Aspect Ratio

We often deal with digital pictures when creating documents and online content. Depending on the size and shape of your original picture, there is a good chance it will need to be resized to work in the space available.

It is important that all pictures maintain an aspect ratio of 1:1. The aspect ratio is the relationship between the pictures width and height. If a picture is resized to half its original width, its height must also be half of the original. Maintaining the aspect ratio only becomes important when a picture is resized. The photo below is 500 pixels wide and 333 pixels tall. 500/333 is 1.5. So if this picture is resized, the resulting width divided by height should be 1.5 in order to maintain the original’s 1 to 1 aspect ratio.

A 1:1 aspect ratio does not necessarily mean the width divided by height equals one. This would only be the case if the original photo is square. Most cameras do not take square pictures. As a result, most width to height ratios are not equal to one.

Here is a photo with a 1:1 aspect ratio (500 x 333). Width/height = 1.5.

Here are two pictures which do not have 1:1 aspect ratios.

The above picture is 500×150. Width/height = 3.33.

The picture above is 333×333. That makes width/height = 1, but the that ratio needs to be 1.5 to keep a 1:1 aspect ratio for the picture.

It is possible to resize a picture keeping the aspect ratio of 1 to 1. Here is a correctly resized picture.

The above picture is 250×167. This is the correct aspect ratio (250/167=1.5).

Often, a picture will maintain its 1:1 aspect ration when resized by dragging a corner (not an edge). The above picture was resized in this way.

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