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Using Images at University: Using images

A Guide for Undergraduate Students

Using images to add value

Using images in presentations, blogs or webpages is useful to add visual appeal and colour, break up long sections of text and help illustrate your topics and ideas.

The previous pages have shown you how to find and ethically use images. Now there are a few things you should consider when using images to ensure they add value to, rather than detract from, your work.

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Image size and quality
Don’t use low quality images that are blurred or pixilated. Using high quality images will leave a better impression and give you more flexibility when editing your image.
Caution – using large images with very high pixel counts can cause issues including long load times for websites and difficulties sharing large presentation files. Aim for an image that is just right; clear but not an overly large file size.

Watermarks

Avoid images that have a brand watermark. Instead use the suggestions on the Find page to locate a suitable alternative.

Cropping
At times you will need to change the size or shape of your image to best fit the surrounding content. When increasing or reducing the size of the image maintain the aspect ratio to avoid distortion. If the shape of the image is not suitable, or there are parts of the image you need to cut out, crop the image to your preferred shape.

Overuse, placement and balance
Avoid distracting your audience with too many images or a displeasing arrangement. Try to select the least number of images needed to illustrate your point. If you’re using multiple images think about how you are placing and aligning them with the other elements on your the screen. If you have characters in your images try to have them facing into the presentation or text, if they aren't switch the image to the other side or flip it horizontally.

Consistency
Aim for a consistent type or style of images throughout your presentation, page or post. If you’re using photos, stick with photos. If you’re using graphics or illustrations try to use ones which have been designed in a similar style. This will help create a smooth flow to your work.

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