When you have lots of files to process and edit, opening each file individually, selecting the necessary operation and saving the result can be laborious, This is where a batch photo editor comes in. Because decisions are made for the entire batch rather than each photo, operations can be carried out on multiple photographs at once. In this walkthrough, we’ll be using a freeware utility called FastStone Photo Resizer 3, which does much more than resizing. Download it from vwvw.faststone.org and follow the instructions to install it.
1) Launch FastStone Photo Resizer from the Windows Start menu. The Batch Convert tab will be shown by default, and we’ll be using this throughout. In the left pane, navigate to the folder that contains the photos you want to edit. The filenames of all the photos in that folder will be listed, but you’ll probably prefer to see thumbnails, so click on the Thumbnail View icon.
2) In the left pane, select the photos you want to edit and click the Add button to move them to the right pane, which houses the files pending changes. If you want to edit all the files in your selected folder, click on the Add All button. You can do this in several stages, from multiple folders, if you wish. Click the Browse button next to the Output Folder: text box below the right pane. Select the folder where you want your edited files to appear – preferably a different folder to the one containing the original files. Select one of the photos in the right pane, or you won’t be able to preview the result in Step 5.
3) To do anything other than renaming your photos, ensure the Use Advanced Options (Resize…) option is ticked. Click the Advanced Option button; here you can specify 10 operations to use individually or in combination. We’ll look at three of the most common. To reduce the resolution, select the Resize tab and ensure that the Resize option is ticked to reveal the controls. Assuming that you have a size in pixels in mind, make sure that the In Pixels option is selected. If you want a common size such as 800×600, select it from the drop-down list. If this is the only editing you want to perform, click on OK and proceed to Step 6.
4) If you want to rotate your photos – maybe because you took them in portrait rather than landscape format – then select the Rotate tab and ensure that the Rotate/Flip option is ticked to reveal the necessary controls. For rotation, you need to tick the Rotate option and select the angle, which will normally be either -90 or 90.
5) To change the brightness of an image – perhaps because you accidentally under- or over-exposed a batch of photos – select the Adjustments tab and ensure that the Adjust Brightness, Contrast, Gamma, Saturation, Sharpness… option is ticked to reveal the controls. These options need fine-tuning by eye, so click on the Design and Preview button to display the Preview dialog box. Adjust brightness using the slider or by typing in a value. The After thumbnail in the top-left corner will change to reflect the changes you make; to see changes reflected on the larger image, click and hold down the Hold Down to Preview button. When you’re satisfied with the result, click on Close and OK on the Advanced Options dialog box.
6) It’s good practice to use a different filename for your edited files, so tick the Rename option that appears below the right-hand pane. Using a combination of symbols, you can specify how you want your files renamed; various preset names appear in the Rename menu. You can also type your own – click on the ? button to see what the symbols mean. Type ‘*-Web Resolution’ and the new photos will have the same filenames as the originals, but with ‘*-Web Resolution’ added to the end. Select the Output Format and click the Convert button to carry out the specified operations on your files.