Creating Thumbnail Images

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Creating Thumbnail Images

Contributor(s): Mark Ferrara

Because thumbnail images are small, you do not need to create them from tiff files, and if you create them from jpg files, you do not need to save the jpg file as a tiff file before you start. However, you do want to be sure to save the jpg file as a different name so you are not modifying the originial file. Tip: remember that every image is different and you may need to make adjustments depending on the image.

  1. Marquee Tool. In Photoshop under Style menu, select “fixed aspect ratio”; you can set the width and height both to 1 and the Marquee tool will then draw a perfect square.
  2. Draw a square with the Marquee tool around the part of the image that you want and then pull down the image menu and click on “crop.”
    1. You want to use the part of the image that is strong/iconic, so sometimes the thumbnail is only one part of the original image, zoomed.
  3. Size the image to either 95 px or 120 px (height and width are adjusted automatically) by going to blue bar at top of window your image displays in in Photoshop, right-click on the blue bar and select Image Size and then set the number of pixels to either 95 or 120 (Canvas Size allows you to make a border around the image, etc; you can also set the image size in Canvas Size if you didn’t use the marquee tool to create a square).
  4. Adjust the Levels (in Photoshop), which adjusts the shadows/highlights (images get darker when they are compressed so you have to adjust the levels).
  5. Use the Filter > Sharpen > Unsharp Mask (you can set the radius=1.5; amount=40 and then adjust as necessary)
  6. Then File > Save for Web; save as a JPG. Set quality=70.

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