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Using the Image Optimizer / Resizer

Available in build 214+, the new built-in Image Optimizer / Resizer lets you pre-process your images for use within a slideshow directly within the wizard.  This means you can transfer photos straight into your slideshows without leaving the wizard or ever using Photoshop or Fireworks.

Important note about image optimization/resizing: If your original image files are larger than the targeted slideshow size, failure to optimize means them that users' browsers will have to download the full-size photos, and then these too-large photos will be scaled down by the slideshow player.  This situation should always be avoided, as it means that a large quantity of image data is unnecessary transferred and slows down the slideshow, reducing user experience quality and wasting server bandwidth.

To access the Thumbnail Generator dialog, you will click the 'Optimize / Resize Photos...' button just above the images grid in single-gallery-edit view:

Optimize/Resize Button

The Image Optimizer / Resizer dialog appears as follows:

Initial dialog view

All of the images (excluding SWFs) in the gallery which are accessible to the wizard (i.e. they are stored locally on your hard drive, not on the internet) will be automatically added to the progress grid at the bottom.    

Note: If you're running the image optimizer/resizer again on a gallery where you've previously optimized the photos, you'll receive the following message:

Reprocessing confirmation

Essentially, the optimizer is asking what source you want to use for the current optimizing/resizing operation: either the original files [click OK], or the already-processed files [click Cancel].  You will almost always want to use the originals as the source files [click OK]; re-optimizing already-optimized photos can result in quality degradation.

At the top of the dialog, you will need to review the configuration settings:

Each of the options controls the following (you can view these descriptions directly in the wizard by hovering over the option names):

Property Description
Resize Mode

Specifies how the images are resized.    If you choose 'Fill Area,' the images will be scaled down and then cropped so that they fully fill the specified maximum dimensions.    If you choose 'Scale Only,' the images will be scaled down so that they fit entirely within the specified maximum dimensions.

Target Max Size

Specifies the maximum dimensions, in pixels, for each of the photos.    The boxes represent width (the first box) and height (the second box).  This size should be roughly the size at which you want your photos to appear in the slideshow.  In other words, if your slideshow is 500 x 300, you should set the target size to be 500 x 300 as well.

If a photo is already within the target size, no resizing will occur.

Photo Quality

Specifies the quality of the generated JPEG files.    Usually the default setting (80% quality) is a good setting.    Higher quality will make the photos look better, but will result in greater file size and longer loading times.    Lower quality sacrifices appearance to achieve smaller file size and faster loading.    

The quality gains from 80% to 100% are only slightly greater than 80% to 90%, but the file size increase is proportionally much higher.    Therefore, if you wish to increase quality beyond 80% it is best to jump to 90% instead of 100%.

Overwrite Existing Photos Specifies if any previously-generated image matching the exact same resizing profile should be re-created.    If you have changed any photos, you should enable this option.    Otherwise, you can generally leave the default value.  Note that the originals are never overwritten - only the photos that were earlier generated with the optimizer/resizer.


Once you've configured the settings, click the 'Start' button to begin processing:

The processing will take place very quickly, usually completing within a few seconds.    You will be able to track the progress in the grid:

If you need to stop the processing for some reason, you can click the Cancel button.  When processing completes, you will be notified of the results:

Now that the new optimized photos have been generated, you can click the Close button to return to the main wizard:

Note: Each image is automatically updated to use the new optimized source file; you never have to worry about manually adding new newly-generated photos.  Each new photos is prefixed with an identifier string that indicates its resizing profile; this allows you to locate the results of specific resizing operations when browsing a folder in the Image Explorer (via the Size dropdown menu).