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Quickly resizing images with Simple Image Reducer

A bunch of cars being compacted

Sometimes, you need to quickly resize one or more images. Why? You need one or more thumbnails, you need to resize an image for a blog post, you want to create some wallpaper for a mobile device, or you want a smaller version of a logo for a document or web page.

In those cases, firing up The GIMP is a bit of a waste. You just need to do the job quickly and, in some cases, with two or more images.

Enter Simple Image Reducer. It’s a fast, effective tool for resizing one or more images.

Let’s take a quick look at how to use it.

Getting the software

You can download the source code from the Simple Image Reducer website. If you’re going that route, you’ll also need the following installed on your computer:

  • Python version 2.4 or newer
  • PyGTK version 2.12 or newer
  • The Python Imaging Library (PIL)
  • EXIF.py

The download page has links to all of those requirements.

If you use Ubuntu or one of it’s derivatives, try installing Simple Image Reducer from the Software Centre. Barring that, there’s a Debian package that you can grab.

Using Simple Image Reducer

Just fire up the software. You’re presented with a very bare bones interface (and I mean that in a good way).

Simple Image Reducer's main window

Either click the + button to load images, or drag and drop the files that you want to resize on to the application’s window. Simple Image converter works with the following formats: BMP, GIF, JPEG, PNG, PPM, and TIFF.

Next, select the size (in pixels) to which you want to reduce the image(s) from the Fit to list. Out of the box, you have the following options:

  • 128x128
  • 400x400
  • 640x640
  • 800x800
  • 1024x1024

You can add other resolutions by opening the file .config/simple-image-reducer/options in your /home directory, and then editing the resolutions option.

Setting resolutions in Simple Image Reducer

Simple Image Reducer doesn’t shoehorn images into those dimensions. It actually does a good job of retaining an image’s aspect ratio. For example, one image I reduced measured 640x480 pixels. I selected the 128x128 option, and the resulting image was 128x102.

The Rotate list allows you to change the orientation of the images. You can rotate it 90 degrees left or right, 180 degrees, or just use the default (which reads the orientation from the image’s metadata).

Next, select one of the Output file options. These options set how Simple Image Reducer names the resized files. You can:

  • Automatically tack the new resolution to the end of the file name – for example, myImage-128x128.png
  • Save the resized images to a subfolder indicating the resolution of the images – for example, 128x128
  • Overwrite the originals

If you want change the format of the file(s) that you’re resizing, select one of the formats I mentioned earlier from the Output format list.

Simple Image Reducer ready to convert

Then, click Execute. The resize process is fast. Very fast. Something I found disconcerting is that the Simple Image Reducer window closes immediately after doing conversions. I’m not sure whether this is a feature or a bug. But I did see it happen with two installations of Lubuntu. I’m not sure if this happens with other distros, though.

Simple Image Converter offers a simple, fast, and effective way to resize one or more images. You might not use it often, but when you need it Simple Image Converter can save you a lot of time and effort.

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