Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Resizing Images

On Monday, I received a call from an author of one of our county CMS pages. He was trying to upload a PowerPoint file, and the CMS was not accepting it. He was trying to upload a file that exceeded the 5MB per file limit. The primary reason for this limit is that most of the users of our web pages probably don’t want to wait for that big of file to download.

I suggested a few options that would allow this PowerPoint file to be uploaded. These included:

  1. Save it as a PDF file.
  2. Resize the photos used in the PowerPoint file
  3. Do a Save As…
  4. Split the file into part A and part B

About an hour later, I receive an email saying that he had resized the photos, then did a Save As to create a new PowerPoint file. The new file was 856KB, down from 6.5MB. This new file was easily uploaded into the CMS.

By doing a pretty simple process, he drastically reduced the file size, therefore making the file download a lot faster for the people that want to use this file. And the best part is, he did not have to compromise the quality of the presentation. Instead, he used photos that were appropriately sized for the way he was using them.

We typically tell people to do the resizing using Picture Manager. This is a utility that comes bundled with Office 2007. Here is a document that talks about how to use Picture Manager.

Although he was using a the photos in a PowerPoint file, the same principle also applies to web pages. Resize your photos before including them putting them on your web pages. The alternative is to set the display size in your HTML code, however, the browser still needs to download the whole image.

As a side note, we have been looking for a good solution to be able to dynamically resize images at runtime. We’d like to be able to upload the full image into the CMS, and have the CMS resize it when serving up the page. If you are doing this, I’d like to hear about it.

Iowa Ruby Brigade

Wednesday evening I attended the Iowa .NET Users Group meeting. During the announcements, David Body talked about a new user group for for Ruby and Rails.

The first meeting will be 6:00pm – 7:30pm, Thursday, September 20, 2007, at DMACC West, located at 5959 Grand Avenue in West Des Moines.

The topic for the first meeting will likely be getting started with Ruby, including where to download it and how to install. They will also talk about when to hold future meetings. They were hoping to continue with third Thursday of every month, however Des Moines has an agile programming group that meets then.

Although I have never used Ruby, I will probably attend this meeting. I’ve heard a lot about Ruby on Rails, so would like to learn more.

The web site for the Iowa Ruby Brigade is www.iowaruby.org.