Review: Convert and edit your snaps with FastStone Photo Resizer

Resize, rename, convert, and even snazz up your images with this freeware.

FastStone Photo Resizer 3.2 makes quick work of batches of digital snapshots. It not only resizes and renames images quickly and with minimal fuss, but it also crops, rotates, adjusts, and edits your pictures, too, and even applies text and watermarks. It has everything you need to take those huge folders of megabyte snapshots with cryptic names and, in one step, convert them all to JPEGS (or whatever), resize them to manageable dimensions, and rename them all, even sequentially (such as: RoadTripAug2012_1). It's better than Plan B, which is to just forget about them and then spend hours finding, sorting, and converting them to post and share. We have a lot of experience with Plan B, so it was nice to see how easy Plan A was with help from this basic but effective tool. Something else we like about FastStone Photo Resizer 3.2: it's freeware.

We like FastStone Photo Resizer's businesslike user interface, too. It has a familiar layout: Select photos, individually or in batches, on the left-hand tree view, and click "Add" to add them to Photo Resizer's right-hand Input List. A small, optional preview pane is nice but not really enough to distinguish between two very similar images, although that's not uncommon in tools of this sort. Then choose a destination, output format, and other options and press Convert. Advanced Options let us rename files from the Batch Convert tab, though not with as many options as the Batch Rename tab. It's sufficient for quick jobs, as we found out when we resized and renamed a batch of wallpaper. The Batch Rename tab's templates let us rename our files with complex sequences. While the standard interface offers options such as lower and upper case and Ask before overwrite, clicking Advanced Options opened a dialog with ten tabs of extra settings as well as text and watermarking tools.

FastStone Photo Resizer 3.2 does so much so well that we think it belongs at the top of any list of photo editors for Windows -- not just the free ones.

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