How to Resize Screensavers
By Diane Todd
A screen saver is an image that is displayed on a computer screen when the machine shifts into sleep mode. During sleep mode the machine automatically cuts power to any unnecessary components. It is used to conserve power. The screen-saver image can be static or animated. Generally, laptops and desktop machines come with a variety of images for screen-saving purposes; however, many people like to personalize their screen with their own photos. To do so, you may have to resize your image.
Check the graphic you want to use to determine its current specifications. Locate the file on your hard drive. Right-click on the file name and scroll down to select "Properties." A properties window will appear on your screen with three tabs on top. Click on the third tab that says "Details." Scroll down to the section titled "Image." This section lists the image's dimensions, which are the height and width measured in pixels. It also lists the image's resolution, which is measured in dpi, or "dots per inch." Note the measurements on a sheet of paper.
Open the image in a software program that allows you to view and manipulate graphics. Any platform that recognizes a PSD, Jpeg, png, or bmp will generally work. If you double-click on the file, your computer should give you a list of programs that will work or it will automatically recognize the file format and choose a program itself. Locate the image size window. Generally there is an Image menu on the top of the screen. Click there and scroll down to "image size, "scale image" or "resize." A window will open. Locate the dpi number. The dpi should be no larger than 72 for a standard screen.
Modify you image size. When your dpi is set at 72 and your image is still large, you may have to resize the dimensions. You can choose to measure your image by inches or by pixels. Depending on the size of your monitor, the dimensions will vary to stretch across your entire screen. A 14-inch monitor can support an image that is 640-by-480. A 19-inch monitor can support an image up to 1280-by-1024. The measurements will always maintain a 4-by-3 ratio in width to height. Check your noted measurements in comparison to adjust your dimensions.
Save the image to your Pictures folder on your hard drive. Right-click on your screen and scroll down to "Personalize." Click on the "Screen Saver" link. A window will pop up that allows you to browse your hard drive to find the image you just saved. Locate the image and click "save."
- Think of the dpi, or dots-per-inch, like marbles inside a square baking sheet. The lower the number, the more space between the marbles and your image is blurred.
- Don't forget to constrain your proportions. If you resize the height and not the width, your image will appear warped.
Diane Todd holds a Bachelor of Arts in mass communication from North Carolina State University and is a former video and web producer for a North Carolina multimedia agency. She also spent several years as a media specialist/graphics designer for the Cumberland County school system in Fayetteville, N.C.