Quick Photoshop Secrets 16: Perfect Sharpening & Resize for the Web

Photoshop Secrets 16: Perfect Sharpening & Resize for the Web

Quick Photoshop Secrets 16: Perfect Sharpening & Resize for the Web

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In today’s Photoshop tutorial, we look at how to resize and sharpen photos so that they are beautifully sharp for the web. We use a tried-and-tested method for coming out with crisp scenes.

Essentially, we resize our images by choosing the size of our image, and multiplying this by 1.67 and selecting the sampling method, Bicubic smoother. Then we add 3 sharpening layers and finally resize our image again but this time to the correct size.

Step-By-Step Guide

1. Go to Image>Duplicate

resize image


2. Click OK.

duplicate image


3. Go to Image>Image Size.

image size in photoshop


4. Change the size of the image.

Don’t change this to the final size you want, instead. multiply the final size that you want by 1.67. for example, we want this image to be 1000px wide (1000 x 1.67 = 1670) so we enter 1670 in the width box.

resize image in photoshop


5. Select Bicubic Smoother (enlargement) in the resample box.

bicubic smoother


6. Click on OK.

resize for web


7. Duplicate the layer by pressing Crtl+J on a PC or Cmd+J on a Mac.

duplicate resized image


8. Add a layer mask to this layer.

add resize layer mask


9. Make sure the image is selected and not the mask by clicking on the image thumbnail.

select image resize


10. Go to Filter>Sharpen>Sharpen.

sharpen for web


11. Duplicate the layer again by pressing Crtl+J on a PC or Cmd+J on a Mac.

copy resize layer


12. Go to Filter>Sharpen.

sharpen more for resize


13. Duplicate this layer again.

resize and sharpen


14. For the final time go to Filter>Sharpen>Sharpen.

ultra sharpening


15. Hide the top layer by clicking on the eye icon to the left of the image thumbnail.

hide layer


16. Now, let’s resize to the final size we want. Got to Image>Image Size.

image resize in photoshop


17. Enter the final size that you want, in our example, this is 1000px wide.

final image resize and sharpen for the web


Step-By-Step Guide

And as a big thank you from me, you can download my sharpening tools using the button above which will do the work for you. And feel free to join 30k other photographers and subscribe directly to my youtube channel for more useful tutorials.

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Quick Photoshop Secrets 16: Perfect Sharpening & Resize for the Web

24 thoughts on “Quick Photoshop Secrets 16: Perfect Sharpening & Resize for the Web

  1. Thanks Jimmy! I suppose its just for the web, right? Can you create similar thing for the printing? I would surely like that.

    1. These will also work for print if you are planning to resize the images in PS first. Otherwise, if you need to sharpen full size, I recommend a high pass sharpen filter. Thanks

  2. Hi Jimmy, thanks for the new tool. I tried using it in both modes and found that when I chose the height option the pop up still asked what width I wanted but then applied my request to the height, so it gave me the right height but a little confusing. Thanks

  3. Hi! You told us on 500px ISO there are superb HDR software. Can you tell me some of these in the case I’m not able to use Photoshop? Thank you!

  4. Nice tutorial, I’m just wondering: are there any broad guidelines for when you would/wouldn’t want to use this kind of sharpening as opposed to high pass or unsharp masks?

    1. Hi,
      I would always use this for images I’m sending to the web. For high pass or unsharpen, usually I’d use them on larger images as a finishing touch, when the full size image isn’t quite sharp enough.

  5. Hi Jimmy, Many thanks for the tutorial(s) and these tools. I use the web panel in RayaPro frequently. One thing puzzling me though, my images are being resized at 300dpi. Should I resize to 72 or 96 dpi after running the script? Looking forward to the RP update in June! Cheers Jimmy

  6. Hi Jimmy. Thanks very much for this. Just wondering though … is there a way to retain the original filename of the image? I’m running the process on about 20 images and every one gets renamed to “JM Sharpen Resize.jpg”

    1. Yes, just open the script files and change line 15 from

      desc237.putString( idNm, “””JM Sharpen Resize””” );


      desc237.putString( idNm, activeDocument.name );

  7. Great tutorials and tools! When resizing smaller, you choose resampling for enlargement, while Adobe recommends for reduction. Why resample for enlargement when you’re reducing the size?

  8. Thanks a lot. Now your tool has become an essential one for me, it really helps. The only drawback is, as Mark Power says, the changing of the name. It would be really useful and time saving if it could retain the original name or a variant of it.

  9. you’re a bit of a legend mate but im sure you have been told that before

  10. Hi Jimmy, I got another question, hopefully you can help me with that… I just want to know: Do you also sharpen your images with Camera Raw before continuing editing them in Photoshop and again sharpening them with the above scripts? Or is this the only sharpening you do?

  11. For everyone who wants to use “Unsharp Mask” (130%/0.4/0, which is the same amount of sharpening as “Sharpen”) plus Smart Object-Layers (to being able to change the USM afterwards) instead of just “Sharpen” with this script:

    Add the following function to convert a layer to a smart object (e.g. at the very beginning of the file after the line “var realsize = prompt(“How wide do you need your image in pixels?”, 0, “Jimmy McIntyre Super-Duper Sharpen/Resize”);”):

    function createSmartObject(layer) {
    var doc = app.activeDocument;
    var layer = layer != undefined ? layer : doc.activeLayer;

    if(doc.activeLayer != layer) doc.activeLayer = layer;

    var idnewPlacedLayer = stringIDToTypeID( “newPlacedLayer” );
    executeAction( idnewPlacedLayer, undefined, DialogModes.NO );
    return doc.activeLayer;
    return undefined;

    afterwards, change each of the three sharpening code-blocks in the scripts which look like

    // sharp
    var idShrp = charIDToTypeID( “Shrp” );
    executeAction( idShrp, undefined, DialogModes.NO);

    to the following:

    activeDocument.activeLayer.applyUnSharpMask (130, 0.4, 0);

    The new function is just a helper function which converts the activeLayer, after it got created, to a smart object. It is used in each sharpening code-block before applying Unsharp Mask. This happens here:

    1. createSmartObject(activeDocument.activeLayer);
    2. activeDocument.activeLayer.applyUnSharpMask (130, 0.4, 0);

    First the layer gets converted, then I apply UnsharpMask with the values in the brackets.

    Because the layers get converted, you can choose to change the USM values as much as you want after the script finishes.

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