If there is a single time-saving tip that I could ever offer to any writer, student, professional or anyone else that needs to produce documents with images, it’s the ability to bulk-resize images.
When I first started writing online, I would resize all of my web page images individually, depending on the page that I was writing for. Some websites required an image width of 450 pixels. Others wanted 500. Still others wanted 600. My digital camera takes photos that are typically around 1,200 pixels wide, and the images you get off image sites range from 300 pixels all the way upwards of over 1,000.
When you have 7 to 14 images per document you’re producing, through through all dozen or so pictures and performing a resize operation can be very tedious and a total waste of time. Once I was entering into my third year of writing, I realized that the only way to succeed in this field is to streamline work. That meant, finding a much faster way to bulk resize images – a one-shot operation.
Thankfully, I found the perfect tool in irFanview. Here at MUO, we love IrFanview. Jimmy covered the app in 2008, Tina write about some cool plugins for IrFanview, and I’ve written about how to use the command-line feature of the software. Resizing and performing other operations on images in bulk is just one more area where IrFanview really excels.
Resizing Images in Bulk
If you use IrFanview, resizing anything from ten to hundreds of images is a breeze.
As an example, I’m going to show you how I recently converted over the images of the Philadelphia City Hall that I took on my trip in May to Philly. I needed these images to be around 450 pixels wide to center on my blog, but straight off my camera they are about 1,200 pixels wide.
As you can see from the raw list of photos that I downloaded off my camera, this resolution means the file size is pretty large – anything from half a megabyte to one megabyte per image. That just won’t do when you want your website page to have a fast page load speed.
To fix this, I needed to convert about 20 photos down to under 100KB each if possible, with a resolution of about 450 pixels wide. IrFanview provides you with a lot of choices to do this without losing much quality when the pictures are viewed online.
Resizing Images In IrFanview In 5 Steps
Performing this task is really easy, and once you get into the habit of using it, you’ll find that the time it takes to resize twenty images one at a time versus the time it takes to do a single five-step bulk-resize is easily cut down by 90%. You will love all of the extra time you have on your hands.
Assuming you have a directory filled with a bunch of huge images that you want to resize, you can get started by opening up the program (download a copy if you don’t have one yet), clicking on the “File” menu, and then selecting “Batch Conversion/Rename” from the list.
The page that comes up with appear somewhat complicated, with all sorts of selections, dropdown boxes and choices, but it really isn’t all that bad.
The second step is to tell the conversion tool where your source files are. You do this in the window to the upper right. Just click on the dropdown box where the “Look in” folder is displayed, and change that folder to the one where all of your large images are stored.
Either select the individual images you want to convert, or just click on “Add all” to grab them all. All of the images will show up in the lower text box. Those are the images that are going to be converted.
The third step is to tell the converter exactly what output format you want to use. Starting off at the upper left of the window, the first choice you have to cut down on the size of an image is to change the format. You can use the “Output format” dropdown list to do that. If my original is a PNG file, I almost always save it to JPG if I’m going to publish it online.
The fourth step is to tell the tool how to resize the image. You do this by clicking on the “Advanced” button (right under the “Options” button), and you’ll see a new window pop up with all of your options.
Here, you can set the width to whatever you like in pixels, cm or inches. Beyond resizing in bulk, this impressive tool also lets you change colors and effects, sharpening, changing brightness or cropping the images.
If you’re resizing, you can also choose to resize in percent rather than use an exact value. In some cases, this can produce better results, especially when you’re dealing with a lot of images in different portrait and landscape formats. It’s also a good idea to make sure “Preserve aspect ratio” is selected so that your images don’t get distorted in the resize process.
Click on OK and you’ll be back to the conversion tool main page again.
The last and final step in the batch conversion process is to set up the output path. Usually, I just create a directory called “small” inside the image directory. You can do this by clicking on the “Use current ‘look in’ directory” button. This saves you the trouble of retyping the entire path of your source images. Then, just type “\small” at the end.
You can keep the same name for the files by keeping the $N code in the Name Pattern box, or you can append numbers after the images by typing “$N###”, which will append 001, 002 and so on after your output image names.
Click on “Start Batch” and you should see the following conversion progress box pop-up, showing you an “…Ok” status after every image conversion.
Once you’re done, you should now see all of your newly resized images with a nice, low manageable file size.
In just a few clicks and a few seconds, you can convert all of those images in a fraction of the time. As you can imagine, this is one of those secret time-savers that all highly-productive people can make use of. So, give it a try yourself, and join the ranks of extremely productive people all around the world!
Do you bulk-resize? Do you use IrFanview or some other tool? Share your thoughts and insights in the comments section below.