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How to Resize an Image Like a Pro

Sizing your photo correctly can turn into a real Goldilocks situation—resize an image too big and it takes eons to load, or size a picture too small and it’s a blur—but never fear we’re here to help you get your proportions just right using PicMonkey’s Crop and Resize online photo editing tools. We’ll show you how to resize an image into the correct social media dimensions, and how to figure out the perfect pixel-to-inch ratios for high resolution printing.

Plus, learn what our Smart Resize tool is all about (hint: resize multiple versions of an image in one fell swoop—amazing!).

Crop images to a specific size

To crop a photo when your image is the background layer, open your image in the PicMonkey editor and find Crop Canvas in the Edits tab on the left:

  • Use the pre-set crop proportions in the drop-down menu to accurately crop your image. (We’ve got standard printing sizes and screen sizes all set up for you.)

  • Get specific with pixels in the Width and Height fields.

  • Use the Rotate crop button to go from a horizontal to vertical (or vice versa) cropping area.

To crop a photo when your image is not the background layer, use the Crop button on the Image tools tab.

When a photo is its own layer, you can crop it independently of the background layer(s) using the Image tools on the left panel.

How to crop a video

Use Crop on the Video tools in the side tabs to change the shape of your video. Use Trim to remove frames from the front of back end of the clip.

PicMonkey lets you easily crop your videos, too. Simply select Crop layer from the Video tools and use the bounding box handles to crop the video image. This is super handy if you want to fit your video into a square or thinner context—like an Instagram post or in a video template. Note that cropping your video doesn't change its playback length—use Trim to make your video length shorter.

Five steps for basic video cropping in PicMonkey

  1. Click Create new to start and open your video clip in PicMonkey.

  2. Convert your video to a layer by clicking the padlock icon on the Layers panel.

  3. Click to select your video. From the Video tools, click Crop.

  4. Move the blue crop handles to change the dimensions of your video.

  5. When finished, click Apply

Learn more about designing with video:

Resize an image without cropping

The Resize tool keeps the aspect ratio the same and changes width and height proportionately.

If cropping isn’t what you’re looking for, and you want the full image to be smaller or larger, head to Resize in the Edits tab. Use the checkbox to switch between pixels and percentages and play with your image’s proportions. Clicking the Keep proportions box (the chain icon) will automatically update the height or width when you modify one or the other, so your design stays “as is” as you size it up (or down).

Size images for social media

Get to know social media sizes so your posts look their best wherever they are displayed. To make sure your photos look drop-dead gorgeous on all of your social media channels while avoiding the dreaded “file too small” or “file too large” messages, visit our chart of common social media image sizes, then crop and resize away.

Don’t feel like thinking about it? Use the Crop function in the Edits tab and select your desired social media size (e.g. Facebook Cover Photo, Pinterest Pin) from the drop-down menu of preset crop proportions. You can also use our Facebook Cover Maker to amp up your social media game without worrying about image sizes. When starting a blank canvas on PicMonkey Mobile, you’ll find pre-configured social media sizes by tapping the Size icon.

How to use PicMonkey's Smart Resize tool in 4 steps

Pro subscribers can use the magical Smart Resize tool to create multiple versions of a design in just seconds. It's like the difference between washing clothes in a creek vs. throwing a load in the washing machine. That is to say: waaaaaaaay faster and easier on your hands.

Step 1. With your design in the editor, click Smart Resize in the top toolbar.

Step 2. In the menu on the left, expand the sections by clicking the little caret next to the label, and click the checkbox next to every size you want. You can use the search box to find a size too.

Step 3. At the bottom of the menu, click Resize to simply alter the current image to the new size, or Copy & resize if you want to keep the original as is while creating a resized version as well.

Step 4. It's done! Check your Hub to see all the new sizes.

 Les voilà! All your images show up in your Hub. Time to send 'em out into the world! 

Save images as the right size

The war between file sizes and image quality may never end, but we’re proposing a ceasefire. When you click Download on the top toolbar in the editor, you’ll have the option to save it as a JPG, PNG, or PDF (Pro feature) and as MP4 or GIF if your file contains an animated element like a video or an animated graphic. For photos, PNG is the best quality, but will be a larger file so you could opt for the JPG option if you need a smaller size (for web, for instance). JPGs have three quality levels to choose from:

  1. Low: Not great quality, tiny file size

  2. Medium: Great quality, good file size

  3. High: Gorgeous, but large file size

You’ll notice that the file size is displayed with each size option. Select the one that offers the ideal balance between image quality and image size, and rest assured that your file size is juuuust right.

Convert pixels to inches

Figuring out how many pixels are in an inch can feel a lot like figuring out how many jelly beans are in a jar. If you need a specific size for your printables (like the perfect wallet size photo dimensions) get rid of the guesswork with our handy pixels to inches chart, which provides suggested image sizes in pixels for common photo sizes in inches.

Pixel to print conversion chart

Pixels to Inches Conversion Chart

3 X 5900 X 1500
4 X 61200 X 1800
5 X 71500 X 2100
8 X 82400 X 2400
8 X 102400 X 3000
8.5 X 112550 X 3300
9 X 162700 X 4800
11 X 143300 X 4200
11 X 163300 X 4800

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This article was written by PicMonkey Staff, a multicellular organism of hive-minded sub-parts who just wanna get you the ideas and information you crave, so you can make powerful images that level up your business.