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Thread: Looking for free software to...

  1. #1

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    Looking for free software to...

    I am helping someone who is creating PDFs that incude photos. He needs free software to do the following: crop, downsize and sharpen JPEGs. He won't be doing anything else to the photos, so the simpler and easier the software is to learn to do just those three things, the better.

    I am familiar with GIMP and hope you folks have other free software to recomend for doing only those three tasks.

  2. #2
    Daisy Mae's Avatar
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    Re: Looking for free software to...

    Hi Mike!

    Aviary is really simple and should fit the bill.

    http://aviary-photo-editor.en.softonic.com/

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    Re: Looking for free software to...

    Mike,
    I've used Pixresizer in the past for resizing single and multiple images for inclusion in documents. It's free and simple to use. It does not have any kind of sharpening tool though.

    http://pixresizer.en.softonic.com/

    James

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    Re: Looking for free software to...

    ACDSee if usually supplied free of charge when you purchase a printer or scanner. See if he has it available or he knows someone with the disk. Without the media purchase they usually charge.

    I've tried Gimp and it is pretty good.

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    Re: Looking for free software to...

    For folks on PCs, Irfanview is an obvious thing to try. It is free, and it is an incredibly useful utility for graphics. I use it all the time. However, I have never tried its sharpening, so I don't know how good that it.

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    Re: Looking for free software to...

    Mike another one you could consider is FastStone Viewer. I use it as my default viewer however it has some good editing facilities including the ones you are looking for.

    Dave

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    Re: Looking for free software to...

    Thanks, everyone! I'll take a look at least at some of those apps.

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    Re: Looking for free software to...

    IrfanView, Faststone Image Viewer have already been mentioned. Another freebie is XnView.

    I'm an IrfanVew fan. It does basic sharpening and also has an unsharp mask. It's quick and simple to use.

    Ken

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    Re: Looking for free software to...

    Hi.
    I have Irfanview, although I use Photoshop CS5 with Topaz plugins, these are VERY resonably priced will run with Irfanview. Check www.Topazlabs.com for free 30day trial.

    Terry

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    Re: Looking for free software to...

    Hi Mike,
    A great image tool is XNCONVERT. May look complicated at first but once used becomes real easy.
    Resizes, adds borders, etc etc.
    Check out at: http://www.xnview.com/en/xnconvert/

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    Re: Looking for free software to...

    Hello Mike,

    I'll add PhotoPad to the mix - very straightforward and quite a standard GUI, unlike some already mentioned.

    However, none of my simple freebie editors embed a color profile into the output file and PhotoPro doesn't even provide EXIF for RAW files, although it might retain it for a JPEG (never tried it myself). No color profile means any application will render the image as it thinks fit . .

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    Re: Looking for free software to...

    Mike, if your friend is by any chance using linux, he should have a look at Imagemagick. A bit less easy to use (command line interface), the first few times,
    but then fast and simple for the kind of jobs you describe, especially when he has to treat a series of images (a five-line script for a directory of images).

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    Re: Looking for free software to...

    Continued thanks to everyone for offering suggestions!

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    Re: Looking for free software to...

    To OP, you can use PICASA for editing and when done, try printing it with CutePDF. It might do the trick.

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    Re: Looking for free software to...

    Quote Originally Posted by xpatUSA View Post
    . . . and PhotoPro doesn't even provide EXIF for RAW files, although it might retain it for a JPEG (never tried it myself). No color profile means any application will render the image as it thinks fit . .
    I just tested PhotoPad - opened a JPEG, edited it, then saved it as a JPEG. Examined the saved JPEG with ExifToolGUI and there was no EXIF data nor was there an embedded color profile, even though the original had both.

    Probably no bad thing for incorporation into a PDF, eh?
    Last edited by xpatUSA; 16th June 2013 at 03:09 PM.

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    Re: Looking for free software to...

    Ted,

    You have a far greater command of the technical issues than me, but wouldn't it be important to retain the embedded sRGB profile? I ask that question with the assumption that a user might be using a PDF reader or an operating system that isn't color-managed, but maybe all of them are.

  17. #17

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    Re: Looking for free software to...

    Hey mike, what is wrong with the free software that came with the camera. Should be able to easily do, what you mentioned.

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    Re: Looking for free software to...

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve S View Post
    Hey mike, what is wrong with the free software that came with the camera. Should be able to easily do, what you mentioned.
    The person I am helping works for a nonprofit and he is choosing from photos submitted by seven people. He knows nothing about post-processing and I'm not even sure he owns a camera other than one built into his cell phone.

  19. #19

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    Re: Looking for free software to...

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Buckley View Post
    Ted,

    You have a far greater command of the technical issues than me, but wouldn't it be important to retain the embedded sRGB profile? I ask that question with the assumption that a user might be using a PDF reader or an operating system that isn't color-managed, but maybe all of them are.
    Isn't sRGB the assumed colour space if the image doesn't provide any (and in some cases even when the image does)?
    Every system has to use a colour space (not necessarily a standard or well defined one, note), and I've never heard of sRGB images displaying
    incorrectly (even after stripping off all metadata), so that might indicate that most/all systems are using sRGB as their build-in colour space.
    Most images have no colour space attached, and display OK.

    Please note that the sRGB 'profile' describes a colour space, not a colour correction (that would be the task of a device profile,
    which should never be attached to an image)

    And does PDF retain/use colour space information for embedded images?

    And not all systems are colour managed yet, in the sense that they understand and correct for colour spaces
    (let's not even start about device profiles). Although more and more are.

    As an aside, knowing a bit more about your friend's computer skills and system would help in targetting the answers
    (if he uses TeX, i'd be more inclined to offer command line tools than when he uses MS-Word for everything )

  20. #20
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    Re: Looking for free software to...

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Buckley View Post
    You have a far greater command of the technical issues than me, but wouldn't it be important to retain the embedded sRGB profile?
    Thanks for the compliment, Mike! More and more apps are becoming color-managed and you're right from a photographers point of view. With no embedded profile, your carefully adjusted aRGB colors would look pallid, as you know. But your less-knowledgeable friend is taking JPEGs from others (EXIF, profile unknown) cropping, re-sizing and sharpening without further post-processing, if I read it right.

    So, maybe my point was moot.

    Anyway, I looked at my four free editors and found that the only one that preserves both EXIF and an embedded ICC profile is PICASA! FastStoneView and IrfanView both lose the embedded profile. My suggestion of PhotoPad loses both EXIF and the embedded profile. Like yourself, I would probably favor PICASA.

    I ask that question with the assumption that a user might be using a PDF reader or an operating system that isn't color-managed, but maybe all of them are.
    I suppose that the image data in the pics your friend receives will be sRGB or aRGB dependent on the color-space setting in the various cameras used. Even with aRGB, a portrait would be recognizable in a non color-managed app since they usually assume sRGB. As to PDFs, in spite of your compliment, I have no idea how they do image color management. Or maybe that is left to the PDF Reader - the ICC does publish a PDF with some test images in it.

    [added] I just downloaded the ICC V4 test pdf:

    http://www.color.org/version4pdf.pdf

    Adobe Reader X showed the images correctly.

    Then I opened their HTML version in FireFox and found that FireFox does not support ICC V4 profiles - so, it's not quite as color-managed as people say it is ;-)

    Hmmm . . . what about Safari . . . . ?

    It would be nice to know the final decision taken in this thread . . .
    Last edited by xpatUSA; 18th June 2013 at 05:56 AM.

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