Creating Profile Pictures on a Mac

Started by Regina Minx, August 15, 2017, 06:30:37 PM

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Regina Minx

I won't be using any software beyond the Photos Application (standard with all Macs running OS X 10.10 Yosemite or later. Versions of the OS before 10.10 will use iPhoto instead), the Safari browser, and a little background music while I grab some lovely pictures to beautiful up my presence on the boards.

If you use Firefox or Chrome, you may need to include an extra step. I haven't tested the functionality of those browsers and their abiltiy to add saved images from the Internet directly into the Photos library. This guide will show you how to do that from the Photos side of things.

If you're like me, a decent chunk of your time on the Internet brings pictures of stunning beauty to your attention, that you want to use for your avatar on E or other sites. Most of those images tend to be large and awkwardly sized when you try to use native compression systems on the forums. So I'm going to be showing you my technique for editing and using pictures for my avatar.

1) Start off by locating a photo of your choice in Safari. Make sure you're not just using like a Google preview window, but you actually go right to the photo's direct url or in situ on a website. This one looks great!

2) Right click (Ctrl click if your mouse doesn't have right click function) to open up some version of the following menu:

3) Select 'Add Image to Photos.'

4) Open the Photos Application and double-click on the picture you just imported from the thumbnail gallery. Click on the "Edit Photo" button, which looks like three sliders.

5) If you want to play with filters and effects, go ahead and do so. Photos is limited in its photo manipulation, and a full discussion of what you can do with the basic program is beyond the scope of this tutorial. Let's just assume that we're just interested in making the image an avatar as is. Click 'Crop'

6) What we're interested in doing is cropping the photo to the correct aspect ratio. E and most other forums use a 3:4 ratio. You don't need to know what that means, but it's just a technical way of describing the rectangular shape of avatar pictures. So click 'Aspect', "Custom', and enter 3 and 4 in the two blanks.

7) The picture will snap into the new ratio. You can mouse over and drag the image in the active window of the new pictrure dimensions picture over the parts you want to include in the cropped image. Click 'Done' in the upper right when it looks good.

8) Even though we have the right aspect ratio, we still need to resize the picture. E will only allow a picture of a maximum size of 150 pixels by 200 pixels. Since we have cropped the picture to the 3:4 ratio, all we need to do is shrink it down and it won't look stretched out or compressed.

9) Click "File" from the Menu bar, and click "Export>Export 1 Photo"

10) When you go to export the photo, Photos will give you the option of resizing it. Make sure you change 'Size' to 'Custom'. After changing the size to custom, you can input the size specifications you want. Go ahead and export based on width and set the width to 150.

12) It will ask you where you want to save the new picture. I keep a special folder in my Photos folder just for E profile pics. Other users might have the exported pictures go to the desktop by default, or have it track to the last location files were exported. Wherever you send it, go ahead and close Photos when you're done.

Because the picture has a changed aspect of 3:4, the picture Photos exports will be 150 x 200, the perfect size for E!