Eek! My images don't look right - Help!

Sometimes when you're working with an image from our website, something just isn't quite right.  Below are the top issues that members have with images.

In this Article we'll address these top issues:

Images look fuzzy / blurred / jagged

The two most common reasons that an image looks and/or prints fuzzy, blurry or jagged are: 

  1. Enlarging a bitmap file (TIFF, JPEG, JPG, GIF) too much  
  2. Printing a GIF.
1. Enlarged Bitmaps Fix

Bitmap (TIFF, JPEG, JPG, GIF) images is actually a grid of tiny black, white, or colored pixels. When bitmaps are enlarged, the tiny pixels that form the image are more noticeable and create a "stair-stepped" look.

Solution: Most bitmaps can be enlarged a little bit before they begin to lose quality. If you need to enlarge a picture more than that, use a WMF version of the picture if one is available. WMF can be enlarged to almost any size without a noticeable loss of quality.

2. Printed GIFs Fix

Our GIFs are low resolution (72 dpi to match computer screens) images used for display on Web sites. They aren't meant to be printed.  If you copy and paste a picture from any website, you're actually using the GIF (or JPEG) format of a picture. The GIFs may display fine in your document onscreen, but may not print as well as you expect, because of the low resolution.

Solution: For print documents use a TIFF, WMF, or JPEG file. Avoid copying and pasting art from Web sites, because they are typically low resolution.

Follow these steps to download TIFF, WMF, PNG, and JPEG (.jpg) files:
  1. Click on a JPG, PNG WMG, or TIF that shows under the image (NOTE: Be sure to select the correct file type for your needs.)
  2. The image will download to your computer usually in your Downloads folder unless you have changed it. This is a browser setting. 
  3. Import the image into your document. This is usually done through Insert >> Picture or Import >> Graphic or something similar. Because each program works a little differently, check your program's "Help" menu or manual for specific instructions. 

Can't find an image after downloading an image / image won't download

In order to ensure the best quality image, we always recommend downloading the image to your computer.  Sometimes this seemingly simple task can turn into frustration.

1. Searching for images "lost" on your computer

Try searching for the image name using your computer's search feature. To find missing files, use the Search or "Find" feature of your computer. The Windows Search feature can be reached by clicking the Windows Start button.

To avoid this problem, make note of the folder you select when you download. Or always download to the same location, such as your desktop or My Pictures folder.

2. Setting where files download on your computer

Where an image downloads actually depend on which browser you are using and your personal settings.

In Chrome, you can enable a prompt to save downloads to a specific location by accessing your Settings>Advanced Settings>Download option and ensuring the box is checked to "Ask where to save each file before downloading".

Windows Edge does not give you the option to select where to save downloaded files.  These by default will save to your Download folder.  If this causes problems, you can use a different browser such as Chrome or Firefox

Images have a white background behind them

When using an image on a clean white document, we often don't notice the white background.  But all TIFF, JPEG, and GIF files have a white background to them.

Try using a WMF (or EPS) file instead.  These files have transparent backgrounds and work great when using a color background and in PowerPoint slide presentations. 

You can also try removing these backgrounds by searching the Help feature for your program on how to remove backgrounds from images or removing the background in a program like Photoshop. 

Images have a black vertical line on them

This problem occurs when you find your image on your hard drive or CD through My Computer or Windows Explorer and double-click on it to open it. Then, you use copy and paste to paste it into your page layout program.
 
Please use the following method of inserting images into your desktop publishing program: 

  1. Launch either Word or Publisher
  2. Click Insert from the menu and then select Picture >> From File
  3. Navigate to your CD or hard drive where the image is stored that you want to insert 
  4. Select your image 
  5. Click the Insert button 

Using this method of inserting an image will eliminate the vertical line when viewing on-screen and when printing the page.

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