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Twitter Headers Tutorial: How to Edit Cover Images

Creating Custom Pictures for Twitter Profile Pages

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Twitter header

Adding a Twitter header image

©Twitter

Twitter headers for profile pages were introduced in September 2012 as part of a major site redesign and have since become an important part of the look and feel of user pages on Twitter.com.

"Twitter header" refers to the large horizontal image at the top of each user's profile page, which users can customize.

The latest recommended size for header images -- as of mid-2014 -- is 1500 pixels wide and 500 pixels tall. But the actual dimensions displayed will vary based on the monitor size and screen resolution of those viewing the headers.

Design changes announced in September 2012 for the first time gave each Twitter user a big header image and more room to personalize the look of their Twitter profile page. Before that time, there was no big image, just a small profile photo  displayed inside a little box at upper left on the user's home page/profile page on Twitter.com.

Now a small profile photo appears to the lower left at the top of the profile page, partially superimposed on the header image  ( the recommended size for profile photos is 400 pixels by 400 pixels.) Below the profile picture is a short list of info about the user, including

  • the user's name
  • the user's Twitter handle
  • web address
  • short bio

 

Twitter Headers: Recommended Size is 1500 x 500 Pixels

When it debuted in 2012, the custom Twitter header graphic was initially recommended to be 1200 pixels wide by 600 pixels in height (Twitter's recommendation for the optimal dimensions.) File size was capped at 5 megabytes.

But Twitter enlarged that header image in April 2014, issuing a  new minimum recommended size for cover photos -- 1500 pixels wide and 500 pixels tall. Essentially, it got  wider and a little shorter.

Even though the minimum recommended header image size is 1500 by 500, you can upload images significantly larger. Twitter will make them smaller when displaying them on devices with small screens, but uploading a bigger size will help the cover image look much better for people viewing the network on large computer monitors.

The largest possible file size for headers remained the same after the 2014 design changes-- 5 megabytes.

The full display area for the header will be a bit shorter than the image you can upload -- 400 pixels high, not 500 -- because Twitter covers a portion of the top of the header image(100 pixels)  with a menu bar. The header will appear in different sizes on users' screens, though, depending on the size of their monitor and screen resolution.

You can upload a larger image and crop it with Twitter's tool to fit the actual header size, or you can crop the image before uploading it. Twitter recommends uploading a larger image if you have it. The web display image may be smaller, but if Twitter increases the size later, you'll be better off if you've uploaded a large image.

 

How to Add a Custom Header Image

Here are the steps to take to upload a header image on Twitter:
  • Click the gear/settings icon in the horizontal menu at the top of every page on Twitter.com
  • Click "Edit Profile" beneath your Twitter name in the drop-down menu
  • Click the "Change Header" button
  • Select the image you want to use from a folder on your computer and upload it.

Background Images on Twitter

Some people may also want to coordinate their headers with a custom Twitter background image since the background image appears around the edges of each user's home page and also on their @mentions tab.  But your custom background image no longer shows to other users because it no longer appears on your profile page.

After the 2014 design changes, Twitter stopped showing background images on profile pages, which are typically public. They now show mainly in the private areas viewed by individual users, such as their timeline of tweets and @mention pages. Therefore, background images became a little less important on Twitter.

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