I want to be able to drag and drop images on an application(icon) which preferably doesn't run. This application has to resize the images to 600x450px and drop them somewhere.

I already created an Automator action which does exactly that but the quality is less then stellar compared to having it resized via the Preview-function or Photoshop. Below you can find an example pictures resized in Automator and Photoshop.

While there are Photoshop Automator Actions http://www.robotphotoshop.com/?page_id=8 they aren't compatible with Photoshop CS6 yet.

So for now I'm looking for something else which does the job with good quality and compression.

Automator resized picture Automator resized picture

Photoshop resized picture Photoshop resized picture


You could also use ImageMagick in an Automator application:

/usr/local/bin/mogrify -filter Lanczos2 -resize 500x -format jpg -quality 96 -path ~/Desktop/ "$@"

The default filter for downscaling images is Triangle, which often makes images look too blurry without additional sharpening in my opinion. Triangle is similar to the resizing methods used by Automator and sips. I usually use Lanczos2 (2-lobe Lanczos), which makes images less sharp than Lanczos (Lanczos3 or 3-lobe Lanczos). Lanczos2 is almost identical to Catrom, and it is also similar to the bicubic option in Photoshop.

You can add sharpening with something like -sharpen 0x0.4+0.8. 0 sets an automatic radius for the convolution kernel, 0.4 is the radius, and 0.8 is the amount.

You can compare the different filters with a command like this:

for f in Bartlett Blackman Bohman Box Catrom Gaussian Hanning Hermite Lagrange Lanczos Lanczos2 Mitchell Parzen Point Robidoux Sinc Spline Triangle Welsh; do convert -filter $f -resize 50% input.png $f.png; done

I uploaded a comparison of different resizing options at http://lri.me/upload/imagemagick-osx-resizing/.


  • Oh, I wasn't aware of that. Sorry. I'll keep that in mind. Thanks for the heads-up :) – Der Hochstapler Jul 17 '12 at 17:31

Pixelmator supports Automator, but I do not know the quality of the results.


Have a look at TurboTool for just another way to create a Drag&Drop solution from a command line program with ImageMagick.

On the website you'll find a Quick Example to resize an image.

Hope it helps.


I develop a batch image resizing tool called ImageXY that will do just this. Drag-drop images from the Finder or direct from iPhoto onto the icon and it will resize them according to a preset. You can set the resize quality so you can go for quality or smaller file sizes.

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