How to Reduce the Size of an Image Using Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop is great tool which is used for editing images. Its editing capability varies for a wide variety of uses from editing images for making textures in 3D graphics to editing images for Photography and much more. It is the first tool any one must learn if you are interested in digital design. In this tutorial I will discuss a technique for reducing a Large image size (about 5MB) into a small one (1MB or Less) with Photoshop. No previous working experience of Photoshop is required to do this.

We always have to work with the web and the images. The main problem with this workflow is that some of the image sizes are too large for the web. To solve this little issue we can use Photoshop.

The first thing we have to do is to open the image you want the size to be reduced in Photoshop. Now I have opened an image here which is about 5.93 MB in size.

A Large Image Opened in Photoshop
Image I opened with file size of 5.93 MB

If you are good to go with the image without any changes to it, then select File -> Save for Web option. The keyboard shortcut for this menu option is Alt + Shit + Ctrl + S

Choose the save for web option from the file menu
File -> Save for Web

After you select the save for web option, a new window will appear. There will be 4tabs at the top Original, Optimized, 2-up, 4-up. The original is the image with no modification in its size. The optimized is the Photoshop default setting for making the image ready for the web. What we focus on is the 2-up and the 4-up. If you are good to go with the image size shown below the screen in the optimized tab, you can save that and skip the remaining steps from here.

Choose the 4 up view Tab
Save for Web 4-up view

The 2-up and 4-up is nothing but the number of images to display to see the difference between the various image formats available at the top right corner in a drop down menu.

The image formats that are available are GIF, JPEG, PNG-8, PNG-24 and another format is also available which won’t be of much use to us. I have chosen the 4-up view in the image. The image at the top left corner is the original image.

4 up view with GIF Image Format
4-up view with GIF image format

The size of each image is shown at the bottom left corner of each image. To the right side is the little panel which shows you the various image formats with other options for optimizing the image.

If you are not satisfied with the size of the image with the various file formats, then you can tweak other options to format the image.

Choose the format that best suits your need
Options Panel for the Image formats

Optimizing the Image

  1. The first one is the colors drop down which is available for the PNG formats. Lower the color values for the image until you get the file size you are searching for in each of the format. For the JPEG you must tweak the Quality drop down to reduce the size of the image.
  2. The second best option is to delete the colors shown in the color panel. When deleting the color, Choose a color which occupies the more space in the image and see to that it won't make a much difference to the image. Delete color until you get the image size of your choice and see to that you don't delete too much of colors which would spoil the image quality.

The main point here is to reduce the image size with maintaining a preferably good quality from the original image, but with a smaller size than the original one. There are other option available to reduce the image, but it would take more explanation. I will make a video tutorial on how to make the best use of these options in optimizing the image with Photoshop