How to Resize an Image Without Losing Quality?

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Have you ever clicked a picture with a high-definition camera, tried to enlarge it, and suddenly it starts to look as if it’s a picture clicked with a cell phone from the 2000s?

Or maybe you uploaded your picture to your blog or WordPress, and again as you try to enlarge it, it becomes all grainy and messed up?

That’s the one problem we would be solving throughout this piece. Because the loss of quality in pictures when they’re enlarged is an age-old, universal problem.

Before explaining to you how to resize an Image let me shed some light on “why” the loss in quality happens in the first place. Also, take a look at converting PNG to JPG without loosing quality.

Why do Pictures Lose Quality when Enlarged?

There are a number of explanations for this with a lot of complicated terms and definitions, but let me make it simple for you.

Consider your screen to be a balloon. Now throw some paint on it, and then stretch the balloon. As you know the amount of color you threw on the balloon is limited, and every pigment of color landed at any specified point on the balloon.

Now when you stretch it, the same amount of color has to cover more area due to the stretching, so obviously the color density becomes lower, won’t it?

That’s the exact same thing with pictures on a screen. They’re comprised of “pixels”, each pixel has a specified area to cover on the screen, so when you enlarge an image, they get stretched to more area than they were actually meant to cover, and hence the color density gets lower and the image blurs.


How to Resize an Image Without Losing Quality:-

So what’s the solution? The one thing I love about the digital industry is, there never is a problem without a solution. And I mean this for every problem out there, so obviously one exists for our picture resize problem as well.

Solution 1:- Fractal Interpolation is what will help us achieve what we’re trying to achieve. It’s the technique of compensating for every pixel you enlarge, and matching the properties of that pixel to the nearest pixel.

Solution 2:- Resampling is a method where your size is changed but not by interpolation, instead the number of pixels in the image are increased or decreased as required to keep the quality loss at a minimum.

If you aren’t familiar with Graphic designing or Adobe Photoshop, then don’t stress over the terms, let me just give you a solution to the problem directly.

#1:- GIMP

GIMP is a free tool that resembles the basic properties of Adobe Photoshop. And it does have an in-built tech to help you resize an image without loosing quality.

Open the image you’re trying to enlarge with Gimp. (You can drag and drop the image directly to Gimp or use the File>Open option.)


Click on “Image” > Scale Image.


Specify the dimensions you want.


And in the “quality Interpolation” section, choose “Sinc LancZos3″ and click on scale.


Done! The quality interpolation you chose did the rest of the job, so your picture should now be resized without a significant loss in quality.

How to Resize an Image in Paint Tool:-

Paint is another easier and faster way to resize an image and it’s my personal faviorate for the reason that it’s much faster compared to Adobe Photoshop or  Gimp if I’m resizing a lot of images. Also, it’s available by default on Microsoft Windows.

Note:- Paint doesn’t resize your images without loosing quality, so there will be a quality loss, I’m scribbling this section here keeping just the “how to resize an image” part in mind, and not the “quality loss”.

Open the picture you’re trying to resize with paint and click on Resize button at the menu-bar.


Now click on “pixels” if you know the exact dimensions you want for your picture, specify the dimensions and click OK.


Or, if you’re not sure of the dimensions but instead are more comfortable using a ratio/percentage compared to the current image, click on the percentage radio-button and specify your needs.


Done! So if you’ve ever wondered how to resize an image in Paint, that’s how easy it is. It’s basically a three-click step. Resize > Percentage/Pixels> Specify needs > OK.

#3:- IrfanView

Yet another simple, light-weight program which calls itself Irfanview comes to your rescue when you’re trying to resize an image without loosing quality, and it uses a slightly different process compared to Gimp, as it doesn’t only Interpolation, but Re-sampling as well.

Just open the image you’re trying to resize using IrfanView, and click on Image>Resize


And then just specify your size > select “Sharpen after Resample >  and in the Size method choose “Lanczos”.



Vector Images:-

Talking about images and quality loss, I can’t afford to miss out vector images out of the discussion. I’ll keep it short.

Vector images are images which aren’t made up of “pixels”, instead they’re made out of polygons with specific connection points.

Meaning you can zoom in on a vector image all you want, but there won’t be any pixelation or “blur” effect, instead, the image looks just as sharp as with the general view.

So in short, Vector images don’t lose quality when enlarged or resized!

You can also use Photoshop to compress the photos without loosing quality. Here is how to Photoshop pictures.

Wrapping it Up:-

Let me tell you, all the above methods (except paint) help you resize an image without loosing quality, but all of those methods don’t eliminate the quality loss totally. Along with photos, you can also compress large video files without losing quality.

Doesn’t matter if you’re using Gimp, IrfanView, or Adobe Photoshop itself, there almost always will be a quality loss (unless you’ve got NSA grade tech), what can be changed and controlled is the amount of quality loss that happens.

The methods I’ve discussed guarantee the minimum quality loss that’s possible, at this price-range(they were FREE!). Although if you’re looking for a better solution, there are quite a number of premium/paid plugins and tools out there.

So that was all I had on how to resize an image without losing quality folks. Hope it solved your queries.

Anyway do let me know your experience on this piece and also if you’ve got any other solutions to counter the image resize problem without losing quality, and I’ll love to include it here if they’re really as good as you claim them to be.


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