In this tutorial I am detailing the steps to optimize images offline using free image optimization tools. Why we need to optimize our images offline? I can tell you few reasons. It is because optimized images have great advantages. It can reduce your print cost, enable easy upload to social networks, blogs or attach to an email message and also save your hard disk or external storage device space. There are some good free online image optimizer tools available. Yahoo Smush.it and JPEGmini are the two best online image optimizer tools that reduce file size by removing unnecessary bytes from the image that without affecting the image quality in total. The main drawback of these types of online image optimization tools are the waste of time. It consume your lots of time because you first need to upload your larger photos to these sites and again download the optimized image. If you have unlimited data plan and broad band internet connection it will not disturb you heavily. But it really matter when you are on a slow internet connection. So we surely need one best offline image optimizing tool.
So optimizing images is very important and you can easily achieve it offline with free applications. Of course Photoshop is the best tool to do the optimization part. But you can optimize images offline using some free light weight alternative applications too. You can consider GIMP and Google Picasa for this purpose. Also note; these applications are not merely for optimizing your images for webpages. These applications have lots of features that you can use to edit your photo in several ways. But in this tutorial we only touch the optimization part that is our subject.
Image Optimization Using GIMP
GIMP is one of the best free Photoshop alternative that works on many operating systems including the latest Windows OS, Windows 8 Beta. If you have ever needed a free Photoshop alternative, I recommend you GIMP. Install latest version of GIMP. You can use the “Save for Web” feature in GIMP similar to the one in Photoshop to optimize images very easily. Install Save for Web plugin for this purpose on GIMP if you have not already installed.
Now the optimization part. Open the file that you want to optimize in GIMP from File->Open. Now got to File->Save for Web. It will open the “Save for Web” dialogue box. There you can see two small tabs. One for resizing the image and the another one is for optimizing the image. If you want to upload the image to web page the suggested image size is 640 pixel, it also depend on your website design, and for taking print out it is 800 pixel. Enter the value of your choice in the “Width” input box and hit enter (see the screenshot below).
Check for the file size on the bottom of the same dialogue box. If it is below 50 kB then it will be OK. Otherwise from on the next tab optimize the image further by reducing the image quality little bit. Save the image and you are ready.
Image Optimization Using Picasa
Google Picasa is another free photo editing software that we can use to optimize images on the fly. On Picasa locate the image that you want to optimize and double click it to open. From the File menu click “Export Picture to Folder”. On the dialogue box that appear click ”Browse” to change the file save location. Next enter resize pixel size and change the image quality from the drop down menu. Click Export.
The above tools will surely provide a much needed diet to your images before uploading. Try these tools and share your views in the comments.