Batch Image Processing

I have a large number of hi resolution bitmaps which need processing.  Each image is 24 bit and 1000 x 1000 pixels or higher with the size and relative dimensions of the images varying)

Each of the images need to be converted to a fixed size jpg (eg 300 x 400 pixels)

Each image needs to be centrally cropped to the correct relative dimensions (eg 3:4), and then saved as a jpeg with the correct size in pixels (eg 300 x 400).

I have some sets of photos with just 20 pictures, but at other times I have 300 or more which need converting.

If I could specify a source directory, a saved task and an output directory then that would be ideal.

Someone told me that photoshop could probably do this.  Can it cope with this type of task?

Would I be right in saying that the LE version of photoshop cannot do batch processing?

Is there another package which is not as complex (perhaps a utility which can be purchased) which would still do the job.

It doesn't matter if it takes a long time because quality is more important than speed. They're product promo photos so quality is important.  LPF processing is required like MS photodraw (v2) not sub sampling like MS photo editor (v3.01) which results in visible aliasing effects.

The less clicking that a user has to do then the better.  It would be ideal if the computer can get on with the job unattended.

The computer to do this can have win98, winme or win2k.

Who is Participating?
weedConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Photoshop would handle this type of task just fine. I actually have a Photoshop action to cope with exactly this and i use it on a regular basis. I dont think PS LE would do it but you should check with the Adobe website for that information. No programming necessary.

Have you tried using Pain Shop Pro for this.

I'm not sure about the Cropping of the Images - this I think will have to be done manually - but there is a batch conversion menu option which will allow you to convert any number of images from BMP fromat to JPEG format in one go.

It can certainly handle this -

If I could specify a source directory, a saved task and an output directory then that would be ideal.

What you want is too specific, you wont find an application to do this task.. You'll have to do some development..

You can either build an application (ex: using Visual Basic) or build a script.. If you dont know VB, then your only choice is to design a script..

I know CorelDraw and PhotoShop both have built-in script capabilities.. Or, you can use a universal macro-editting application like Automate:

What I did for myself ('cause I have hundreds of images to process too): I built a tiny application with VB which takes an input directory and an output directory. When I click on "Start", it reads every picture-filename in the input directory, stores their path in the Windows registry and launch an Automate script (yes, you can start a script from VB). The script reads every path one by one, open the image, execute a set of transformation (a bunch of mouse click events sent to the application, Paint Shop Pro in my case) and then saves the picture back to a different format.

VB -> Automate -> Paint Shop Pro

Paint shop pro is easy to use and Automate even esier. For VB, I could send you my application since it is only finding files..

This is just a suggestion, maybe learning CorelDraw scripting would be easier.. ;-)
Get 10% Off Your First Squarespace Website

Ready to showcase your work, publish content or promote your business online? With Squarespace’s award-winning templates and 24/7 customer service, getting started is simple. Head to and use offer code ‘EXPERTS’ to get 10% off your first purchase.

kneeaAuthor Commented:
Paint Shop Pro is on my list of software to try out so I will give that a go. I often have to write programs to sort out a variety of tasks so some scripting might be ok.  If scripting is a possibility then I could create a special server which anyone on the local net could then use to perform this task.

BMP to jpg conversion is quite easy and I've lost count of the number of programs we have that can do that.  It's the automatic scaling and cropping that is really difficult.

I think however that photshop is the only one which can cope.

I will be trying things out in the week ahead and will let you know how I get on.  I will have a go with the LE version of paintshop which we have somewhere and will see what it has.  I'm pretty sure though that paintshop is the only one which will work.

I tried two places this last couple of days looking for photoshop and they were both out of stock.  It looks like I might have to order direct from adobe.

Thanks for the help.  I will get back to you soon and will award points according to which one works - both if necessary.

Photoshop will create action "droplets" that will process the conversion (size, and format change, etc) when files are dropped on it. Of course Photohsop has to be installed for this to work.
>I think however that photshop is the only one which can cope.

PaintShop Pro 7 can crop the image, it is the fourth button in the toolbar I guess.. But, the problem with Paintshop Pro is that you wont be able to automate the process.. That's why you would have to use an external macro-editting application like "Automate" (btw, developping a macro with Automate is not programming, you just click on actions you want it to perform, etc.. see this picture: )

On the other side, Photoshop (and Corel draw) have a built-in custom-action development feature.. And it would probably give you more flexibility for controlling the image..

Picture Publisher is also very good at this kind of batch work. And if you need to purchase, it's a bit cheaper than Photoshop.
I agree with sbentley, Micrografx Picture Publisher is just perfect for batch jobs.
Evaluation version available here:
JASC (makers of PaintShop Pro) have a batch editing program called Image Robot. Go to their site for a free download. You can crop/resize/convert and otherwise adjust images with it...
kneeaAuthor Commented:
I have just purchased the corel draw 10 upgrade and will be checking it out over the next few days.  I tend to use just the line drawing parts of corel draw and not the photo parts - I've been using version 4 for years and never upgraded!

I have downloaded picture publisher to try it out and will download both the JASC products to check them out too.  Image robot sounds like it might be up to the job and will be much easier than trying to write my own routines etc.

The LE edition of photoshop does not do the batch processing the full version is needed.  It will be purchased at some point in the near future, but I think I have enough to keep me busy for the moment.

I will know which ones work and which is best by the end of the week.  (At the moment I would guess that corel draw looks like it could be the winner.)

Thanks for the help, will get back to all of you with the results as soon as I have them.

Came across your query. have you had a look at the freeware "irfanview". This has a batch convert function with a whole host of parameters including file type, size, crop, etc. You'll find it on tucows or similar
Please update and finalize this question.

Experts .... if no response in 7 days, please comment here with recommendations so I can close this item.

kneea, you have points waiting for you as well.

EE Moderator
ZERO response, finalized.
Moondancer - EE Moderator
Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.

All Courses

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.