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What app are you using to view the photo once you have it on the desktop?
Ok, it sounds like you are probably using the Preview app to view the image if you are just double-clicking on the file once it's on the desktop.
Try this and see if it works for you;
Locate a photo on the desktop you wish to open
When it's open go up to the menu bar at the very top of the screen and choose "View"
then choose "Zoom to Fit" from the drop-down menu. Alternatively, you can try pressing Command and 9 at the same time or Command and "-" at the same time to make the image smaller on screen.
Ok, you do have an alternative and that is to Export the images from iPhoto instead of dragging them. Rather than merely changing how you see the photo, this will actually resize the photo itself.
Select the photo(s) you wish to export
Choose "File" from the menu bar at the very top of the screen and choose "Export..." from the drop-down menu.
In the new window that appears, you should see a section for "Size". You should have the option for Small, Medium, and Large. You may wish to play around with these to find the size best suited for your task.
No, sadly there is not in iPhoto itself. iPhoto stores the original picture in the same size as it was taken by your camera and when you drag and drop them to the desktop it preserves this. The only way to modify it for multiple images is to select them and export.
However, you may wish to check your camera to see if there is an option that might have been or could be changed in regard to the size (resolution) of the photos you are taking.
Also, there is no time limit on assistance. You can return to this question at any time for more help. If I'm not online, I will reply as soon as I return to work.
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You are very welcome! Good luck!