I've come up with 4 different ways to fit an image inside a viewing region, but I'm trouble coming up with names for them. Perhaps someone can suggest some?

  1. Fit image in viewing region, do not enlarge if image is smaller
  2. Size image so it fits snuggly inside the viewing region (enlarge if necessary) -- the image is as large as possible while still fitting within the viewing region
  3. Size image so that it fills the entire viewing region -- the image will be the same size or bigger than the viewing region
  4. 1:1 ratio; 1 pixel in the image corresponds to 1 pixel on screen

All zooming options maintain aspect ratio. Stretching is just ugly, so it's not an option :)

2 Answers 2


Edited to match your clarification

  1. Shrink to fit
  2. Enlarge to fit
  3. Fill
  4. Center

Or just wrap 1. and 2. in a single "Fit" option, given that you'll never be able to do both to the same image.

  • I like it, but (2) is still a bit misleading. If the image is bigger than the viewing region it will still be shrunk. You can do both to the same image if you resize the viewport. Also, the option persists as you load different images so it's nice to set it once and forget it.
    – mpen
    Commented Jun 10, 2012 at 3:53
  • @Mark: Which just leads me further towards a single "Fit" option. Because you would want to set it to that and then have all images shrink or enlarge based on the (flexible) size of the viewport. No?
    – pdr
    Commented Jun 10, 2012 at 4:06
  • Hrm? I'm not sure we're on the same page yet. (1) if the image is larger than the viewport it shrinks, if it's smaller, it leaves at at 1:1, (2) if the image is larger than the viewport it shrinks, if it's smaller, it enlarges (stretching proportionately). The 2 options are different in how they treat smaller images.
    – mpen
    Commented Jun 10, 2012 at 4:11
  • @Mark: I would find that confusing, whatever names you use. You're basically talking about "Shrink to Fit" and "Fit". Makes more sense if you either remove "Shrink to Fit" or add a fifth option, "Enlarge to Fit". Even if you don't think you need Enlarge, it will make it less confusing.
    – pdr
    Commented Jun 10, 2012 at 4:19
  • "Enlarge to Fit" would enlarge if smaller, leave at 1:1 if larger? Doesn't sound useful, but I guess it would provide a bit of symmetry. Good enough for me. Thanks for your help!
    – mpen
    Commented Jun 10, 2012 at 4:47

You are talking about two different concepts in your list: Zooming and Resizing. One just enlarges the view while the other alters the actual image.

Image editing software such as Photoshop and Paint use similar terminology as the following:

  1. Zoom to Fit Screen
  2. Resize to Fit Screen (enlarges image's width and height independently until they match the screen).
  3. Resize to Fit Screen with Constrain Proportions option/flag (resizes width and height in equal amounts until largest side fits viewing region)
  4. Actual Pixels ("Actual Size" is also an option).

I assume #4 in the question is a zoom option instead of a resize option.

  • I'm not altering the image; I can modify the viewport however I like, including stretching and rotating if I wanted. (2) does not actually change the aspect ratio, I mean the bigger image dimension should be touching the sides of the view port, while the other dimension has a gap. i.e., the image is as big as possible while still fitting. Your description of (3) sounds off too. The image will be the same size or bigger than the viewport. I'll update the question.
    – mpen
    Commented Jun 10, 2012 at 3:15

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