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Mom asked me to scan in a bunch of photos for her previously, and I scanned them in as PNG files; namely because most any software package can read them, and they don't throw away any of the photo's color information. However, it seems most mini photo labs (where Mom is trying to get these printed; e.g. at a Walgreens) don't have the capability to read PNGs (a fact that blows my mind). If I were to do this myself, I'd probably fire up Bridge or Lightroom and have that software do the job for me, but Mom doesn't have licenses for these expensive software packages.

Simple search results in either online conversion tools (which she cannot practically use because her internet is too slow to comfortably upload multi megabyte PNGs), or.... "hokey" image conversion tools that all seem to want to charge $20 for the privilege. I could send her to something like the GIMP but that's an insanely complicated piece of software I'm not sure she'll be comfortable using.

What should I tell her to do? (I have to explain it over the phone)

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4 Answers 4

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Windows Paint has the capability of opening PNG files and saving them as JPEGs. It should be as simple as opening the image in paint, and choosing "Save As..." from the File menu. This may be a bit tedious if there are many photos to convert, but for a handful it shouldn't be too bad.

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  1. Right mouse button on the file you wish to convert and choose "Edit". The file should open in Microsoft Paint which comes built-in with Windows systems. If that's not your default photo editing software you can also choose "Paint" under the "Open With" Menu.

enter image description here

  1. Click on the "File" menu and choose "Save As". enter image description here

  2. Under "Save as type", Select "JPEG (.JPG;.JPEG;.JPE;.JFIF)" and save the file to your chosen location (e.g. Desktop/My Documents). enter image description here

All done! I hope that helped.

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I had a similar situation at work, someone wanted a simple way to resize images to attach to emails. I installed Irfanview on their machine and wrote a command line command to do the conversion, I then added the command as an item on the context menu for image files.

Now all they have to do it right-click on the file and select "Resize to 50%" or "Resize to 25%", the image will be resized and saved as a new file.

Also, lossless JPEG would have been a better choice for continuous tone images.

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Imagemagick has a Windows build (well, Cygwin or MinGW). You could write a simple batch file to convert them all at once, then just make her run it.

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I was going to recommend this also, but with using TeamViewer. Easier than explaining. –  KCotreau Jul 27 '11 at 2:21

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