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Actual Sizer
View Artworks at their Real-life Actual Size
  What ActualSizer Does

ActualSizer uses information about your computer setup (specifically, your monitor size and screen resolution), and combines that with an artwork's actual size, in order to display a scan of that work at the exact same size that it would appear in real life.

Our goal is to provide a visceral sense of the scale of the actual artwork, not to improve the image itself. Images normally appear best at their original resolution, because web browsers are not too adept at expanding and reducing images.

ActualSizer will always preserve the aspect ratio of the image; in other words, images will retain the same proportions when resized.

You can link to the actual-sized image. Say for example you're selling a painting and you want to let people imagine how it will appears at actual size, regardless of their computer setup. Just copy the URL from your browser's URL bar, and add that link to your own site.

Tips for Using ActualSizer

Because you may want to go back and forth, it's probably better to have the artwork page open in one window and ActualSizer open in a separate window or tab. Click [ctrl]-n to open a new window, [ctrl]-t to open a new tab.

Make the viewable area as large as possible: Press F11 to toggle your browser window between normal viewing mode and maximized mode.

Getting Image URLs: If you can get the image in its own window, simply copy the URL from your browser's URL bar. If you can't, here are other ways to get the image URL:
      Internet Explorer - Right-click on the image and select "Properties". Then highlight the address (URL) and copy it.
Other browsers - Right-click on the image and select "Copy Image Location/Address". That's it. Alternatively, select "View/Open Image" and then copy the address from your browser's URL bar.
How to Copy and Paste URLs: Highlight the complete URL and then press [ctrl]-c to copy it onto the "clipboard". Then go to the ActualSizer homepage, click on the Image URL text box, and press [ctrl]-v to paste the contents of the "clipboard" into the box. (Mac users: Use the [command] key (the "Apple" key) instead of the [ctrl] key.)

  Limitations on Accuracy:

In most cases, the main source of error will be that the measured area of the artwork may not exactly correspond to the scanned image as it is cropped.

Monitor size - The monitor's official size may not exactly equal the actual displayed area. In fact your monitor likely has its own controls that can make the picture slightly larger or smaller, so slight errors from this effect are inevitable.

Measurement - Measurements can be entered with a degree of accuracy of 1/10 of an inch or centimeter.


Nothing happens: A reasonably up-to-date browser with CSS and Javascript enabled is required. Also, I've noticed that Firefox may be unable to display images at very extremely large sizes.

Image does not display #1: Double-check the image exists at the specified address - Simply copy the URL of the image into your browser's URL bar, hit the Enter key, and wait for the image to fully load.

Image does not display #2: Some sites block images from being linked from other websites. Workaround: If the user views the full image first, then it is normally cached by the browser and does not have to be fetched from the original website again. So, try loading the image manually first (see previous item), and then using ActualSizer on it.

One of the measurements is off slightly: If the shape of the scan does not exactly correspond to the shape of the measured area, then the assumption is that some cropping has taken place. In this case, one of the sides will be fully sized while the other is slightly less than the "actual" measurement.

Note that ActualSizer does not work for images on your own hard drive: For security reasons, Javascript is no longer able to access files or even display images from local computers. If you want to resize images on your own computer, you'll need to upload them to some website. (If you read your mail online, even mailing yourself the picture and viewing it online and using that URL would probably work.)