Changing the dimensions, format and name of your digital pictures is a task that can be done very fast. Lightning Image Resizer is the tool that can complete the job without sacrificing anything in terms of quality.
Working with holiday photos or any other type of graphical file often requires specialized software, depending on the type of processing you need to perform. There are many dedicated programs for converting the image format, modifying picture proportions or renaming a whole batch at once. In case you have to carry through all of the above, why not try a solution that combines them in a single package.Lightning Image Resizer
is a freeware utility that was designed to provide you with a hassle-free means of completing several tasks simultaneously. It is rather small in size, weighing in at only 546 KB, and ready to run right out of the box. Since it doesn't require anything installed, it is very convenient for carrying around on a memory stick, something that certainly increases its value.
As you will notice once you have it up and running, the interface is quite nice to look at and also pretty well organized. All the functions are easily accessible and for some of them you will see a short explanation at the bottom of the main window when hovering the cursor over certain areas. There is, however, a minor drawback, namely the fact that the main window sits on top of the other running applications and there's no way to change this behavior.
You can load the pictures to be renamed, re-dimensioned or converted in two ways: either by adding an entire directory, with its subfolders, or by manually picking the source files. A nice feature that you won't observe immediately, unless you pay attention to the text on the lower part of the main tab when moving the mouse over it, is the built-in image viewer. It can be activated by double-clicking any photo, which will bring up a small, resizable preview of the selected pic.
When it comes to supported formats, this application can handle the most common ones: BMP, JPG, PNG, GIF and even EMF. If you just want to resize the pictures, there is an option to preserve the original extension. It's also worth mentioning that you can input photos in all of the above mentioned formats at same time for batch processing, because this utility will have no problems in dealing with all of them at once.
For modifying the image size, there are several choices you can make. You will be able to configure the output dimension as a percent of the original files, but, just as well, you can manually input the desired size. If you choose the latter, there is a new decision you have to make, whether to select the picture height or its width as reference. But this is not all. You can also choose a third option that will make all the photos have the same dimension as the largest one in the processing queue.
Another nifty trick up the sleeve of Lightning Image Resizer
is its ability to crop and turn pictures taken in 4:3 format into 16:9 wide images. Keep in mind, though, that this is possible only for landscape photos, those with portrait orientation will be resized keeping their initial proportion. The easiest part, nonetheless, is the one where you change the file names. You can either add a prefix or a suffix (postfix) to all the pictures you loaded. All you need to do is write the text in the small box.
One of the last operations you will have to carry out is providing a destination to the converted files. The easiest thing would be to select an existing folder, but you can also create a new one by performing a little trick. From the directory selection window navigate to the desired location and type a name for the new folder. A small prompt will ask for confirmation, click 'Yes' and there you'll have it.
Something less common to this type of application, yet available with this particular one, is a method of tracing the memory usage. This program is able to show you in real time the amount of RAM that is put to work and as soon as the process is finished, you'll be able to read the peak memory usage. All these numbers are available right under the list of converted pictures, while in the lower left side of the main window you can see the time all the images were processed in.
A great thing you can do with this tool is to set how many files you want it to work on in the same time. To do so, you have to adjust the number of threads that is set to 10 by default, with 0 meaning there is no limit in this respect. However, the actual figures obtained during our tests indicate that Lightning Image Resizer can be quite a resource hog and needs to be handled with care.
Depending on how many files you load and, most important, how large they are, the numbers can be astounding. It took 9.13 seconds but also 1.2 GB of RAM out of the 4 GB available for a batch of 132 photos totaling 108 MB to be resized at 90% of their original dimension. The CPU was running full-throttle, peaking at 99% and this is rather staggering because it's a quad-core 3.00 GHz AMD processor. Nonetheless, the number of threads the app could use was unrestricted, so this is maybe the main reason for the high figures above.The Good
This utility scores very well first of all thanks to its portability and ease of use. Another important plus is the processing speed that will save you a lot of time. The feature pack is good and it brings some useful, new stuff like tracking the memory usage in real time, choosing the number of files to be handled simultaneously or creating 16:9 wide landscape images from pictures in 4:3 format.The Bad
On the downside, the main reason this tool loses some points is the incredible amount of system resources it can put to work. At times, the stress on memory and CPU can be as high as that imposed by a benchmark program. Another aspect that some users will often find annoying is the impossibility to make the main window behave like a regular one by deactivating the 'Always on top'' mode.The Truth
All things considered, it's safe to say that Lightning Image Resizer
lives up to its name, providing impressive speed, but, for that, it takes its toll on your RAM and CPU. If you configure the number of running threads correctly (and this will take a couple of tries), this application can certainly prove to be a winner when it comes to changing photo sizes, formats and names in the same time.Here are some snapshots of the application in action: