Cropping, the process of eliminating all but the most essential part of a photo. Image-editing programs often come with voluminous manuals, but here are just the basic tips.
Many image-editing programs exist, each with its own set of tools and command structures. We will cover Windows Paint and Irfanview, since they are available to all users of Windows-based PCs. Paint is found preinstalled on your PC at Start>All Programs>Accessories>Paint. Irfanview is available as a free download from www.irfanview.com.
1. Paint, as its name suggests, was designed more for "painting" a picture than for editing a photo, but it still has some useful photo-editing features. Launch Paint, then click File>Open, which should take you to your My Pictures folder. Double-click the target photo.
Click on the rectangular "crop" tool in the upper right corner of the toolbar. Now hold down your left mouse button and draw a rectangle around the photo's subject, leaving just the amount of background you want. Then click Edit>Copy to copy your selection to the "invisible Windows clipboard."
Now click File>New to create space for your cropping. Answer NO when asked if you want to save the previous picture. Click Edit>Paste to display your cropped picture. Finally, go to File>Save As to give your cropped picture a name.
2. Irfanview is faster and easier. As before, use File>Open and double-click the target photo, which will automatically be in the "cropping" mode when displayed. Draw your rectangle and click the Toolbar Scissors, which will cut the cropped area from the picture. Next click the Toolbar "Paste" icon to make your cropped section replace the original photo. As always, use File>Save As to name the finished job. Your original will remain unchanged.
To re-size a picture in Paint, Right-click on the thumbnail, select Open with..., click Paint, then pull down the Image menu and in size fill in the percentage smaller you would like i.e 50 onto the Horizontal and Vertical boxes, and click OK. The pull down File => Save as... , type a file name for the increased image, and click Save.
To re-size in Irfanview click ImageResize/Resample.
Irfanview will let you do some basic color enhancement by clicking Image>Enhance Colors.
Paint has no such feature, but will let you change colors on a bit by bit (pixel by pixel) basis, and will also let you add text to a picture.