Saturday, January 13, 2007

Tip: Some free image manipulation on Mac OS X

I have started playing with another image editor for OS X that is closer to MS Paint or Paint.NET than Pixen, which is called Seashore. So far, it seems pretty good.
Anthony from On Various Things pointed me toward Pixen in a comment on this original post. To create the screenshot for my most recent post I had to crop the Parallels image from a full desktop screenshot (CMD-SHIFT-3) and then scale it to fit in the space Blogger has allocated for posts on this 800x600 template. Copying the Parallels pixels in Pixen, no problem, creating a new image from the pixels on the clipboard, slow but usable, trying to scale the image with any of the 3 supported algorithms, Pixen crash! I then went back to ImageWell to get it done. Sorry Pixen, you have been Trashed.

Original Post
When I posted about my first Mac OS X annoyance, I had already known about a couple gems for image manipulation on OS X, but these didn't fit my pixel pushing needs.

First up is ImageWell, which is a very good and free image editor, but its not Photoshop Lite. It's more like a blogger best friend. Get an image processed maybe with some text on it, and then send it off to the net. This is working out pretty well since I can post an image to my .Mac hosting folder I use for all my images in 1 click.

The other one that has been very cool is Ping!. This app is very simple, you just drop PNGs on it and it optimizes the file size very small without any degradation in image quality. I kept the icon in my Dock, then I drag any number of PNGs onto it. Ping! will launch, optimize, save the images in place, and then quit. For example, I take screenshots in OS X all the time (Apple-Shift-4) and OS X saves these to your Desktop as PNG files. A recent screenshot I took weighed in at 20 KB, but after Ping put it on a diet, it was down to 16 KB. The only thing I don't like about the application is the name, to me ping will always be a network utility.