Cropping photos using Irfanview


I am including instructions here on how to crop a photo using Irfanview.

You can download a free version of this program at:

Please remember that for tombstone photos once you have resized or cropped the photo the names and dates on the headstone should be clear and easy to read, otherwise the photo is of little use to anyone.

(Before starting to crop please make a folder to put your original photos in, then within that folder create a subfolder called new or temp to put the new cropped photos in, this will prevent overwriting your original images.)

-----Open Irfanview and at the top left click File then Open

You will get an Open window which will let you browse to the file/picture that you want to resize. Select the file by clicking on it then at the bottom right click on the Open button. You will then see your photo appear in the Irfanview window.

In the below example you can see that there is much greenery around this tombstone which is making the photo larger in byte size than it needs be (216kb). So we want to crop out all that is around it. Put your left cursor on the top left of where you want to start cropping, (The red X marks the spot for you to start.) then with the left cursor down, drag your mouse down to the bottom right hand of the tombstone until you have centered on the portion of the photo that you want to save.  Release the left button on your mouse and you will notice the area is marked with a thin line showing your area.

Then go up to the left of Irfanview and click on Edit, then choose Crop Selection. This will remove all of the unnecessary background.

If this doesn't take out enough background or if it has removed too much background then you can undo this by clicking on Edit then Undo and start from the beginning by clicking the lift mouse down and dragging to highlight a new area.

If you are satisfied with the photo then click on File and choose "SAVE AS" do not choose Save as this will overwrite your original.

You will get a save picture as window and at the bottom, rename your file so that it does not overwrite the original (you can simply add a number or letter to the last part of the file name to make it different than the original or be sure by putting it in a temp directory you created for the new photos) You will also see a JPEG/GIF save options window. This allows for compression of the photo, set the slider bar about 1/2 way between lowest and best.

Your photo should now be web ready and this photo is only 22kb in size but easily read.

This can be practiced a few times until you are comfortable that you have the best looking photo at the smallest size possible. Remember we are putting photos online so that researchers can get names and dates from tombstones, they do need to be clearly read but they do not need to be high photographic quality nor have expansive backgrounds.


Debra Crosby