Reviewed: Geetesh Bajaj
November 7th 2006
February 25th 2009
Pictures may speak a thousand words, but on your computer pictures can easily occupy space enough for tens of thousands of words. With hard disk costs decreasing each day, this may no longer be a issue -- and frankly, it's best that pictures stay in high resolution, unaltered mode -- just in case you need to print it in high resolution some day. However, you realy don't want to send those high resolution images to friends or colleagues by email, or even put it on a web page where it will take forever to load up.
The solution is to compress and optimize your pictures -- but
compression can often be synonomous with low quality -- PicShrink,
the application I am reviewing today lets you attain a careful
balance between that quality and compression.
PicShrink is from TopByteLabs, a Germany based company that creates several optimization programs including a PowerPoint file optimization software called PowerShrink. You can download a trial version of PicShrink from their site...
PicShrink compresses picture without affecting the quality of the picture -- also, the compression can be done in a batch. The program also has some basic built-in effects like brightness, contrast, watermark, etc. and the compressed pictures can be send through e-mail.
My contact at PicShrink was Bronwyn Lane - thank
Run the setup routine and follow the instructions. You'll end up with a PicShrink program group in your Windows Start menu (see Figure 1 below).
Figure 1: PicShrink Start menu Group
Follow these steps to compress pictures using PicShrink:
- Go to your Windows Start menu and choose All Programs | PicShrink
| PicShrink (see Figure 1 above).
- This opens PicShrink interface as shown in Figure 2.
Figure 2: PicShrink interface
- Add images for optimizing by selecting the given options, as
shown in Figure 3.
Figure 3: Add pictures
You can add images in three ways: a single file, multiple files and the entire folder for batch optimizing.
- When the images are added, the PicShrink interface looks similar
to the screenshot shown in Figure 4.
Figure 4: PicShrink Interface
The PicShrink interface is explained below:
- Resize allows you to set the output size for the picture(s) you want to optimize.
- Output Format lets you choose your output file format -- such as JPEG, PNG, etc. A dialer lets you select a compression level.
- Enabled -- this area allows you to see what effects are applied -- you can also open, save, and reset profiles.
- Preview is divided into two areas -- original and optimized. The bottom of the preview area lets you compare the original and optimized sizes.
- Add Files (see Figure 3 above) allows you to add files.
- Effects lets you apply effects like watermark, flip and rotate and other basic effects.
- Search allows to search the image in your
computer, and E-mail lets you send the optimized
picture(s) by an e-mail.
- When all the tweaks are done, click the Shrink button (see Figure
Figure 5: Shrink
- This bring up the Shrink File To dialog box as show in Figure
6. Select the destination folder where you want to
save the optimized picture(s) and click Shrink.
Figure 6: Shrink Files To
- Depending upon the settings, the application will compress
the images and shows the changes in next window (see Figure
Figure 7: Optimized Image
In this window, you can see number of images optimized, old size, new size, saved space and reduction percentage of the image. The other options are to open the folder containing the optimized image, e-mailing the images, and saving the profile.
PicShrink costs $29.95, and is available for online purchase through secure server.
Support is through email only.
For optimizing and compressing pictures, PicShrink is a great
solution. The price:performance ratio is good -- I just wish they
had more support options such as a knowledge base and/or an online