If you work with multiple images, cropping them all individually to the exact same size can be a real pain. Or perhaps your images need a watermark, but you have a batch of 30 to edit. Editing them all at the same time can save you a lot of time and energy. Here’s how to edit multiple photos to make your photo editing more efficient.
In this guide, we cover Windows, MacOS, and Chrome OS. All three platforms have native tools to make simple edits to your photos and images. However, there’s no native way to manipulate more than one image at a time. That means we must turn to third-party solutions.
Batch edit in Windows
For Windows, we use an open-source Photoshop replacement and a plugin:
GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP) – The biggest threat to Adobe Photoshop is this free, open-source desktop program. It has mostly everything you need to manipulate images, like cropping, color adjustment, adding effects, layers, and more. We highly recommend this software if you want to avoid Photoshop’s monthly subscription.
Batch Image Manipulation Program (BIMP) – This is a free plugin for GIMP that adds batch editing to the open-source desktop software. You need to install GIMP first, followed by this tool.
Once you install both tools, you can use them to edit multiple images simultaneously.
Step 1: Open GIMP and click File on the main menu.
Step 2: Select Batch Image Manipulation from the drop-down menu.
Step 3: A pop-up window appears. Under Manipulation Set, click the Add button.
Step 4: Select a manipulation on the resulting pop-up menu.
The next window you see depends on the manipulation you choose. Here they are at a glance:
- Resize – Alter the height and width in percent or pixels. You can also use a Stretch, Preserve, or Padded aspect ratio, and change the interpolation. It also lets you to change the image’s X and Y DPI settings.
- Crop – You can use a standard aspect ratio, a manually set aspect ratio in pixels, and designate a starting point: Center, top-left, top-right, bottom-left, or bottom-right.
- Flip or Rotate – Flip your images horizontally or vertically, or rotate them 90, 180, or 270 degrees.
- Color Correction – Adjust the brightness and/or contrast, convert to grayscale, or use automatic color level correction. You can also change the color curve using a settings file stored on your PC.
- Sharp or Blur – Move a slider left (add sharpness) or right (more blurred).
- Add a Watermark – You can apply a text-based watermark you type into the window, or select an image stored on your PC. You can also set the watermark’s opacity level and location.
- Change Format and Compression – Convert your image to one of 10 formats, including JPEG, GIF, and TGA. There’s also a quality slider ranging from 0 to 100.
- Rename with a Pattern – Enter characters to keep the original filename without an extension, use incremental numbers, or use the captured date and time.
- Other GIMP Procedure – Select from a list provided by GIMP, like Posterize, Bump Map, Blur, and loads more.
For each manipulation window, be sure to click the OK button so it’s saved in the current manipulation set.
Step 5: Click the Add button again if you want to add another manipulation to the set, as shown above.
Step 6: Click the Add Images button located under Input Files and Options and select the images you want to edit in bulk.
Step 7: Select an output folder.
Step 8: Click Apply to begin the batch edit process.
Batch edit in MacOS
While you can install GIMP on MacOS, there is no version of the BIMP plugin for Apple’s platform. Instead, you can turn to PhotoScape X on the Mac App Store. There are two batch edit features locked behind a “pro” paywall; however, the basic necessities like cropping and resizing remain free. Trouble is, the overall interface is a bit clunky, especially if you heavily rely on GIMP.
Step 1: With PhotoScape X open, click Batch located on the menu.
Step 2: Click the blue “plus” icon next to Add Folder on the left to load the folder containing your images.
Step 3: Your image gallery loads in the bottom left window. Drag the images you want to edit up into the top center window.
Step 4: On the right, select the manipulator you want to apply to the images. Like the GIMP plugin, you can apply multiple image manipulators before exporting the altered images.
Here are the available manipulators at a glance:
- Crop – Click the up and down arrows to widen or expand each side based on the center of your images.
- Resize – Change the width and/or height in pixels, change the aspect ratio, widen or shorten the edges, or enter a custom size.
- Color – You have lots of options here, like applying automatic levels, contrast, or colors; brightening or darkening; adding HDR; adjusting the clarity; changing the overall temperature, and more.
- Filter – Here you can add film grain, vignette, and bloom or sharpen the images. Other options include reducing the color and luminance noise.
- Film – Add up to six effects pulled from the app’s huge library spanning Film, Duotone, Overlays, Old Photos, Dirt & Scratches, and Textures. Some of these are locked behind the “pro” paywall, however.
- Light – Like Film, you can add up to six effects pulled from the app’s huge library spanning Light Leaks and Lens Flares.
- Insert – Add up to six inserts: Stickers, Images, Figures, Filters, and Text.
Step 5: To export your modified images, click the Save button.
Batch edit in Chrome OS
Google’s operating system is a different story. Since it heavily depends on the web, getting a tool that edits images in groups is currently near impossible. Chrome OS supports Linux, but installing the Linux-based version of GIMP and the BIMP plugin may not be worth your time unless you’re an experienced Chromebook owner. The BIMP plugin doesn’t even have an installer, meaning you must download the source files and install it through the Terminal.
Other web-based and Android apps can include batch editing but throw the feature behind a paywall. These include Polarr Photo Editor, Lightroom, Photoshop Express, and Pixlr. Paid solutions likely handle batch exports like GIMP’s plugin and PhotoScape X.