Solved Reduce image file size with Photoshop Element

Adobe Photoshop elements 7: windows
August 23, 2011 at 22:01:26
Specs: Windows 7 Home Premium (x64) Service Pack 1 (build 7601), 2.60 gigahertz AMD Athlon II X4 620 / 5887 MB
How to reduce the file size of a digital image with Photoshop Elements 7. I do mean the file size, and not the image size. I can do this with much trial and error, but I can't imagine that PE7 doesn't enable doing this directly in one step. It must be done while maintaining maximum quality.

Of if PE7 can't do this, what can (no, I'm not going to buy Photoshop)?

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August 24, 2011 at 09:10:43
Maximum quality and minimum file size is an oxymoron. It's a tradeoff between the two and the reason it doesn't do it in one step is because there are many variables to reducing the size such as how much compression do you want, how much degradation of picture quality can you put up with, file type, etc.

Increasing the compression on the picture will reduce the file size, but will also reduce the quality. You will just have to experiment until you have a good balance between the two. Saving as a jpg or png format instead of bmp will also reduce the size.

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August 24, 2011 at 18:22:41
✔ Best Answer
Just for info, GIMP (freebie open source) can do anything that Photoshop can do.
In fact I like it better.

IrfanView is another freebie that can do a few tricks too - its good viewer whatever.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks

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August 24, 2011 at 18:28:49

Actually, in this case it was not a matter of finding a good balance. Reducing the file size to a jpeg under 1 MB was an absolute necessity (the rules of a contest). With the first photo received from my friend, a jpeg of 1.58 MB in size, after several tries at using PE7's image > resize > image size (with bicubic sharper, constrain proportions, resampling), and then when saving, setting the quality to maximum (a 10), I got lucky and got one down to 999 KB. I wasn't able to discern any degradation at all. The original photo was a photo of a painting taken with an excellent camera.

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August 24, 2011 at 18:43:59

But can either GIMP or IrfanView do what I want -- reduce the size of a jpg to a prescribed file size in one step? No trial and error? Of course I would expect to have to deal with a dialog box similar to the two involved now in the reduction of image size, but shouldn't it be possible with PE if Adobe were to put some minds at work on it?

I used to use IrfanView a lot, through many of its versions. A regular Swiss knife. I'll download it to my current desktop and take a look. As for GIMP, I'll wait till you or someone tells me it can do what I need to do for my friend. He'll be sending me a bunch more of photos of his paintings.

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August 25, 2011 at 01:36:10

Since Irfanview version 4.20 there's been a plugin that enables doing exactly what I was looking for -- reducing the filesize of a jpg to whatever size you want.

So thanks for your suggestion!

FWIW here's my write-up of how to do it, or rather how I did it for several different jpg's that needed to have their filesizes reduced to just under 1 MB:

Reducing a jpg file size efficiently:
Use Irfanview v4.20 or later with all plugins
Open image in Irfanview
File > Save for Web ... (Plugin)
Info msg opens: "This file contains a high resolution image. RIOT can handle such images, but processings can be quite slow in this situation"

"Do you want to resize it first? (Recommended)
The original image will not be modified."

Click on Yes.
Don't change image dimensions unless you want to, but do the Resampling with the Catmull-Rom resampling filter, by clicking on OK.

A new window opens showing the original image on the left and the new image on the right.
You don't need to move the Quality slider.
For Chroma subsampling, select high.
Click on Compress to size.

A small "Compress to Size" input box opens.
Enter the file size you want in Kilobytes and click OK.

Wait a few seconds till processing has finished.
Then File > Save As (new filename unless you want to overwrite the original image).

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August 25, 2011 at 08:16:15
Unfortunately there will always be a touch of trial and error before you find the approach which gives you the best results to suit your needs. Seems like you are well on the way. You might not need GIMP, I just mentioned it because it is more or less like a free version of Photoshop (either of which probably do far more than you need right now).

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks

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