Previously called “VSO Image Resizer,” the “Light Image Resizer” tool helps save time for those that constantly modify images on their computer. This is especially handy for bloggers and web site owners that want to create custom sized images quickly, and do things like add watermarks or copyrights to their images. You can work with files individually or in batches.

You simply select an image, a group of images, or a folder full of images (and you can specify in the settings whether to include sub folders as well), then you right-click and choose “Light Image Resizer” (or drag the images into the software if it’s already open), pick a pre-set or custom profile and process the images with a click.

The software is completely free for personal use and around $20 for business use. It works as a Windows shell extension, meaning that is available in context (right-click) menus.

To Stop The AdWare From Installing Be Sure To Use The Custom Installation Option

The setup process is simple and is like any other Windows software with the “next” and “ok” and “agree to the terms” options. And like most freeware it attempts to add AddWare to your computer (which in general could possibly make you a target for CPV pop-under advertising among other things).

It’s up to you if you want “PriceGong” (that helps you compare prices while shopping online) installed. I personally opted out. To opt out click “Custom Installation” and uncheck “PriceGong,” before clicking Next on the “Choose Installation Type” screen.

There are other screens of “free” tools for you. I unchecked them and clicked Decline. I chose to also “decline” the next few options that came up. The main software gets installed but the AdWare does not. I know that installing the AdWare helps to support free software, but so does buying a licence.

Creating Profiles For Image Manipulation

There are plenty of pre-set profiles that will run a set of commands on an image or selected images. Many are setup for optimal resizing for specific applications or devices. We also have the option to create our own or modify an existing one. You will find the profiles under the “Options” tab.

There are a few different modes. “Fit” and “Crop” are of particular interest to me. “Fit” maintains the aspect ratio (i.e. no stretching or skewing of the image will occur), and “Crop” will remove some of the image content around the edges.

You can tell the software to only make images smaller. In other words if you want to make a 640×480 image but there is one that is 320×240 in the batch, it will not create the image unless the “Always Resize,” or “Only enlarge” policy is set.

Convert A Batch Of Images To A New File Format

You can convert images to other formats on the fly as well. So for example, if you are working with a screen capture tool that creates PNGs, you can have it run a command to convert the resultant image to JPG format. Different format options include: BMP, GIF, PNG, TIFF, PSD, etc.

Using tags you can rename the resultant images to include things like: the width and height, any EXIF information, consectuive numbers (when working with bathes) and so on.

The default and probably most preferred action is to resize the images and create copies within the destination folder. You can also resize and delete the originals, or move the originals (after resizing) into a new folder. You can compress (zip) the results, convert them to PDF, or share them on Facebook after a resize. There is a preview option before comitting to a set of resize actions.

Choose From A Variety Of Effects And Other Options Including Grayscale, Color Inversion, And Sepia

The resized images can also take on a whole new set of characteristics. There are effects that can be applied to do a variety of things. You can integrate a text or image watermark and choose its placement. You can also add borders to images, and apply different color effects including sepia, grayscale, and invert the colors for a completely different look.

You have the option for the images to convert to portrait on the fly, and to keep the source date for the images rather than use the “now” timestamp.

In Conclusion

Light Image Resizer is productivity tool. It makes the life of a web master a lot easier, and it can potentially save a bundle of time like Auto Hotkey (which essentially lets you run batch computer commands and spit out dynamic or static ouput using various keystrokes).

Even if not using the batch image resizing, compare the time it takes to manipulate single images files using a free software tool like GIMP.

With Light Image Resizer you simply right click an image, several images, or a folder of images and click “Light Image Resizer,” choose a pre-set profile and click “Process.” There are post commands and extra effects than can happen automatically as well. Sure, it’d be nice to be able to select a “profile” from the context menu but it still offers a very quick way to manipulate images including advanced manipulation options.

Besides the sneaky AdWare that might make make it on your system (and hopefully flag your SpyWare or AntiVirus software if so), I really have very little to complain about this application. Even when paying $20 this tool is of great value and worth every penny.

Stop Resizing An Image The Long Way

Now, to resize an image in GIMP without any extra features (like watermarks, etc.) we have to:

– Right-click an image
– Click “Edit with GIMP”
– Click “Image” >> “Scale Image…” after the software loads
– Specify a width and/or height (rather than have it pre-selected in a profile)
– Click “Scale”
– Click “File” >> “Export…”

… and so on…

It depends on the file type what options exist from there, but the point is that a lot of the steps are redundant. Sure, GIMP is a great tool and it serves its purpose, but for some tasks there is often a better way. For single file or bulk image resizing and advanced manipulation with just a click or two (maybe three) I like Light Image Resizer.