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The Web Design & Development Blog is written, coded and maintained by Duncan Midwinter. It regularly features articles on HTML, CSS, Javascript, PHP, Web Design and more…

Batch convert images with Automator on Mac

automator

Following on from my post on FTPing images using only a keyboard shortcut, here’s a quick post to show you how to quickly batch convert images from one format to another…

1) First fire up Automator, and select ‘Service’ as your chosen workflow template, then as before change the two drop-down menus to read ‘Service receives selected image files in Finder’.

2) In the far left-hand ‘Library’ column select the ‘Photos’ Library, then from the next column locate the ‘Change Type on Images’ action and drag it across in to the main window. You will be asked whether you want to convert the original image or a copy. If you choose to convert a copy, Automator will add another action to your workflow (Copy Finder Items). However, for now I will continue as if you have selected to work on the original.

3) You can now see the action added to your workflow. Located at the bottom of the action window are 3 options – ‘Results’, ‘Options’ and ‘Description’. Click on ‘Options’ and check the ‘Show this action when the workflow runs’ checkbox.

workflow

Basically what this does is give you the option when you run your workflow to select what kind of file type to convert to. If you don’t check it, the workflow will run and convert the image to the file type selected in action when the workflow is saved.

4) One last thing to do — if you think you will mostly be converting images to .png, set the ‘To Type’ menu to .png (or whatever you prefer).

5) Now save it and give it a name. I’ve called mine ‘Convert images’. If you want to set up a keyboard shortcut look at my post on FTPing images to see how it’s done.

Services menu

And that’s it — simply select an image or multiple images in the Finder and then hit your shortcut or select your new workflow by right-clicking on them — a small dialog box will appear — choose the file type, click continue and your files will be converted!

It should be easy from here on to create some more image processing workflows of your own…

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