Photo Size, Orientation, Resolution, Image Sharpness, and Format

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To optimize efficiency in transmission, viewing, printing and storage, all photos and graphic images larger than 300 KB and/or 840 x 525 resolution are automatically compressed (to a medium level of JPEG compression) and sampled down to a file size that is less than 300 KB when photos and images are saved on the MLS server. Such adaptive resampling is not based strictly on just file size or just resolution.

The re-sampled MLS listing photo size also applies a width-to-height ratio of 1.6. adjustment if needed (the image width must be 1.6 times its height). All listing photos are automatically cropped to this width-to-height ratio so they fit properly in MLS reports.

To save the optimal size and highest allowed resolution (see guidelines below) of photos for display in the MLS, upload photos through new CTI Navigator Web II (or through Navigator Web Silverlight where still available) which uses more efficient compression techniques than are available through Navigator Desktop. CTI Navigator Web II supports the highest resolution photos (which are larger in file size and therefore slower to upload than lower resolution images from Navigator Desktop, or image files that Silverlight pre-processed in the browser before uploading from Navigator Web).

It is not normally necessary, but you can manually resize (or change the orientation of) photos using the basic image editing program from your computer operating system manufacturer:


Listing photos should be taken in landscape (horizontal or wide) view. Landscape view provides the maximum image area to display and print in MLS reports. Photos taken in portrait (vertical) view will either appear smaller and with blank space on the sides, or must have some of their top and/or bottom cropped off so more of the image width can be displayed.

CTI Navigator imports the universal jpg standard code for photos. Navigator does not process any special camera orientation adjustments that may be stored in a photo's metadata code (such as used by Apple products).

The image cropping tool in CTI Navigator Web II includes a rotate option that can be used to correct the image orientation when uploading a photo into the MLS. However, photos taken with the camera sideways (or upside down) may need to be rotated before being opened in Navigator Desktop or in Navigator Web Silverlight. 

Photos taken with iPhone 4 when locked in portrait orientation may display as if rotated horizontally (sideways or upside down) in the MLS, in email, or on any Windows computer. The recommended fix is to re-take the photos in landscape mode with portrait orientation unlocked. To unlock portrait orientation, double-click the Home button (or swipe UP from the bottom of any screen) to display the toolbar (or Control Center in iOS 7) at the bottom of the screen > slide right along the toolbar and tap on the Rotate icon (a circular arrow with lock inside) > confirm that "portrait orientation is unlocked" message appears, or rotate icon dims or "Portrait Orientation Lock: Off" displays > then swipe down or press Home to close the toolbar. Otherwise, you can go to the Settings icon > general > reset > reset all settings. If re-taking a photo is not practical, see "correct the photo orientation" below.

Starting with iOS 5 (and later), photos taken on an iPhone or iPad using the volume-up button as a shutter release also may display as if rotated horizontally (sideways or upside down) in the MLS, in email, or on any Windows computer. To prevent rotation issues with photos or videos taken in landscape view (sideways) on an iPhone or iPad using iOS 5 and later, shoot with the volume buttons facing down when using them as the shutter release. Alternatively, you can use a photo app such as Camera+ to add advanced photo shooting and editing features to your iPhone or iPad.

iPhone Photo orientation note: For a non-technical explanation and more options, see "Why Your iPhone Photos are Upside Down & How to Fix That."

To correct the orientation of photos, you can open or import them into the basic image editing program from your computer operating system manufacturer (Microsoft or Apple).

You  can use free third party image editors for Windows or Mac such as Google Photos, Helios Paint, or IrfanView; or FastStone Image Viewer for Windows for additional editing features. You also can resize, rotate, flip or crop an image in your browser by using an online image editor such as the free FlipMyPhotos.

To convert a large number of photos, see "15 Useful Batch Image Processors".  For advanced, professional image editing, see the popular but expensive Adobe Photoshop CC program. To edit videos, you can use digital media editor-converter programs such as the free VLC Media Player, or purchase Apple's "QuickTime Pro."

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Resolution and Quality

You should upload high quality, but not super high resolution, original photos through CTI Navigator Web II  for best viewing, printing, and emailing results in the MLS. (Navigator Desktop cannot upload and process as high resolution photos as Navigator Web II or Web Silverlight can.) In general, save your original photo at your camera's highest resolution. This will allow you to crop and print larger photos locally than those that are used in the MLS. It is not necessary, but if your camera provides the option to set image resolution, set it to 1280 x 800 if this is offered. This setting should produce approximately a 1 MB size image file to upload into the MLS (which will reduce the file to a maximum size of 300 KB as described above). Uploading image files larger than 1 to 2 MB, or higher resolution than 1280 x 800, wastes bandwidth and processing time with information that will not be saved in the MLS, and can greatly slow down (and sometimes complicate) the process of adding (or replacing) photos for listings. If you must send large, very high resolution photos, do not upload all 24 simultaneously. Instead, send about 8 to10 (or fewer) images at the same time for optimal transmission speed and reliability.  

Using the universal JPG standard format for photos, resampling necessarily results in some loss in resolution. The higher the original resolution, the more difference there will be between the original and the re-sampled image. Unfortunately, this is unavoidable and means that MLS photos cannot display as sharp or detailed as the original higher resolution image on your computer. Naturally, if you enlarge re-sampled images they also tend to get more blurred and digitized quicker than higher resolution originals. Images that have already been significantly compressed (to smaller file size) and/or saved at lower resolution before uploading into the MLS have already lost much of their image detail information, and consequently may appear blurred after being re-sampled to fit in MLS reports.

Email programs often resample images to reduce the size of the image file (which results in some loss in resolution/quality). In general, select "Large" (rather than small or medium) if available when emailing photos to a computer for uploading into CTI Navigator. 

Blur also can be caused by a dirty camera lens or by movement that is faster than the camera shutter speed. If the camera was moving when the shutter was released and the subject was stationary, usually the entire image is blurred to some degree. If an object or person in the image area was moving and the camera was not moving when the picture was taken, usually just the moving object is blurred and the background is clear. If an object or person in the image area was moving and the camera was also moving to keep the moving object in view when the picture was taken, usually the background is blurred and the image of the moving object is clear. 

Blur also can be caused when the camera is not properly focused. Partial blur within a stationary image can result when the camera's focal point and resulting depth of field in the photo are somewhat off. This is most noticeable when there is a long visual field depth with some objects relatively far away (such as outdoors or in large open space rooms) but other objects are close up in the same image. When the camera focus is not set just right (approximately one-third the distance between the closest and most distant object in view), the transition from the close-up object to its background tends to be blurred as if the background is a continuation of the foreground. Typically this happens when the photographer focuses on the farthest object rather than in-between the near and far objects. When such images are then re-sampled (resulting in loss of some image details), such mildly indistinct or unclear areas are exacerbated, especially when compared to the original. 

The best fix for image blur in an original photo is to retake the photo with the correct camera settings, shutter speed and focus. If this is not practical, you may be able to clear some of the blur using an image editing program (such as Photoshop, Paint Shop Pro, or Google Photos). Beware however, that editing photos may cause other problems if code other than standard JPG is inserted in the photo file. See articles on various ways you can try to fix image blur in the Related Articles at the end of this web page. 

If your office has its own website or you have access to a website that will host higher resolution or larger size photos for you (such as DropboxFlickrGoogle+Google Photos (which replaced retired Picasa Web Album), Photobucket, Snapfish, or Shutterfly), you can link higher resolution photos to your listing under the "Internet Links" tab in Add/Revise Listings in CTI Navigator. Enter the Internet Address-URL to those photos in the "Other" field and something like "Click here to see High Resolution Photos" in the Description field beside the URL. These linked photos do not replace the normal MLS photos (that are stored, sized and formatted to fit standard reports and off-line usage in CTI Navigator), but would be available as supplement photos for MLS members who desire to view them.

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Agent Photo

Agent photos can be uploaded onto the MLS server through CTI Navigator Web (II or Silverlight). Click on "Agent Web" in Navigator Web's frame menu, select "Images" on the Agent Control Panel, and click the Upload button below "My Website Photo". An agent photo must be a jpg (jpeg, or jfif) photo format file. For best results, the photo should be a headshot in portrait mode (slightly taller than wide) that is approximately 167 pixels wide by 181 pixels high at 96 dpi (or better). For professional photographer tips on taking professional head shots, see "How to Take a Good Headshot " in the Related articles section at the bottom of this web page.

Office Logo

Office management can upload an office logo into the MLS server through CTI Navigator Web (II or Silverlight). Click on "Agent Web" in Navigator Web's frame menu, select "Images" on the Agent Control Panel, and click the Upload button below Logo. The office logo must be a jpg (jpeg, or jfif) photo format file. (The logo file cannot be a gif, ico, png, ps, or tiff image format, or an AI, CDR, EPS or SWF vector file format.) For best results, the image file should be in landscape mode (moderately wider than tall) that is approximately 75 pixels wide by 58 pixels high at 96 dpi (or better). All office logos are automatically cropped to this 1.29 width-to-height ratio when uploaded so they fit properly in Navigator Web reports, address book, and Agent Website.

Width Warning. Extra wide logos (such as banners of stylized text) may become tiny and illegible when they are proportionally resized to fit in the space allocated in Navigator Web. To avoid this, it is advisable to upload logo images whose width is not greater than 1.5 times the height.

Format Conversion

Photos. Most image files (such as bmp, gif, png or tiff) can be easily converted into the jpg photo file format simply by opening the file in the basic image editing program from your computer operating system manufacturer (Microsoft or Apple), and changing the file type or format when you save the file.

You also can use a free online file conversion service in Windows or Mac, such as or .

Documents. To convert a document file (such as .doc, or .pdf format) into an image format (such as JPEG format) in Windows, open the file in the appropriate text processor (such as Word for docs and Adobe Acrobat Reader for pdfs), and highlight and copy the contents of the text file to the Windows Clipboard. Next open Windows Paint and paste the text into Paint. If desired, use the "Select" function to make formatting changes or graphical additions to the selected text. Finally, click File, select "Save As" and select "JPEG" as the File Type. In Apple open the document in the Preview app, click File, select Save or select Export,  click the down arrow beside Format, check JPEG, and click the Save button.

Image in Document File. To extract and convert an image (or text) from a document file (such as .PDF or .Doc) into a separate image file, open the document in the appropriate text processor (such as Word for docs and Adobe Acrobat Reader for pdfs). Then

Automated PDF Converters. Following are links to free online PDF file converters:

To PDF formatwww.freePDFconvert.com {requires your email address}.

From PDF formatConvertOnlineFree.comDocs.Zone {requires your email address}.

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Related articles and Internet links:  

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rev. 12.03.2016