How to Format Photos for Facebook

Facebook makes it simple to add pictures to your profile, but you will get better results when you optimize and format photos to fit the site's settings. When you set up your profile, you will see an option to upload a photo of yourself. You can use digital pictures that you have saved as GIF, JPG or PNG files. You can use any software to convert and optimize your existing photos. If you don't have photo editing software installed, download a free image editor like IrfanView to prepare your photos for viewing on Facebook.

Step 1 - Select Editing Software

Review the features of the photo editing software that you already have installed on your computer. To optimize your Facebook photos, at minimum you will need to resize your photos and adjust the resolution. Your editing software must give you the option of converting images into formats that Facebook accepts. Your software should let you crop photos and apply common fixes like improving contrast, removing redeye and sharpening the focus. These tweaks will make your pictures pop after you add them to your profile.

Step 2 - Select Photos

Navigate to the folder on your hard drive that contains your photos. To simplify your Facebook uploads, create a new Facebook subfolder within your main photo folder. Select the photos that you want to format and copy them to the Facebook subfolder that you created.

Step 3 - Load Photos

Download and install IrfanView, to quickly format several photos to the correct dimensions for Facebook. Open the program and select File, then Open to find the photo that you to format. Browse through your hard drive directory to locate your Facebook photos folder. Highlight your file and open it. (If you use another editor, the following steps will be the same, but the location of the menu commands may be different.)

Step 4 - Resize Photo

Click the Image menu tab in IrfanView. Select Resize/Resample from the drop down list. This brings up a box that displays the current photos size in pixels and its resolution. Review the photo's current dimensions in the boxes below the Set New Size radio button. Type 600 in the width box and 400 in the height box; these are recommended sizes for Facebook photos. Change the DPI (resolution) to 72, if the number in this box is higher. Place a checkmark next to the Preserve Aspect Ratio box if it is empty. Click OK to finish and review your changes.

Step 5 - Save Edited Photo

Open the File menu and select Save As. Using this option gives you an opportunity to check that the software is saving the edited photo in the correct folder. You will also be able to rename the file if desired. Choose JPG from the Save As Type list, then click OK to finish.

Step 6 - Check File Size

The optimum file size for Facebook photos is 65 to 85 MB. Open your photos folder. Switch to Detail View in Windows Explorer to display the size of your edited photo file. If your file is larger, you may need to crop it and then resave it.

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