Sizing of Image Exhibits

Written for TMG v8x, Principles Apply to All versions of TMG


These are the sizes that I use in TMG reports (Second Site would be the same).
I keep my original images files in a separate folder on my hard drive.  Any such files used in TMG are copies in the TMG User Data Exhibits folder.  In this way, if I wish to change anything about the TMG image file then I go back to the original and make a new copy as needed.
The majority of my image Exhibits are of a single person and mostly of their upper body (often called head and shoulders shots).  The next largest group is of objects like buildings and gravestones.  A few others are various documents (maps, Bible pages, Diplomas, etc.).
I have some family group pictures. But for most of them, I have copied and cropped each individual creating a head and shoulders shot.  This allows me to tailor my Exhibits to each person although a few family group pictures are retained as group shots due to the make-up of the group, the location being shown, or some other
The problem is that image files are usually measured in inches, printers in dpi (dots-per-inch) and screens in pixels.  Some rules of thumb are to size images to 200 x 200 pixels or to 72 dpi.  The problem with this is that screen resolutions vary as do printer resolutions.  Thus you need to experiment to see what works best for your preferences.
Fortunately, most image-editing programs can re-size your pictures in inches and then you can let that be your guide as most of us can more readily relate to this measurement. Considering this, I size my images for the longest dimension as follows:
Head and shoulders shots  
House or building  

Objects (heirlooms)   2” – 4”
Documents   4.5”
Naturally, you need to be subjective about this.  The above dimensions are really just the starting place to reduce the number of changes that are needed when you output a report.  And depending on your preferences, the above may be too large or too small.  So experiment some and adjust them as you prefer.  For example, aperson images might be of two people and thus you may want something like 4” instead of 3”.  Conversely, a Ship image may look better in a report if the image is only 3” instead of 5”.
Basically, you want to establish your standard sizing values so that when you output a report then either the images are all the right size or only a very few need to be adjusted.  In TMG v8x, you now have an option in the Report Definition that will allow you to set the maximum size for image Exhibits.  So if you have all 2” x 3.5”  images except for a couple of 8” x 10” pictures, you can let TMG do the re-sizing “on the fly” by setting the Maximum Output Size.

Comments to: Lee Hoffman

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