There are many things you can do with digital photos, especially when it comes to storing and sharing them. From the basic editing that often implies adjusting the size of the pictures to the online publishing of your albums, you can do a whole lot of things with your images. For example, if you want to keep them all in one place and still make them available for your friends, you can upload the photographs onto a sharing website, archived or in the form of a picture book. The best way to store your files is the one you decide it suits your needs and the alternatives are quite a few.
An interesting option, though not too outspread, to stack pictures is to embed them into a single document that can be easily shared and viewed by anyone. There are several formats that will help you do just that, like PPS presentations that can run as slideshows, or PDF, a widespread type of documents that supports both text and images. If you decide for the latter mentioned method, there's a very lightweight application dedicated to transforming JPEG photos into Portable Document Format files that can do the job lightning-fast. Its name says it all - JPEG to PDF
and the best thing is that you don't have to pay a dime for it.
This utility weighs in at a mere 40 KB, but packs enough functions to make it newsworthy for those who want a quick means of combining several images and keeping the original quality. The software's interface is far from being all shiny and glittery as you would expect from such a small tool, but the functionality is well served. All the options are in plain sight, easy to understand and use, thus appealing to all users, advanced or beginners.
JPEG to PDF supports drag and drop operations and also has a button that helps you add the files you want to process to the task list. Also, if you want to take out some of the photos, all you have to do is pick them out and press ''Remove Selected.'' The supported formats are JPG and JPEG2000 (J2K or JP2), so don't expect this application to be able to work with any other extension than the one besieged in its very name. Once the pictures are loaded, you'll be able to easily configure the output options for the generated PDF(s) starting with the destination of the resulting document.
The customization settings for the job at hand begin with the selection of the location where you want the generated documents to be stored. Next in line are the page-size attributes. This utility can process the input files in several ways, thus offering you multiple choices in this particular area. You can opt for a page layout that will match the exact image size and margins to preserve the same original dimensions for each photo you add to the compilation. Another way of defining the dimensions is to manually provide the desired width and height that JPEG to PDF will apply to the conversion. A supplementary feature is the ability to shrink oversized pictures and this can be used in both modes described above.
With this tool, you'll be able to specify with accuracy the distance from the page margins you want to have your images placed. Likewise, there's yet another setting for you to manage, namely the JPEG position. There are only two available alternatives: the first one is to have the photos centered, right in the middle of the page, and the other one to place them aligned with the top-left corner of the sheet. All of these possibilities of arranging the pics are meant to help you get the best results and end up with a product that will meet all your needs and requirements.
This software offers another very nice function, related to the batch processing it can do, and this is the ability to save the pictures to either a single Portable Format Document that will embed all of them or to make a PDF for every image you put in the task list. In case you prefer the former option, you will be given the opportunity to provide a specific name for the resulting file that includes your chosen photographs. Now that you've went through all the possible settings and configured the application to yield the sought-after output, you're left with one more button to press before it's all done: ''Save PDF.'' The Good
The most striking thing that has immediately gotten my attention has been the impressive speed with which JPEG to PDF can produce the document. I have had to wait a whole second to have over 20 pictures combined into a single file, which is a pretty good time per result compromise. Also, the quality of the end product is very good, as this software is able to preserve intact the images you feed to it.
The fact that it doesn't require an installation is notable, for all you have to do is unzip and run it, portability being the keyword in this case. It's worth mentioning on the good side that we have in our hands a very lightweight tool that goes unnoticed both on system resources and on occupied space. The Bad
There are a few negative aspects to be pointed out in the case of this application and the first one I stumbled upon was the absence of metric units for page size and margins. Also, there are no possibilities of personalizing and securing the PDF document.
The same with choosing a lower setting for the JPEG pictures in case one doesn't need to get stuck with a huge file when there's no need to keep the quality at 100%. The Truth
Overall, this utility doesn't look like a million dollars, but can surely perform accordingly. It works fast and makes quality a priority, even though it could receive some improvements in terms of features.
Leaving the wish list aside, the fact that it is portable, very light on the host system and, on top of all, free, make it a must have for anyone who needs to handle many JPEG images at a time and compile them into one great-looking PDF. Here are some snapshots of the application in action: