How-to… set up irfanview
In my previous post I mentioned what you can do to tag your images. Here is the how-to with irfanview.
Irfanview is a very nice free program for some image editing and for batch conversions. Select multiple files with different extensions (different image filetypes) and convert them all to the same filetype with the same settings in a few clicks! Ok the first time it will not be a few clicks, it might take you 15 – 30 minutes, depending on how thourough you read your windows. It may take even more if you’re like me, testing the font, colour,position, size and text untill your satisfied. Then it could take you a whole evening, searching for the right font, installing that, or even ending up trying to make your own font… (then it would most likely turn into weeks before you’re set up).
We’ll start with a photo. (Or skip this for now and open only irfanview instead, go to Settings below.) The filesize of photo’s is usually quite big, which you don’t need or want when publicizing the image (unless ofcourse you are a photographer, but I think photographers don’t need additional explanation about this).
So here is my folder with the photo: (tip: to make a printscreen of just the active window instead of your entire desktop, hold down SHIFT and then hit print screen on your keyboard.)
Open your image with irfanview.
- I haven’t installed irfanview as my default viewer. If you do have it as default viewer, opening your image is enough. Go to step 5.
- If you don’t, right click an image in the folder and select “open with…”Choose irfanview from the options
- If it isn’t in the list, click “Select default program”. Uncheck “always use this program” (of leave it checked if you do want to use it always).
- Browse to the folder where it is located, select irfanview and click ok. (Next time it will be added to the list.)
Don’t forget these functionalities!
Now checkout the Edit and Image menu’s: you can resize, rotate, fine rotate (which is very nice if you have scanned your card and it was not laying straight). I’m not going into detail about these options (as I hardly use them, I use Paint.net which is kind of similar to adobe photoshop.) The batch options are in the File menu though.
Overview of the Batch Conversion window (“Set for all images”)
Here is a description of the Batch Conversion window. I forgot to number it, but if you want to rename your files as well as convert them, select the option like I did in the window. Renaming can be usefull – when someone downloads your image it will offer this name for them to save it too. More chances that people will just click “ok” and your name is still attached to the image.
- Select what you want to be the output format.
- This option window applies to the chosen output format. To be honest, I don’t know what all options do, but sometimes I reduce the quality to get smaller files. Smaller files = faster loading webpages.
- Advanced options – This is the window where you can set the rename, resize and overlay text options. More on that later.
- Enter your desired naming pattern. This is the name the result file will receive, not the overlay text. I chose the name of my blog, the year, month date, hour and minute the picture was taken, followed by a number in case I took several pictures in one minute.
- Choose your ouput directory
- Add images one by one, or add all. I usually add all (I had some cases where it didn’t work to add just 1 image, so I always use add all. After converting the files I move the originals to another folder so I know I have converted these and I won’t convert them again.
- Start batch.
The advanced options window
- The resize options. I chose a percentage, but maybe I should chance to set new size. You can specify that one of the sides should be set to a certain width, the other side adjusts proportionally. (At least I think it does that)
- Some other options which looked usefull to have selected. Ofcourse you want to preserve aspect ratio, want a good quality and don’t want ugly blown up images.
- ADD OVERLAY TEXT! Finally, the option! And I will explain in a sec, just one more other thing first.
- Apply changes to all pages. Tiff files are files that are made of several layers. Ofcourse you want all layers to be changed the same way. I can’t think of a reason why you wouldn’t want this option off. Also check the other miscellaneous options, you might want some of these.
And again a bulletpoint I forgot: when using different settings (for different blogs), you can save your settings. If you keep them always the same then you don’t need to save them, but hey, saving is safe, so go ahead and do save them!
The overlay text window
- Here you specify the size of the box in which your text can be shown. Don’t make it bigger then your images are going to be, because your text might fall off.
- Append copyright inserts the copyright symbol, very usefull to add. You can also add a different overlay text for each file, see the Help button.
- Text is transparent. Please use this, it’s usually very ugly when it isn’t. This doesn’t actually mean the text is transparent, it means the backgroundcolour of the text is transparant.
- Choose your Font. I downloaded a font which is free for personal use. If you do downlaod a font, check if it’s coyrighted and ok to be used. If you are going to use it commercially related, contact the author. You’d want that too! The text colour: This is a difficult one – a black text on a dark image is impossible to read. So whit text? But what if the background is light? You could choose a fluorescent colour ofcourse, shows up on almost anything. But… it’s ugly! Don’t do it, it distracts viewers from your image. Choose a calm colour, one that is not too obvious. I chose grey, it might not be completely readable on all images but to those who are interested it is probably readable enough. Also, don’t overdo the size of the text. If you want to showcase your products, don’t put huge text over it. As you can see, I forgot to leave space in my screenshots for the text. See how messy it looks? You can do better, as you’ve been warned now!
Now press OK. You are back at the “Set for all images:”window, press ok again and you are back at the “Batch conversion”window.
Convert and rename your files
Open irfanview, go to file>batch conversion, select the images you want to convert/rename, and click “start batch”. That’s it!
Do you prefer different settings? Am I forgetting something important? Did you find this usefull? I’d love to hear from you!