If you’re a Windows user looking for a nice and fast, easy to use batch image resizer (that also has a few other nice features), then the FastStone Photo Resizer is a good place to start your search. I looked at it a few times over the past couple of days, and really like what I see. I’m not a full-time Windows user, but if I do find myself in need of resizing a few images, using this would certainly be a faster process than booting back into Linux to get the job done.
First, FastStone Photo Resizer does more than simply resize images. And that’s good, because most image viewers, and every image editor, can do that. Where FastStone Photo Resizer really shines is in everything it does surrounding that task. But first, the basics.
Using FastStone Photo Resizer is really easy. When you open it up you’ll see a file browser on the left. Use this to navigate to the photos you want to resize. Select the ones you want and add them to the batch list on the right. Immediately, this is a nice feature, as it allows you to grab images that are scattered all over your computer, and not just a single directory.
Once you’ve selected the images you want to resize, choose the output format and directory. You can choose from among JPEG, BMP, GIF, PNG, TIFF and JPEG2000 for formats, and FastStone Photo Resizer can place your resized images in a completely new directory, or can replace the originals. The resizing options are in the advanced options, and can be done by percentage or by exact dimensions.
Beyond resizing and converting to different formats, FastStone Photo Resizer has the ability to rename your images. This is useful if you want a modified image placed in the same folder as the original image, but don’t want the original to be replaced. You can rename your images according to existing templates, or can create your own. You could choose to add the date and time to a modified image, or simply use the old title with “-resized” or “-modified” attached, to differentiate it from the original.
I mentioned features beyond resizing. The above batch renaming qualifies as one, as does the ability (while resizing), to crop your images, change their color depth, add text, border effects, and more. For people wanting a simple image resizer, FastStone Photo Resizer works well. For people wanting something a little more powerful, FastStone Photo Resizer works equally well.
What I appreciated about how FastStone Photo Resizer presents itself is that the basic features are available from the standard interface; if you want the extras, they’re “hidden” in the Advanced Options. This is a good move, and one I wish would be taken by heart to a variety of programs. There’s an old adage about powerful software (such as MS Word), that says that 80 percent of all users only use 20 percent of the features. And while that may or may not be true, I like that the “popular” 20 percent are in plain view, while the other 80 percent of the features are still available, just not cluttering up the interface.
A program like FastStone Photo Resizer, even with its added features, is never going to replace a full-featured image editor. What it will do, however, is save you the time you would spend opening that advanced image editor, when all you want to do is a couple quick edits. And for that reason alone, I think FastStone Photo Resizer is worth keeping around.