Super-Easily Make Images Smaller?
May 1, 2006 1:05 PM   Subscribe

I have a friend who at her job often needs to take 100 or so jpg pictures (at 800k or more a pop) from her digital camera, then zip and email them. How do I help automate the picture dimension reduction part of the process (the aim is to reduce filesize) to a very green newbie's level? Seen an ultra easy, uncluttered program to do this?

I could do a Photoshop "Action" and have her automate/batch process, etc. - but she's really computer illiterate and I would prefer something more foolproof than that... maybe a "put files in this folder and double-click this icon on your desktop" type of thing?)
posted by parma to Computers & Internet (15 answers total)
Microsoft Image Resizer Powertoy, free.
posted by kcm at 1:12 PM on May 1, 2006

What OS are we talking about? Macintosh? Windows?
posted by unixrat at 1:14 PM on May 1, 2006

Irfanview has batch processing that isn't too tough to understand once you run through it a couple times.
posted by rabbitsnake at 1:14 PM on May 1, 2006

Google's Picasa has some automated ways to do it, if you want to involve another app.
posted by inigo2 at 1:28 PM on May 1, 2006

On the Mac side, Photodrop would be just about perfect.

She'd still have to do the zip-up at the end (though I believe zip doesn't save much space with jpegs).
posted by adamrice at 1:36 PM on May 1, 2006

Do you need the full-size copy of the pictures at all? If not, I would say just adjust the image resolution in the camera to as low as possible, and/or crank up the in-camera JPG compression.
posted by Brian James at 1:41 PM on May 1, 2006

In Apple Mail, you can just drag the pictures onto your e-mail and pick Image Size: Small from the menu in the lower-right corner. Won't zip them, though. You could make an Automator action to do this pretty easily. But she's probably not using a Mac…
posted by designbot at 1:51 PM on May 1, 2006

You could write a batch file that calls the command line tools from ImageMagick to automatically resize and the command line zip to create the zip. Then the person just puts the photos in a folder, clicks on the batch file, and in a few moments a .zip file will exist in some predefined location.
posted by Rhomboid at 2:06 PM on May 1, 2006

Just to make something clear: the JPG files coming from the camera are already compressed. The only way to make them smaller is either to reduce the quality or to reduce the physical size in pixels.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 3:05 PM on May 1, 2006

kcm has it right, use the image resizer will do a whole directory full of images with a simple highlight and right click.
posted by jduckles at 3:15 PM on May 1, 2006

I'm going to recommend the Image Resizer Powertoy too, I use it all the time and I've got my Dad to use it too so he can email me the photos too.

It's non destructive and so easy to use!
posted by daveirl at 3:19 PM on May 1, 2006

Incidentally, there is not much gain in zip-compressing a JPEG image. JPEG is, itself, already a compressed format which takes bloat out of the file. You can't gain much by compressing an already-compressed file.

However, it is a convenient way to wrap up a bunch of images into one file. If that convenience matters, keep doing it. Otherwise, I'd say skip that step.
posted by scarabic at 3:50 PM on May 1, 2006

If you're willing to skip the zipping part, you can do this in Windows XP without installing any software at all. Just select all the pictures you want to send (with click, shift-click, ctrl-click) then right-click on any one of them and select Send To->Mail Recipient.

Windows will offer to resize them before attaching them to the outgoing mail, and it does a pretty good job.
posted by flabdablet at 4:18 PM on May 1, 2006

It's not got the world's greatest support, and it's not free, but the latest version of Stuffit (available for Mac and PC) can compress JPEGs by approx 20-22% with no loss in quality. Either instead of or after resizing.

There's nothing in Deluxe that's worth getting that works, so just grab the Standard trial and go from there.
posted by krisjohn at 4:27 PM on May 1, 2006

Brian James has the best solution requiring the least work. Most digital cameras have picture size and quality settings that will do this perfectly. As long she doesn't need full-res pictures at some later time then why even take them?
posted by JJ86 at 6:13 AM on May 2, 2006

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