaller: 640 x 480" for emails. This will still look pretty big on the screen. You'll notice that after you click on your choice the choices disappear and it tells you how many killobytes your photo will be. The smaller (fewer killobytes) the faster it will load on your friend's machine when they receive it.

Now click on the "Attach" button and voila! Up pops a brand new email message with your resized photo already attached and ready to send. Pretty Cool!

That text is put in the message automatically and you are free to erase it and write whatever you want.

But what if you want to INSERT the photo instead of ATTACHING it, so that it shows up right in the email? This is where the other way of resizing photos comes in handy.

Windows gives us a dandy little program called "Paint". It is an image editing program that doesn't do very much, frankly, but it does resize images. If someone tells you to spend $400 on Photoshop tell them to go jump in the lake!

Let's start by making a copy to work with so that if we screw it up the original will remain intact and pristine. You can actually use this method to copy just about any file of any type, not just images. Navigate to the folder containing the image and right click it once to see the menu again like you did before.

Click on "Copy". The little menu disappears! Never fear, you didn't do anything wrong. Now right click on the blank space inside the folder and another little menu appears.

Click on "Paste" and your copy appears right there in the same folder with a new name: Copy of challenger.

Now you can double click on "Copy of challenger" to open it for editing and the original "challenger" photo won't be touched.

Your new image, Copy of challenger, has open in Windows Photo Gallery. Across the top you will see a menu bar. Click on "Open" and then on "Paint".

And the "Paint" program opens up with your image already loaded.

As you can see, your image is so big, only a small corner shows up in the window. You can see the whole image by scrolling up and down, left and right just like you would in a browser window.

Next you want to click on "Image" on the top menu bar, which opens a little menu like this:

Click on "Resize/Skew..." and another little window with some choices will open up like this:

Now the fun starts. The little numbers in the little boxes are there for you to change to whatever you like. The top "Stretch" section is what we want to change. It is important to keep the two numbers the same so that you won't end up with a misshapen image. I suggest starting with 50% to see how it will look. Just change the two little "100% to 50% and then click "OK".

Now you're beginning to see the image.

Now there are lots of things you can do. You can make the "Paint" window bigger by dragging the bottom right corner or by clicking on the square in the top right corner to see the whole image. You can click on "Image" on the top menu bar again, then click on "Attributes" to see the new dimensions of your image.

This little box gives you all kinds of info.

Now you can just click "OK" or "Cancel" to make the little box go away, or "Default" to put the image back to its original size. You can change the numbers here, too, and click "ok" to save the change, but I wouldn't. Since the numbers aren't in percent, you may distort your picture. Let's just click "ok" to keep the new dimensions and make the little box go away.

Here's something really cool: You can click "Edit" on the top menu bar and then "Undo" at any time if you want to undo the last action you performed. You can "Undo" as many times as you want. Also, if you accidentally close the "Paint" window before you're ready to save your changes you'll get a little box asking you if you want to save the changes and if you click "No" the image will go back to it's original state. So don't worry about wrecking your image. Besides, this is just a copy of the original, anyway, remember? Nothing you do to this will affect your original image.

So if you're happy with the new dimensions you can save your new image and I'll show you how to do that in a minute. First let's make it even smaller. You will click on "Image" and then "Resize/Scew..." again and the little box will open up again.

Notice that the values in the little boxes are 100% again! But you already reduced the size by 50%, right? So now you're reducing the reduced version, so if you type in 50% again you'll end up with an image that is actually 25% of the original size. Let's do that.

Now that's a nice size! Let's save it. Click on "File" on the top menu bar to see a menu like this:

Now just click on "Save" and voila! Your "challenger" photo remains unchanged and your "Copy of challenger" is 25% smaller and will fit into an email nicely or upload to the web quickly. You'll need to click the red "X" in the right hand top corner to close the "Paint" program.


If you attach any kind of file to an email, whether it be a photo, text document, or whatever, it will just show up right under SUBJECT as an attachment that needs to be opened to be viewed, like the photo we attached to the email at the beginning of this newsletter. If you insert a photo, it shows up when you open the email. Here's how:

Open a new mail message. It's very important that you first click your cursor inside the body of the email as if you were about to start writing. Then click on "Insert" on the top menu bar, and click on "Picture" like this:

A navigation box will open up like this. Mine automatically opens up to my Pictures folder. If yours doesn't you'll have to navigate to wherever your photo is that you want to insert.

Now click on the picture you want to insert to select it and you'll notice that the name of the photo appears in the "file name" box on the bottom.

Now just click on the "Open" button on the bottom right and your photo is inserted into your email message.

Before you start to write a message you need to click your cursor in the body of the email OUTSIDE the photo. This is because when it's inserted it remains selected and you must click outside of it to deselect it. You can hit the "Enter" key on your keyboard to proceed down the page and add text &/or repeat the process, adding more photos if you like. Of course you'll address your message as usual and then click "Send".


I don't know about you, but I'm not about to invest in a fax machine for my home. But I recently had to send a fax, so rather than drive down to KINKO or wait to use the fax machine at work I let my fingers do the walking and went on a search for a cheap online fax service. I found several, but only one that was truly FREE! Here's the link:

Well, that's about it for now. Again, please send me all your questions and I'll use them in the next issue. CLICK HERE to email me. And don't forget to visit my website here ---> Computer RX of Eastern Washington

Happy computing!
Leslie, The Un-Geek

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