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I'm supporting some non-techie users on Windows XP who are occasionally required to upload images to a web content management system. The source images come in many forms: JPEG, TIFF, EPS, etc. Before they can be uploaded they need to be resized to the right dimensions, occasionally cropped, and saved in web-friendly formats.

The computers they're using are a few years old and have 1GB of memory at best. A full featured editor like Photoshop or GIMP would not be a good option. I need something lightweight and easy to use.

What do you suggest?

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You probably don't want ImageMagick then, even though that's usually the right tool. –  Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams Jul 20 '10 at 18:02

7 Answers 7

Irfanview supports several image formats and is capable of resizing images to any required dimensions. It's pretty lightweight, and if you need additional formats to be supported, it has plug-ins that can be installed.

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+1 a good choice for non-technical folks, but if you want really lightweight, you could give them some bat files that use imagemagick :D –  DaveParillo Jul 21 '10 at 0:28

Give Paint.NET a try.

It's more powerful than Paint which comes with Windows XP but not as overwhelming as Photoshop or Gimp. It has similar layout to the older Paint application so users may already know how to use it.

I believe though that it doesn't read EPS format unfortunately, but it should read everything else you need.

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Check out the free Image Resizer PowerToy from Microsoft.

IIRC you can set your own custom size and resize a batch of images with a right click.

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I use XNView for this. It reads any image file format I've ever thrown at it and can be used in batch mode. For instance: take all the images in folder X regardless of format, resize to no more than 400px in either direction (only downsizing), apply a 10% sharpening filter, add a border, and save to jpeg in folder Y using the same filename and timestamp. Plus you can save the batch mode workflow as a script and share it with other people.

enter image description here

Here is an example xnview script for very large images downsizes in 4 steps, which generates better quality previews than downsizing in one. It wouldn't be very much fun to write, unless you're used to such things, but it was created by pushing buttons, testing the workflow, and then saving the results.

resize( 1 lanczos 50% 0% 0 1 0 )
resize( 1 lanczos 50% 0% 0 1 0 )
resize( 1 lanczos 50% 0% 0 1 0 )
resize( 1 lanczos 400 0 -1 1 0 )
sharpen( 10 )
settings( 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 )
output_path( P:\web_previews )
output( jpeg 85 0 0 0 0 0 1 )

enter image description here

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huh, not sure what happened. In the next-to-last edit the images were inline, now they're just links. {shrug} –  matt wilkie Jul 20 '10 at 22:43

Try FastStone Image Viewer. I used IrfanView for years until I tried the Image Viewer from FastStone. Since trying it, I wouldn't use anything else.

enter image description here

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Try www.pixlr.com Its a flash based website has lots of options, maybe too many for your users, but its pretty nice, and free. It allows you to create a new image, upload from your computer, or edit from a URL.

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Microsoft Paint. Honestly, it's a decent image editor considering it's built in. Cropping capabilities AND support for web-friendly formats (although BMP is the default).

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Unfortunately, the resize dialog is only designed to scale an image by percentage. It doesn't provide a way to enter the target dimensions in pixels. –  Patrick McElhaney Jul 21 '10 at 13:21

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