A basic understanding of what makes a good photo for publication will help ensure your photos print successfully. Careful consideration is needed when selecting and preparing photographs for use in your publication. There are few photos from digital cameras that have perfect contrast, color, and brightness levels; therefore, use image-editing software such as Photoshop or Photo Elements to enhance your photos. Pixlr, a free photo editor that does basic photo editing, is available for use online.
Consider the following when editing and cropping an image for final use
- Download and save images from your camera into a folder on your computer.
- Before you save an edited image, rename the file and save it in a folder for working images. If you don’t, you will save over the original file.
- Preferred file formats are tiff (Tagged Image File Format) and jpeg/jpg (JPEG File Interchange Format).
- Once you have selected the images that you want to use in your document, bring them into an image-editing software program to enhance them. When changing and enhancing your photos, use caution not to over-edit, losing the original detail.
- Check photos for sharpness. If they look slightly blurry or out of focus, print quality will suffer even more.
- You can enhance photos in Publisher by using the drawing tools to crop, resize, rotate, flip, add a drop shadow, or adjust the contrast and brightness.
- Remove uninteresting portions of a photo by cropping. If cropping a person, crop slightly above or below the knees, hips, elbows, or neck. Remove lights, windows, or other elements not relevant to the subject.
- Be sure photos are pure black, not 4-color black. When in doubt, recolor images to 100% black.
- .5pt rules around your photos help define and enhance them.
- Resolution is a measure of how sharp a photograph will appear when printed in your publication. Dpi refers to the number of dots within a square inch of space; therefore a higher dpi increases the resolution and clarity of pictures. We suggest that your image be at a resolution between 200 and 300 dpi to achieve the best results. Resizing an image larger than the original size can decrease its resolution, so be sure to check it on your document.
- If you scan photos for your publication, scan them at 400 dpi. Also be sure to electronically touch them up and decrease the dpi to 300 before you insert them into the layout. Otherwise, they may look distorted in the final product.
- How you place images into a document is as important as how you prepare your images for print. Always insert your photos into your document. Copying and pasting decreases quality.
To check the DPI of an image in Publisher
- From the Menu Bar, Select Tools, then Graphics Manager.
- A list of images will be generated in the Graphics Manager task pane.
- Select the name of the image you want to view. This will also select the image in your document.
- Click on the down arrow next to image information, and then click Details.
- Look for Effective resolution. You want it to be between 200 and 300 dpi.