Jun 092011
 

Resize one or more pictures automatically with a tiny free program – Image Resizer for Windows. XP users always had the ability to resize one or more pictures with a tiny free add-on from Microsoft called the Image Resizer powertoy.

It was perfect for resizing pictures easily and quickly e.g. making them smaller to store them or send via email/upload to Facebook etc. The main benefit was that you could resize pictures without needing to open a bloated image editor program and resize them manually.

The Image Resizer powertoy could resize 50 pictures in seconds whereas doing the same thing in an image editor could take you 20 minutes! Considering the massive size of pictures produced by modern digital cameras, such a useful utility is needed even more now. Unfortunately, Microsoft never bothered updating it to work with Vista or Windows 7…

Image Resizer For Vista And 7 – There are several free alternatives available for Vista and 7 but the best we have used is Image Resizer for Windows (it also works with XP). Follow the link and click on the Download button then download and install the 32-bit or 64-bit version of the program.

Tip: If you do not know which to choose, see our article how to tell if your Windows is 32-bit or 64-bit.

How To Use Image Resizer – Just like the XP powertoy, once installed it lets you resize one or more selected image files directly from Windows Explorer (Computer) – right-clicking on the image file(s) you have selected displays a new menu option of ‘Resize Pictures’ as shown below:

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Selecting that option displays the main program window. Click the Advanced button to reveal the full menu below:

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Here you can choose the size you want for your picture(s) from a set list or choose Custom to create your own size e.g. 1024×768 if you prefer a 4:3 rather than widescreen ratio. You can tick the box if you want to make sure that pictures are never enlarged (which may reduce the quality), only made smaller if possible.

By default, Image Resizer will create a new copy of each picture – it will not alter the original e.g. if you resize a picture called sheep.jpg to a Large size (1920×1080), the new (resized) picture will be called sheep(Large).jpg but the original will be left alone as sheep.jpg

We recommend NOT ticking the ‘Resize the original pictures…’ box as otherwise your original picture will be overwritten and you cannot revert back to it if you are not happy with the new size. This box is unticked by default which is fine.

Advantages Compared To The XP Powertoy

Although Image Resizer for Windows looks and works almost exactly the same as the Microsoft powertoy for XP it has several big advantages:

1. It will remember your preferences e.g. which size you picked – great if you always want the same size.

2. It offers higher (larger) default sizes for pictures and they are widescreen sizes which are more suited to cameras and monitors nowadays e.g. The ‘Large’ setting in the XP Powertoy was the old 4:3 ratio of 1024×768 but here it is now the full HD widescreen resolution of 1920×1080.

3. It works under XP, Vista and 7 and has 32-bit and 64-bit versions.

Conclusion

If you are still using the XP Powertoy we recommend swapping to use the Image Resizer for Windows instead to take advantage of these extra features. For Vista and 7 users it is a no brainer – well worth installing.

As for Microsoft – why did they not bother to include such a simple but important feature as this in Vista and Windows 7? It should so clearly have been an integral part of the operating system itself.

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