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151 - Quick Photo Re-Sizing in Windows XP

For many years, Microsoft has offered "unofficial" add-in programs for its operating systems. I have used these utilities for years on my Windows 9x (95, 98, and Me) systems, with good results, and they are again available for XP. Known as "PowerToys", these programs are not supported, meaning you can't contact Microsoft to ask support questions about them. You get what you get. However, these programs are widely used and are not released casually by Microsoft. If they prove to cause problems, they are withdrawn quickly. In the XP version of PowerToys, there is one particular program of general interest. It is called "ImageResizer.exe". If you receive an "image" (someone sends you a photo) and it is too big or too small for your screen, you can resize it quickly and easily if you have this add-in program installed. This little utility turns out to be quite handy if you send and receive photos with any regularity, and no technical knowledge of photo processing is necessary!

How it is used -
This program is called an "add-in" because after you install it, it does not appear in your list of programs. Instead, you find it as one of the menu items when you RIGHT-click on a photo filename. There is no separate step where you open the program. It's already open.

In any program such as My Computer, Windows Explorer, etc., where you can see the filenames of your photos, RIGHT-click on the one you want. The newly installed add-in appears as a menu item called "Resize Images". Select it and a window opens with the "Small", "Medium", "Large" . . . selections. Pick one and hit OK. Your list if files will now show a new entry at the bottom of the list. It will have the same file name as before but with the size added to the name, like this:


Advanced features -
The resizing window also offers an Advanced button. I would suggest that you leave both of the advanced settings in their default states (off).

ImageResizer is a "single purpose" utility program -
This is not a sophisticated image processing program such as Photoshop. Instead of asking you how many pixels high and wide you want the new image to be, it simply asks what size computer screen you want the image to fit on. You choose from small, medium, large, or handheld screen size. It then makes a duplicate of the photo and labels it "small", "medium", or whatever you picked. Changing the size of the image is the only thing this program will do.

How do I get this program?
Click on this link    Microsoft XP PowerToys Link
On the web page that comes up, look at the right side of the screen and scroll down the column that lists the PowerToys you can download. Select ImageResize and tell it to "Save" to your hard disk where you can find it easily. The download size is relatively small, so even dial-up connections can do this download quickly. You can open the file you just downloaded immediately or, to open it later, choose to find the file in Windows Explorer and double-click on it. This will produce a fairly standard install screen. Agree to the license terms and the install will proceed.

A note about PowerToys -
While you are on the Microsoft PowerToys web page, you might want to read a little about the other PowerToys that are available. If one sounds like you might be interested in using it, just download it and give it a try. I use several of them myself. They usually come into being because the Microsoft software developers find themselves performing some task over and over, and eventually wrote a little utility to do it for them.

Once it's installed, go back to How it is used - (above) to read how to use it. Enjoy.

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