PixBuilder Studio – Free Image Editing Software

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      PixBuilder Studio is an Open Source, downloadable, free image dediting program very similar to Photoshop.

      Regarding resizing photos, I’ve been experimenting with PixBuilder Studio to see if it’s something to recommend to all – it’s a semi-clone of Photo Shop, but seems fairly easy to learn the minimal basics.  Free download at: http://download.cnet.com/PixBuilder-Studio/3000-2192_4-74096.html

      When you initiate the cropping tool,  , look over to the right, in the “Layers Panel”.  You’ll find a button for constrain proportions.  (If it’s not there, go to ‘view’ in the menu and click on ‘panels’ – you can turn these panels off and on)

      If you set this for width=3 & height=2, your proportions are perfect for the “Feature Image”, and your cursor drawn across the picture maintains this proportion.  As long as the image you’re going to crop contains an acceptable image at 3:2 proportion, the process is simple.

      After you have your image the right proportions, go to “Edit” in the top menu, click on “image size”, and you can see the actual size and make adjustments.  I usually try to save things in the 500+/- pixel width – this makes it work for the MMP website, and for Facebook which requires a minimum of 400 pixels for many of their image uploads.  Be sure that the “Constrain Proportions” is checked.  Regardless, for our website, the Feature Image must be at least 270px wide by 180px high.

      Then, under “File” on the top menu, click on “Save With Preview…”.

      Under the “Quality” slider at the top right, you can adjust the overall kB size of the file (viewed at the bottom of the screen for original and your proposed size).  To preserve space on our hosted site, it’s best to try to keep these images to 200 to 300kB if possible.  Of course, if the image is poor at that filesize, you can bump it up some; or you may have to find a higher quality image.

      Here’s an instructional YouTube on PixBuilder – noisy background, but covers most of of what any of us need: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZoI8b8U0sU8


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