Submit Hint Search The Forums LinksStatsPollsHeadlinesRSS
14,000 hints and counting!

10.4: Resize images in Mail prior to sending Apps
Tiger only hintThis is a great feature in Mail that I've seen, but never realized what it did until I stumbled upon it today -- you can now resize image files right in the composition window.; no more exporting from iPhoto. When you're composing an email with an image, Mail now provides you with a little drop-down menu in the lower right-hand corner of the window named, aptly, Image Size. The default value is Actual Size, but changing the value to Small or Medium will resize the displayed image and the file size (Large didn't make much, if any, difference). If you have multiple images in the message, they are all resized to the chosen size -- you can't change images individually, but it's still a great time saver.

This may have been obvious for some users, but I always assumed it just altered the preview display and not the file itself (like toggling between viewing "icon" and "in place") - so I figured I'd pass the info along.

[robg adds: Even though this is a hint on an obvious feature, some may have overlooked it. The good news is that it's amazingly convenient. The bad news is that Mail isn't as efficient as it could be when resizing images, and I wouldn't recommend using this feature ... read on for my analysis.]

[robg continues: Why not use Mail to resize image attachments? Well, Mail is quite inefficient at resizing images. For my test, I started with a large, somewhat complex image -- a 1920x1200 version of this picture. When I attached it to a new message, Mail stated that the original was 881KB in size. I then resized the image to each of the three sizes in the pop-up, control-clicked the new image, and chose Open With -> Safari to get the size of the new image. Separately, I then used Photoshop Elements (PSE) to resize the original to those new sizes, saving each as 100% quality JPEGs (via File -> Save for Web). Here are the results:
  • Actual Size: 1920x1200, 881KB
  • Large: 1280x800, Mail = 611KB, PS = 725KB [Mail is 19% smaller]
  • Medium: 640x400, Mail = 578KB, PS = 225KB [PSE is 61% smaller]
  • Small: 320x200, Mail = 229KB, PS = 63KB [PSE 73% smaller]
Just to be sure that Mail wasn't actually doing better than it was saying it was doing, I mailed myself the Small image. It did indeed arrive as a 229KB attachment.

Keep in mind that these results were using JPEG quality of 100 in PSE, which clearly isn't required. As the image shrinks, you can probably reduce the JPEG quality quite a bit without any visual loss in the image. I took the Large image and retested it using an 80% JPEG setting. In that case, PSE got it down to 339KB, making the new image 44% smaller than Mail's effort. The same test with the Small image gave even more dramatic results, creating a file of only 31KB when using 80% quality (which looked the same to my eye, even in the Large image).

My advice? Skip Mail for resizing images, even though the feature is there. For the amount of size reduction being applied, you don't see the benefit in reduced file size. Exporting the same image from iPhoto to a 320x200 JPEG, the resulting file was only 60KB. So even if you don't own an image editor of some sort, you're better off using iPhoto to do your exports for Mail, as you'll save time while sending, and make your recipients much happier.]
    •    
  • Currently 1.83 / 5
  You rated: 3 / 5 (6 votes cast)
 
[31,927 views]  

10.4: Resize images in Mail prior to sending | 11 comments | Create New Account
Click here to return to the '10.4: Resize images in Mail prior to sending' hint
The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
10.4: Resize images in Mail prior to sending
Authored by: caek on Aug 08, '05 09:50:48AM

Apple Mail (and, presumably, other mail clients) add an overhead to MIME attachments for error-checking. This is applied regardless of the file's format or origin. If you send a Mail-generated attachment to yourself, and then save it your filesystem, is the saved file smaller than Mail reports? If you attach the PSE files to an outgoing mail and then send them to yourself, do they increase in size to around that of the Mail-generated ones? If yes, then Mail has a good excuse for reporting reductions smaller than PSE.



[ Reply to This | # ]
10.4: Resize images in Mail prior to sending
Authored by: gullevek on Aug 08, '05 10:17:10AM

MIME encoded messages gain around 1/3 size. And when the smallest size has 73% difference, than there is something else going on, than just MIME



[ Reply to This | # ]
10.4: Resize images in Mail prior to sending
Authored by: pediddle on Aug 08, '05 12:34:56PM
The extra overhead isn't for error checking, it's for encoding binary attachments in Base64. So since (log 256 / log 2) / (log 64 / log 2) = 1.333333, there's automatically a 33% overhead when sending MIME attachments with this method.

[ Reply to This | # ]
10.4: Resize images in Mail prior to sending
Authored by: caek on Aug 09, '05 08:33:41AM

I stand corrected. Clearly, as gullevek says, there is something more going on here.



[ Reply to This | # ]
10.4: Resize images in Mail prior to sending
Authored by: rspress on Aug 08, '05 10:42:16AM

I was not aware of this little trick and I am sure I will be using it a lot in the future.

Despite it making bigger files I would still use Mail for a quickie resizing than firing up Photoshop just to resize an image.

I have made my own Automator actions to do resizing and format change, such as PNG to Jpeg and I have installed ImageMajick to do the same thing via the terminal. Both of those are faster than firing up Photoshop. However if it needed to be a quality job or if file size did matter then I would use Photoshop. For most of the photos I send out resizing in mail.app will do just fine since everyone I know has a broadband connection. Since I just got bumped up to 6 Mbps download speed I don't really care how big the pictures I get are.

I would say that this was a killer hint!



[ Reply to This | # ]
10.4: Resize images in Mail prior to sending
Authored by: dj_feare on Aug 08, '05 10:47:53AM

Watch out for PDFs, though. It's easy to assume that, since Mail can display a PDF as an in-line picture, it can resize it, and it appears to do so successfully. But what it actually seems to do is try to make a separate, smaller preview picture, and in the process it makes 2 attachments, and makes the PDF unusable for the recipient.



[ Reply to This | # ]
10.4: Resize images in Mail prior to sending
Authored by: MartiNZ on Aug 08, '05 06:59:40PM

Yes. I got confused about that too, thinking it would just resize the PDF in the Mail window, but then what comes out the other side is a JPG of terrible quality! This is confusing and I much miss the old Mail option to always view pictures as icons!



[ Reply to This | # ]
10.4: Resize images in Mail prior to sending
Authored by: a-bort on Aug 08, '05 12:00:15PM

Great picture, robg! :)



[ Reply to This | # ]
10.4: Resize images in Mail prior to sending
Authored by: rwhitmor on Mar 21, '07 06:18:58PM

I've noticed that clicking "Email" from within iPhoto also creates small messages without having to go through the export step. You even get the same option to set the image size before it composes the message.



[ Reply to This | # ]
10.4: Resize images in Mail prior to sending
Authored by: kentbean on Nov 15, '10 12:38:53PM

Is there a way to customize those sizes? I need something larger than large, but not actual size.



[ Reply to This | # ]
10.4: Resize images in Mail prior to sending
Authored by: vCopia on May 23, '11 08:02:10AM

Thanks so much for posting how to resize images in Mac Mail. After decades of using Outlook on a PC and having fully functional html capabilities, I've struggled with even the basics of sending a reasonably sized images to colleagues, friends and family using Mac Mail. Funny how the simpliest of things sometime alludes us. Genuinely appreciated.

vCopia



[ Reply to This | # ]