Ultrasimple photo resizer

Resize and convert your digital snaps virtually automatically with this free tool.

There's no shortage of free tools for resizing your digital photos and other images, though they range in size and complexity from command-line DOS tools to applications sophisticated enough to rival Photoshop. Photo Magician from Sheldon Solutions is extremely easy to use, but where it excels is in converting batches of photos to the same size and format for easy storage and display. With what amounts to one-click, set-and-forget conversion, Photo Magician may be the simplest such app we've tried. There's no red-eye correction or color adjustment, just the basics.

Photo Magician's sparse but efficient and attractive interface signals right away that this program is all about doing a specific job as quickly and easily as possible. There's a simple tabbed dialog with a wizard-based process for configuring Profiles that save your preferred settings. We browsed to and selected our Input and Output folders and moved to the Profile tab. Clicking Select a Profile opened a drop-down list containing preconfigured settings for everything from iPods to HDTVs, with custom options, too. Simple controls let us scale our images, and the Profile Editor let us access and change all our saved Profiles. The Conversion Settings tab includes check boxes and brief but clear explanations; for instance, the EXIF data option explains that the conversion process is faster with preview turned off. The Options tab let us change the interface language, set TIFF output compression and the output format for other file types, check for updates, and access command-line parameters. When we had our profile configured and saved, all we had to do was select our images and click Quick Convert Mode. Photo Magician processed and saved our images without any fuss.

It's not uncommon for people to end up with several folders full of duplicate images of various sizes and formats, mostly digital snapshots uploaded in bulk from a camera. Other free tools do more, of course, which can just mean they're less useful because they're too complicated or take too long.

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