Wednesday, March 25, 2009

How to Make Your Photos "Click-to-enlarge"

Many times I am asked how to upload photos on a blog so that they will be click-to-enlarge. Today, I will answer that question for all Blogger (blogspot) blogs!

We are talking about digital photos, either taken with a digital camera or scanned and saved as a digital file. I’m going to keep it fairly simple, yet hint at the technical reasons behind my method.

Simple basics

Are you going to print your photos? Or, are you going to upload them to your blog? These are two very different things. Decide before you shoot your pictures!

Have you ever printed an image from the web and it was all pixilated? You could see the little squares (pixels) of color on the print? That’s because to print photos requires higher resolution than the web.

Many of today’s digital cameras offer the possibility of very high resolution. You can get an idea of the resolution possibilities of your camera by looking at the designation on the front. Is it 3 megapixels, 8 megapixels, 11 megapixels? The higher the number, the higher the possible resolution.

Sony 8 mega pixel cameraHigh resolution (or high number of megapixels) is good for printing your photos, yes! But not good for the web. Ever open an email with an attached photo that's so bloated you can’t get any idea of the whole thing, even by scrolling up and down, back and forth? Yes? Me too. That photo might print well, but it has too many pixels for the web.

My suggestion, if you are taking photos just for the web? Pass up those expensive, high megapixel cameras, and get one that offers around 3, which is perfectly adequate for web pictures!

What size images do you need for Blogger to engage the click-to-enlarge feature?

This is the rule:

To upload a photo that will
click-to-enlarge in Blogger,
your image size must be
more than 100 KB.

If it is way over 100 KB or if it is some amount of MB, it will click-to-enlarge, but it will also be gigantic, take a long time to open and begin to fill up your total photo space allowed by Blogger.

If it is under 100 KB, it will not click-to-enlarge.

Note: this is the current Blogger rule... be aware that they change the rules from time to time!

How can you tell the size of your image?

In my documents, find the folder with your image in it. On the top toolbar, click on view and then click on details. You should now see the image name, followed by a number, which is the size of your image. It maybe expressed in KB (kilobytes) or if it’s extremely large in MB (megabytes). Far to the right you will see the dimensions, which are expressed in pixels.

Other important image size considerations.

The size of an image is expressed in both total kilobytes (or megabytes, if it’s huge) AND in pixel dimensions. A third variable is the resolution. It’s nice to understand the relationship of these three variables, but not necessary.

Most digital cameras have a way to adjust these variables. Look for mode or settings. If you are taking pictures for the web and not to print, set your mode as closely as possible to the following:

Resolution: 72 ppi (exressed as automatic in most small cameras)
Size: 640 x 480
Format: jpeg (may be expressed as normal; do not select tiff)

These settings will give you images that are perfectly sized to be click-to-enlarge on Blogger as long as you don’t crop them.


If you crop your images, it will reduce the size. Cropping may reduce the overall size to less than 100 KB, in which case they will not be click-to-enlarge.

After cropping, save your image and check the file size as described above. There are photo editing programs you can use to increase the size of your cropped image to over 100 KB. If you don’t have such software, there is another option.

If you know you will want to crop a group of images to show detail and you still want them to be click-to-enlarge, do this. For these images only, reset the mode on your camera to higher file size. Shoot your pictures, crop and check size. Should be OK. Don’t forget to reset the mode on your camera.

What if you are taking pictures for both the web AND to print?

In that case, you will need a simple photo editing program that will allow you to resize your images. Set your camera mode to a higher resolution and size, suitable for printing. My camera mode is set to the following:

Resolution: 72 ppi
Size: 2560 x 1920
Format: jpeg

This gives photos that are about 2,000 KB each, large enough to print, even in books or magazines. However, they are about 20 times too big for the web! Remember we want them to be just over 100 KB each. I use a photo editing program to resize them.

How to print these directions?

Click on the title of this post. That should open a window which has only this post in it and not the other posts on my blog. Then go to file and click print.

Or, highlight the entire text of the post, go to edit on the upper tool bar and click copy. Open a blank word document, go to edit on the upper tool bar of the new document and click paste. Then save and/or print from the word document.

Hope this helps!
Robin A.


  1. Good post. I have been using Photobucket for all my pics!

  2. Thanks so much. I shall give it a try. Sharon

  3. What an angel of mercy you are! My photos have always clicked-to-enlarge but I never knew, selfishly I'm hoping all those beaders out there do this so we can get up-close-and-personal with all those beautiful journals...thank you.

  4. Thank you, Robin, for taking the time for this tutorial! I will test the possibilities, because I am not satisfied with my enlargements. I do have some pictures that enlarge to my liking, but only by chance, so I will check on their details to see what makes them different from the others.

    Thanks again for taking the time and effort.


  5. Thank you so much Robin! I don't have a blog, but I love learning more about how to use my camera. You are such a GREAT teacher and you are always willing to share what you know. Thank you for all the things you have taught me. I appreciate it more than you will ever know.

  6. Thanks so much for an excellent and informative post.

    I read your blog often and love it, time to add it to my bloglist...time being the key factor, it's in short supply, but I'll get to it soon,

  7. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I've just learned so much about my camera, and why some of my pictures enlarge when clicked and some that don't. Great explanation and very understandable.

  8. Thank you so much! I really wanted to know how to do this. And when I start taking better, clearer pics of my beads, this will help a lot! :)

  9. LOL - Robin - Hopefully this will save me MUCH frustration! Thank you VERY much!

  10. I was really looking forward to the solution to this problem; however, I have one 125KB picture that will enlarge and one 125KB picture that was taken at the same place within a few minutes of the first that will NOT enlarge; and I have some 161KB and 171KB pictures that won't enlarge. I have several that run between 161 and 203 KB and none of those will enlarge. But some others over 200KB will enlarge. Any other ideas or solutions? Thanks.


Thanks you for joining the discussion on this post today!