How to Resize a Photo to Passport Size

by Lawrence Nyveen ; Updated September 28, 2017

Items you will need

  • Adobe Photoshop CS4 or other photo-manipulation software

  • Digital photograph

You can manipulate a photograph in many software packages, and all of them will let you resize an image. Adobe Photoshop is the industry leader, and is priced like it. Adobe offers a cut-down version called Adobe Photoshop Elements at a cut-rate price. GIMP is a free, fully functional image software that rivals Adobe Photoshop in capability. You can download it for Windows, Mac OS X and Unix operating systems. Google's Picasa is also free and cross-platform. Regardless of your choice of software, the resizing process follows more or less the same steps. The instructions that follow refer specifically to Adobe Photoshop CS4.

Decide what passport size means to you. American passport photos measure 2 inches by 2 inches. Canadian passport photos measure 50 mm (2 inches) wide by 70 mm (2 3/4 inches) high. For the purpose of this demonstration, let's choose 2 inches by 2 inches.

Open your image in your image software. In this example, we're using Photoshop.

Choose "Image Size" in the Image drop-down menu.

Set the "Resolution" of your photograph in the box that pops up. Use 300 pixels/inch for printing--but never exceed the resolution your photo already has. For example, if the image has a resolution of 150 pixels/inch to start with, keep it at 150 pixels/inch. For use on the Web, 72 pixels/inch is sufficient.

Set the units for "Width" and "Height" to inches. Make sure the "Constrain Proportions" box is not checked. Enter "2" for the document width and height. Click "OK." Save the image and you're done!

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About the Author

Lawrence Nyveen has been a freelance editor, writer and researcher since 1993. He was editor of Netsurfer Digest and now teaches journalism at the college level. He is involved in screenwriting and with military history. His most recent book was "Avia S-199 in Israeli Air Force Service: 1948-1950." Nyveen holds a graduate diploma in journalism from Concordia University in Montreal.

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