SUMMARY: Batch resizing GIF screen shots

Subject: SUMMARY: Batch resizing GIF screen shots
From: "Derk Ederveen" <ederveen -at- hotmail -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Date: Sun, 26 Mar 2000 21:37:56 GMT

This is the summary I promised about my question how to
batch reduce the size of multiple 16 color GIF screen shots.

The following programs were recommended:

Mentioned two times:
- IrfanView (http://www.softwarecenter.net/irfanview/)
http://stud1.tuwien.ac.at/~e9227474/)
- JASC Image Robot (http://www.jasc.com);
part of earlier versions of PaintShop Pro
- ImageMagick (http://www.wizards.dupont.com/cristy/ImageMagick.html)

Mentioned once:
- Adobe PhotoShop
- Corel PhotoPaint
- ThumbsPlus (http://www.cerious.com/)
- WinBatch (http://www.windowware.com)
- GraphicWorkshop95 (http://www.mindworkshop.com)
- Macromedia Fireworks 3

Tips:
- Resizing using (probably?) Microsoft Word
(John Posada <jposada01 -at- yahoo -dot- com>)
- Use VBA automation
(Jack DeLand <jdeland -at- ford -dot- com>)
- Resize to 50% only works best
(Rica Shepardson <rica -dot- shepardson -at- loftware -dot- com>)

See the original mails below for more information on one of the above programs or tips.

Thanks very much to everyone who replied! I'll check out all your suggestions during the
next few days.

Derk Ederveen <ederveen -at- hotmail -dot- com>
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From: Rusten Hogness <hogness -at- snowcrest -dot- net>

If, by chance, you happen to have PhotoShop (pricey, I know, and probably
not worth it just for batch processing), it's easy to create a batch job
that will, for example, take take any specified folder of screen shots,
size them all to the same width, sharpen them (which generally makes the
re-sized images much clearer), and save them to a specified output folder
(optionally changing formats, compression, etc.).

It's what I've done for our screen shots to make HTML-Help-ready GIFs. I'd
be happy to help out if you go that route.

Rusten Hogness
The HogWorks
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From: "Terry Barron" <tbarron -at- systems -dot- dhl -dot- com>

This touches on a nut I've been trying to crack for months:
How to resize bitmap or gif screen shots and not degrade the
image too badly.

Could you explain a little more about increasing the number of
colors? Do you increase the colors from 16 to 32, then resize with
resampling, then reduce colors? Does this keep the resized graphics
from becoming fuzzy?

As an experiment, I tried to do something like what you describe
in Photoshop, but I must have gotten it all wrong. The results
were really poor. (The only way I could think of to increase the
colors in a 16-color gif was to "Save for Web", then "Load
Color Table".)

I also tried PowerPoint method, and found the results were
marginally better than resizing a native screenshot in
Photoshop.

FWIW, in Photoshop 4 or higher, you can create automated
functions by recording a series of actions. The saved action
can be used with the Batch command.

~~~ Terry
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From: Ralph -dot- Maciejewski -at- bacon-woodrow -dot- com

Here are two apps which should get you out of your fix.
One costs more than the other. Guess which one..

- JASC Image Robot (download an evaluation from www. jasc.com)
- IrfanView (download a copy from http://www.softwarecenter.net/irfanview

Both allow you create a script that can automate the resizing process,
If you're handy with VBA macros then you can use the VBA command line option to
get the app to run the script during the D2H post -preliminary operation.

Ralph
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From: Tony Stevens <tonys -at- turnkey -dot- com -dot- au>

You should have a look at ImageMagick:
http://www.wizards.dupont.com/cristy/ImageMagick.html
They are command line programs, so they require a bit of setup, but the
system is remarkably comprehensive, and completely free!

Tony Stevens
Turn-Key Systems
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From: "Les Johnson" <mistycr1 -at- pop2 -dot- intergate -dot- bc -dot- ca>

For tools both Adobe PhotoShop and Corel PhotoPaint can do batch file
manipulation (like resizing).
If you require that the files receive more 'treatment' than a resize
it should be possible to do from both packages.
Though I must admit a personal pref for Corel.
The scripting language it uses is fully open to the user,
unlike Adobe's Actions palette.
This means, if you spent the time to learn a bit of, agh, programming,
you could get PhotoPaint to to just about anything within reason.

Les J
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From: Philip Sharman <psharman -at- verity -dot- com>

We use ThumbsPlus to do this.
They have a demo you can download to try it out, at http://www.cerious.com//

Philip.
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From: Anne Magee <magee -at- caris -dot- com>

There's a freeware image viewer called Irfanview that will batch
resize/resample images.
You can get it at http://stud1.tuwien.ac.at/~e9227474/. It will handle
the first two items on your list.

As for better results, I have no idea. Screen shots usually contain
small text and thin lines and these things don't reduce well. I try to
capture the object at the proper size (if it's a resizeable window). If
that's not possible, a certain blurriness is inevitable. Sometimes
sharpening will help.

A Magee, Technical Writer
Core Division, CARIS
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From: "David M. Brown" <dmbrown -at- brown-inc -dot- com>

Earlier versions of Paint Shop Pro include a product called Jasc Image Robot
that provided a reasonable batch-processing front end to PSP.

I'm still using PSP 5.0, and I know Image Robot came with an even earlier
version. 4.x versions of PSP are still available--for example, Allaire offers
one free with HomeSite.

David M. Brown - Brown Inc.
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From: John Posada <jposada01 -at- yahoo -dot- com>

Here's what I did. I'm creating a test document where
the approach I'm takin is that if you do X steps,
Y screen is displayed. Therefore, I have a series of
screens, all different size.

1) I used Snagit to capture the screen to a gif
2) I created a table with the column width the size
that I wanted to make each graphic. In your case, make
one 430 pixels across, then make the column that size.
3) I made the column left justified.
4) I imported the graphics.
5) I clicked once on each graphic, grabbed the upper
right corner of the image, and dragged it so that the
graphic went from edge to edge.
Now, all the graphics, regardless of their original
size, were the same width.
6) Clicking on each graphic once, I could copy to
clipboard and paste the graphic into anything I
wanted.

John Posada, Merck Research Laboratories
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From: "Mallett, Roger (TcnIrv)" <RMallett -at- Triconex -dot- com>

Use WinBatch from www.windowware.com
You can download a fully functional version that is absolutely the best
automation tool available to windows. I use it for everything.
WinBatch is a perfect solution to your need and any future needs like it.

Roger Mallett
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From: "DeLand, Jack (J.E.)" <jdeland -at- ford -dot- com>

This is a problem that begs for a VBA automation solution, especially if
you're using PowerPoint. Visio is great for VBA control, but I have no idea
about how it might help in this particular case.

Jack DeLand
Webmaster, Ford Enterprise Application Architecture
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From: "Schmidt, Gunther" <Gunther -dot- Schmidt -at- maxcess -dot- de>

check out Image Magick. It's a graphics utility package for Uniux, Linux
etc., but it has been ported to Windows 9x/NT too. It has a lot of features
and comes with a comprehensive user manual. Image Magick can be found at
http://www.wizards.dupont.com/cristy/ImageMagick.html.

Gunther Schmidt
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From: "Manhaeve Hendrik 557052008" <hendrik -dot- manhaeve -dot- 708 -at- b-rail -dot- be>
This can be done uising GraphicWorkshop 95.
The tool can be found at www.mindworkshop.com and it is shareware

Rik Manhaeve
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From: "Jessica N. Lange" <jlange -at- oee -dot- com>

Fireworks 3 can do this. From their online help:
"Batch processing is a convenient way to automatically
convert a group of graphic files. When batch processing,
choose from these options:
- Convert a selection of files to another format.
- Convert a selection of files to the same format
with different optimization settings.
- Scale exported files.
- Find and replace text, colors, URLs, or fonts."
Note that I haven't used this part of FW (no need).
I've been a FW user for only a few months (a Corel user
for 9 years), and I can't say I love everything about it,
but it definitely does a fantastic job with web graphics
(including GIFs).

Fireworks is from Macromedia (makers of the excellent
Dreamweaver). I *think* you can download a trial version
of FW, fully featured, so you could try out the batch
processing. (Maybe even finish the job! :-)

Jessica N. Lange
Technical Communicator, Ohio Electronic Engravers, Inc.
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From: Rica Shepardson <rica -dot- shepardson -at- loftware -dot- com>

When reducing size, it has been my experience that reducing to 50% works
best, not trying other %'s.
RS
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