One of the most important parts of your Facebook timeline is your cover photo. Since this image takes up so much real estate, it’s important that it looks good—and part of making it look good is making sure it’s the right size. If you’ve ever uploaded an image as a cover photo that wasn’t the right size, you know how frustrating it can be trying to drag it into position until it looks okay, or realizing it was far too small and now it’s all grainy. Let’s explore how to avoid these frustrations and create picture perfect Facebook cover photos using PicMonkey’s tools.
Why the size of your photo matters
You’ve likely noticed that dimensions for pictures displayed on the internet are described in pixels, not inches or centimeters. A pixel is just a length—essentially, it’s one square of light on a computer screen or mobile device.
The size for a Facebook timeline cover photo is 851 x 315 pixels. However, Facebook compresses or “optimizes” images in order to save space and improve load times, so if you’re worried about the quality of your original image, you may want to double the recommended size to help ensure that your cover photos look high quality and sharp after they’re compressed.
Also, note that these are the right dimensions for viewing your cover on a computer, but Facebook will automatically crop the sides to view it on your smartphone. So don’t be surprised if elements on the edges don’t show up on your mobile device. Knowing this, choose pictures with some space around the edges for covers.
Group, event, and business pages have different recommended cover photo dimensions. Tracking down definitive answers to cover photo sizing is pretty tricky, but here’s a quick look at some of the most commonly recommended dimensions:
- Event cover photo: 784 x 295.
- Group cover photo: 925 x 250.
- Business page cover photo: 820 x 312.
For more Facebook image size info, check out PicMonkey’s size guide.
Making Facebook cover images in PicMonkey
There are all kinds of ways to create a custom Facebook cover photo for your timeline in PicMonkey. Here, we’ll look at how to upload an image and crop or resize it to the right dimensions, how to design a cover photo the easy peasy way with Templates, and how to use PicMonkey’s collage tool to put your pics together for a kickin’ Facebook cover photo.
1. Crop or resize a photo in the Editor
If you have a photo open in the Editor and you want to crop it to the right dimensions for your timeline, click Crop in the Basic Edits tab. Scroll through the options in the dropdown menu until you find Facebook Cover Photo. A grid will hover over your photo. Adjust it by clicking and dragging the corner handles, and moving the grid into place. When you’re finished, click Apply.
You’ll notice that the Facebook Cover Photo preset automatically doubles the recommended cover photo dimensions, to 1702 x 630. To specify your own dimensions, click the Scale photo box and put them into the boxes under Actual size.
If you don’t want to crop your photo but want to make it the right dimensions, click Resize in the Basic Edits tab. This tool is also useful if you want to make different types of Facebook cover photos out of one photo. Uncheck the Keep proportions box to specify your own dimensions, but know that you run the risk of distorting your photo if its original dimensions are pretty far off from your desired final shape. If that’s the case, cropping is a better option.
2. Use a PicMonkey template
PicMonkey has a number of customizable templates that are already the perfect size for Facebook cover photos. If you’re looking for another way to size your own photo, hover over Design on the PicMonkey homepage and click Blank Canvas. A number of blank templates with different dimensions will appear. Choose the Facebook Cover template to open it in the Editor, then right-click to replace the template photo with your own image.
If you’re looking for a ready-made design that you can tweak, Hover over Design and choose Templates. Click the Facebook cover tag to see all of the perfectly sized designs. When you find one you like, click it then click Customize to open it in the Editor and make it your own. Take a look at the Intro to Templates tutorial to learn more about customizing templates.
3. Make a Collage
You can also create a custom Facebook cover image by making a collage. To get started, round up a few photos you’d like to display and open them in Collage from the PicMonkey homepage.
You’ll find a number of perfectly sized layout options in the Layouts tab, under FB Cover. These layouts are responsive and customizable—just drag an image until you see a thin blue bar appear, then drop it to create a new cell. You can also get rid of cells by clicking the X button in the corner of each cell twice. The Intro to Collage tutorial has step-by-step instructions on how to use all of the features in PicMonkey’s collage maker.
Your collage’s dimensions display in the bottom toolbar. To change them, click the lock icon and put your dimensions into the boxes, then click the lock again to set them.
Putting your cover photo on Facebook
However you craft our new Facebook cover image, make sure to save it to your computer. You can also add it to Hub, in case you want to change it later without having to start all over. Once your image is saved, head to Facebook and log in. You’ll see a camera icon in the corner of the cover image field. Click it, then click Upload Photo to upload your new cover image from your computer. Presto! Your new cover photo is up and running.
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