Time needed: 5 minutes.
Learning how to resize pics for a digital picture frame is essential if you want to use all of your frame’s available screen real estate. There’s nothing worse than loading a picture onto a digital frame, only to have it displayed on 60% of the screen – or deformed/stretched to fit the display.
While this issue is partly dealt with by choosing a digital picture frame with a versatile aspect ratio (like the 4:3 aspect ratio of Pix-Star frames). This aspect ratio better matches most of the photos we take with our smartphones and digital cameras.
In this guide, we’ll be learning the exact steps you need to follow to resize pictures to perfectly match your frame’s display. We’ll also cover scaling pics to avoid wasting storage space and better matching the frame’s native resolution.
While this process can be a little time-consuming, once you’re used to it, you’ll be able to get it done in no time. You’ll find the viewing experience on your frame is enhanced and you’ll be more immersed in your favorite pics and memories.
For the best results, you should do the editing, cropping, resizing, and scaling on a computer. This offers more control and an easier interface than you’d get on a phone. With your computer and frame ready, let’s get started!
- Find your digital frame’s resolution and aspect ratio.
The first step in learning how to resize pics for a digital picture frame is to learn the frame’s resolution and aspect ratio. Resolution refers to the number of pixels, with the horizontal count usually being written first. For example, 1024×768 means that the display has 1024 pixels horizontally, and 768 vertically. In this case, the display is wider than it is tall.
Check your frame’s original box, or look in the user manual/documentation and look for the resolution of the frame. For reference, the most common resolutions are 1024×768 and 800×600 (for 4:3 aspect ratio frames). Other frames with different aspect ratios should have similar resolutions.
You can look for the aspect ratio in the user documentation, or by using an online aspect ratio calculator. Simply type “calculate aspect ratio by resolution” into Google search, open the aspect ratio calculator, and input your frame’s resolution. This will do the calculation for you and tell you the frame’s aspect ratio. The most commonly found ratios on digital frames are 16:9, 16:10, and 4:3.
- Adjust the aspect ratio to match your digital frame
When you’re learning how to resize pics for a digital picture frame, you need to get the aspect ratio right. If you were to adjust the picture resolution, without first adjusting the aspect ratio, you still won’t get it to display edge to edge on a display that uses a different aspect ratio.
Open the picture in the “Photos” app on your PC. The picture should open in a new window. Click on the “Edit & Create” button at the top of the window, then click on the “Edit” option from the drop-down list.
This opens the editing panel. On the right-hand side, click on the “Aspect ratio: Custom” option and select your frame’s aspect ratio from the list. This will resize the selection window to the new aspect ratio. You can move the selection panel around to choose which parts of your picture will be cut.
If the picture is already in the frame’s aspect ratio, there is no need to edit or crop it. Once you’ve got the picture to match your frame’s native aspect ratio, you can move on scaling down the resolution.
Click on “Save a Copy” if you want to keep the unedited original. You can save the edited picture to the same directory as the original; just make sure to change the file name or you’ll be asked if you want to overwrite the original.
- Scale your pics to match the frame’s resolution
Now that you’ve noted your frame’s aspect ratio and resolution, the next step is to scale down the resolution of your pics. To do this, open the picture on your computer in your image viewer. Right-click and choose the “resize” option from the list. Scaling the picture to match your frame’s native resolution ensures that each picture doesn’t use more storage space than necessary.
For example, if you send a 1920×1080 picture to a frame that can only display in 720p, all that extra space taken up by the higher resolution picture goes to waste. This is especially important on digital picture frames with limited internal storage space.
This brings up another window where you can resize and scale the image according to preset formats (the thumbnail, email, messages, etc.). We will be using the “define custom dimensions” option at the bottom of the list.
If you’ve already adjusted the aspect ratio of the pic to match your frame’s display, make sure you leave the “maintain aspect ratio” option checked. In the two boxes, type in your frame’s aspect ratio, making sure to put the width and height in the correct box. You can also use the slider to reduce the image quality (drops the resolution) by percentage. We recommend manually typing in your frame’s native resolution for the best results.
If you leave the “Maintain aspect ratio” option unchecked and put a resolution that doesn’t perfectly match the current aspect ratio, the image will be stretched. This is why we suggest you adjust the aspect ratio before scaling down the picture’s resolution.
It’s also worth noting that you don’t need to scale the resolution if the picture is already in a lower resolution than the frame’s native resolution. In this case, you should only adjust the aspect ratio and you don’t want to further reduce the picture’s quality.
- Send your pics to the frame and enjoy!
Now that you’ve edited, cropped, and scales your pics to match your digital picture frame’s display, you’re ready to send them to the frame. Depending on your frame and its features, this can be done via mobile app, importing them through the web interface, by USB/SD card, and even by email.
If you want a full-screen digital picture frame experience, with enhanced immersion and viewability, it’s worth taking the time to edit and scale your photos. You’ll get a more enjoyable experience and can store more photos on the frame’s local storage without needing to delete older pics.
Now that you know how to resize pics for a digital picture frame, get some practice. Find out what works best for you and enjoy an uninterrupted digital frame viewing experience!