I have some photos and need to size them upto A4 size.

Which applicaiton is best for what I want to do?

What I want do is scan some photo onto my computer and blow them upto A4 size. I have tried this using MGI PHOTOSUITE which I got with my scanner, but I can't get this to work.
Any ideas which software will do this ease of use as well as good quality finish would be more suitable for me.
Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

I use PaintShop Pro (because it's cheap) to resize images but I've never been happy with making pictures bigger because the computer has to extrapolate to figure out what extra pixels to add (and where) so I find that quality suffers.

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
scan the image in with the highest resolution you can get, and use PainShop Pro (http://www.jasc.com) or PhotoDeluxe (http://www.adobe.com) to shrink the image down to the desired A4 size. as ken stated, sizing upward is always a bad idea. oh, and be sure to use a bicubic resize method.

Depending on your scanner set the DPI setting to the maximum like Parking_Lot_Games already said. This will make a big file. Depending on what format you're using you may be able to use the stock windows imaging program to resize your image. Go to Start -> Programs -> Accesories -> Imaging and see what you can do. If you don't have the imaging program, you may need to insall it from your Windows CD by using the Add/Remove programs in control panel.

Another option might be to download Open Office http://www.openoffice.org and use the drawing program to resize with it. You'll need to export the image or you could print it from there.
Upgrade your Question Security!

Your question, your audience. Choose who sees your identity—and your question—with question security.

BAGPUSS13Author Commented:
My scanner Is a PRIMAX 19200 when I try to use this amount of DPI it tells me that I do not have enough space even though I have 20GB free.
BAGPUSS13Author Commented:
How many dpi are there for an A4 page?
Making images BIGGER is NEVER a good idea. This is because the program has to "invent" pixels that werent there to begin with. The result is a loss in quality. Everyone thinks there's a trick to getting it done right, but you just cant fool a mathematical equation. Resizing up in Photoshop and applying Unsharp Mask is about as good as it gets but its far from perfect.

The DPI on an A4 page depends on how big your image is, what the LPI of your printer is, and what kind of printer it is. There is no need to scan at 19200 dpi. Scan at your output size.
The main idea would be to not have to resize at all, but to scan at a DPI setting that requires no resizing period. If you need to resize, it's better to resize down.
BAGPUSS13Author Commented:
My printer is a Lexmark Z22 the highest DPI on my printer is 1200.
unfortunately I will have to resize as the photograph is only 4"X6". I just tried to use the above links but they do not work for the trial versions. As my browser just goes blank. So I'll have to go shopping in the high street for it.
Scanning with a higher resolution than you need will produce HUGE files that will quickly bring your computer to its knees.  You need to find the right combination of scanning and printing resolutions to do the job.

I suggest working backward from what you are going put down as the printed output.

A4 paper is 8.27 x 11.69 inches.  (Yeah, I know it's an even metric size but the original picture is 4x6 inches and we need to work in dots per inch.)  You are limited by the length of the original picture.  (You can see that easily because if you double the size to 8x12, 8 inches fits and 12 inches doesn't.)  Allowing for a margin on the A4 paper, you probably want the length to be about 10.5 inches, which is 1.75 times the original size.  The final image would be 7 x 10.5 inches.  So now the question is how many dots do you need for an acceptable 7 x10.5 inch printed image?

A continuous tone photograph printed on an inkjet printer does not need as many dots to look good as black and white text.  The large number of colors, which don't usually change colors suddenly, allows you to get by with fewer dots.  You want to choose a number of dots per inch that is an integral number of dots per inch that your printer produces.  If you printer can produce 1200 dpi, then 120 dpi, 150 dpi, and 200 dpi in the final output would good numbers to try.  You might find that as few as 75 dpi still looks pretty good.

To get 150 dpi in the final output you'll need more dots per inch in the scan of the smaller original.  To go from 4 x 6 to 7 x 10.5 at 150 dpi, you'll need to scan at 150 x 1.75 = 262.5 dpi.  That is something that your scanner probably can't do.  You scanner also has a "natural" dpi that you want to observe, possibly a multiple of 300 dpi.

A 7 x 10.5 printed at 150 dpi is 1050 x 1575 dots (pixels).  A 4 x 6 scanned at 300 dpi is 1200 x 1800 pixels.  Most pictures will be improved by cropping, which is removing some of the outside of the picture.  Selecting a good composition of 1050 x 1575 dots from a 1200 x 1800 dot scan using your photo editor may give good results.

Hopefully your photo editing software will allow you to change the resolution of an image without changing the file size.  This is different than resizing the image.  You want to take your 300 dpi scan of a 4 x 6 image and change it to be a 150 dpi 8 x 12 image.  Then you can crop the 8 x 12 image to fit the page.

If you really want every last bit of the 4  x 6 print, which doesn't have everything that is on the negative by the way, then printing a 1200 x 1800 dot scan at 200 dpi might produce a good quality 6 x 9 inch printed image.

A summary:  To maintain the highest quality you need to figure out what minimum dpi you need to print at.  You may be surprised at how low that number can be.  It should be a simple fraction of the printer's resolution.  Then you need to scan at a dpi that is a simple fraction of the scanner's resolution and high enough to give you all the pixels needed for the size of image that you want to print.  You may need to evaluate several possible combinations to find the one that is best for a particular image.  It is better to crop the image than to resize the image with software.  If you absolutely must the image size by other than a simple fraction, then you should scan to a much higher resolution to give the photo editing software a lot of information to work with.  The is both science and art.  You have to look at the printed result and adjust until you get the result that you want.

Note that paper quality will have a major effect on how the final print looks.  Photo paper really is worth the extra money when printing photos.  But you may get better results with some of the less expensive photo papers.  You should experiment to find a good balance between the ink, the printer, and the paper.  You will also need to adjust the printer for the paper you are using using the control panel.

BAGPUSS13Author Commented:
So jim, in other words I cannot use a full A4 page.  What about the printer cartridge should I buy from the printer company or can I use a cheap one money doesn't matter to much just quality. In other words is there any difference between a cartridge that is made buy a company other than the printer maker.

Oh, thank god you can do the maths (not my best subject).

It's 02:10 GMT so shopping for some software isn't an option.  By the sounds of things people like to use Paintshop Pro.
What software are you using?
Photoshop. Even Photoshop Elements would be a better choice than PSP.
Weed - whats wrong with PSP. Theres many jobs it does better than Photoshop. I use both a lot. I dislike Photoshop Elements though.

BAGPUSS13 - keep any eye out for older version PSP free on magazines and with other products. I got v7 free with a pack of blank CDR's in a retail store. You might find it from somewhere similar.

Another point to consider is that printing it yourself is expensive in paper and ink. Especially if you have to do a few test versions. Sometimes its simply cheaper to go to a photo lab and get them to do it for you. Even though I can do it myself I often just bring it to a photo lab to do it. Even with images I'm retouching I sometimes get them to scan the photo for me since their high end scanners are much better than my own consumer model.
Bagpuss, I use Micrografx Picture Publisher.  I don't recommend it only because it is difficult to learn.  I learned it a long time ago so I just stick with it.  Resetting the resolution and cropping are simple operations and I would think that most photo editors could do those operations.  Even the immensely popular freeware image viewer IrfanView (http://www.irfanview.com/) can crop and change dpi.  You can use IrfanView's File...Batch Conversion "Advanced Options" to crop and change dpi for a whole batch of files "by the numbers."  If you just want to put a lot of pictures onto large paper without fine tuning, that would be the way to go.

The main obstacle to using the full A4 page is that the printer can't print to the edges of the page.  You can fill whatever the printer can print.  However, the proportion will be different than your 4x6 picture so you either fill the length of the page or you can crop off the ends.  If you scan at 300 dpi and change the resolution to 150 dpi, you will have an 8 x 12 inch image.  8 inches should be about what the printer can fit onto the width, maybe a bit more.  12 inches is definately more than will fit.  So figure out how much the printer can handle and crop accordingly.

I always use the manufacturer's ink so I don't know how good/bad other cartridges might be.  Ink will make a difference.  The color purity and accuracy are important if you want good color photographs.  I would be leary of refills because it is easy to contaminate the colors during refilling.  Your eyes will have to be the judge of the ink.

The remarks about the relative costs of do-it-yourself and a photo lab are well taken.  If you have a negative, you will not be able to match the quality of a photographic print from that negative.  Nor will your scan match the quality of a scan from the negative.  You might get close on the quality of a print from a file depending on what your photolab is using for printing, but it will take a lot of experimentation to get it set up and it is likely to be close in cost to sending the work out.  Printing color photographs uses a lot of ink!
There is nothing PSP does better than photoshop other than "grandma proof" tasks. Takes all the power out and makes it bonehead easy.
I use GIMP.


Try the script-fu Smart-Enlarge.
GIMP is like Adobe Photoshop but free, BTW.

Also, try http://gimp-savvy.com/BOOK/index.html for any help w/ GIMP.
Can Photoshop open PSP files? No. Can PSP open photoshop open PSD's, yes. Theres lots of stuff it can do with palettes are better too. That two things off the top of my head. Generalisations like it can do "nothing better" are not helpful IMO. Both applications have their strengths and weakness as do all apps. For the new or intermediate user PSP will more than enough.
Very easy:

1. Scan them all into 1 folder, same size to start with.
2. Download an evaluation of Macromedia Fireworks: http://www.macromedia.com/software/fireworks/?promoid=home_prod_fw_082403
3. Install Fireworks.
4. Open Fireworks, go to FILE menu, then BATCH PROCESS.
5. Open the folder that contains the images you want to resize, hit SELECT ALL to select all the files.
6. Click Next.
7. In the Next window choose Scale from the options and Click Add.
8. You then see options for resizing in a drop down, select the option you need, I would use Scale to fit area, and if you want the size to be A4 (8 1/2" X 14" or 2550 pixels X 4200 pixels @300 dpi or choose your resolution and multiply it by the inches) Enter those values in the text boxes.
9. Choose Export from above and click Add.
10. Select the export options that you want, JPG 100%, GIF 128 colors, etc. etc.
11. Before the export is added if you want to apply any effects to the images like a Sepia Tone etc. add that.
12. CLick Next again.
13. Here you can save the settings you just used for future use, and set the destination for the new images.
14. Click Batch and let it run.

Hope you have a good time with this.
Theres a porgram called ThumbsPlus that can also do this. Check it out at www.cerious.com I fiind it invaluable for handling libriaries of digital photos
Adobe photoshop is the best software I can recommend when it comes to image enhancement
and editing.  It also has saving in optimized formats to save disk space.  I recommend
photoshop instead of PSP or Fireworks.  Basing from experience, you can DO MORE in
photoshop than the other graphic softwares of its kind.  

As for the scanning tool...thank God I have Canon scan tools... It is automatically equipped
with image optimization and dpi easy saving options.  
To a graphic artist gimp, photoshop, paintshop pro are all very similar and have a very similar toolset.  At the end of the day it doesn't really matter what tool you use even MGI PHOTOSUITE. But you need to know how to use it. I would suggest that you look for a local course on digital photography and computer graphic. That would probably be more useful than just trying to learn a new application on your own. There are some decent books on digital photography you might like to look at a few of them.  I have one called digital photography for photoshop, and a lot of the information contained with in is useful no matter what application you are using.
It's better to scan your negative/positive and the print it. Most photoshops have this service. Scanning from a print is will give less quality as it the print is  result of a scan of a print of a negative/positive (Which prob. also is scanned). I hope you get the point, ofcourse it will work, but if you want a good quality print, go to a shop let it scan, and edit it for yourself in PS or any other program, print it @300dPI and you got a pretty nice result (depending on your printer).

Photoshop is the best with its bicubic pixel rendering... but how about trying Photoshop Album and its cheap around $20 with deals in CC or fry's etc., with which you can print the image to any size. try and tell the reults...
try the demoversion @


its a starter demo...

It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Web Graphics Software

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.

Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.