Ever wondered how to batch-convert your files to LZW-compressed TIFF files? Here is the easy solution…

But why TIFF? Answer: Simple, due to compatibility. The image editing/viewer software which doesn’t read TIFF, doesn’t deserves attention… Also TIFF files hold the image data in a lossless way (unless JPEG).
The LZW compression? The LZW stands for Lempel-Zih-Welch, an universal lossless compression. (You may read more about this algorithm at Wikipedia). The image data of a TIFF can be automatically compressed with the LZW algorithm before saving the file. Regardless of the slightly slower save/read times, the LZW compression really saves disk space.

Basic scenarios:

  • you have a lot of layered TIFF files, but uncompressed or compressed with ZIP (unless LZW, the ZIP compression isn’t a common standard, many image viewers/editors may fail to read)
  • you have a lot of layered PSD files
  • you have a lot of (different) other formats and you want to store all of them as TIFF, compressed with LZW

Opening every file and saving as TIFF isn’t an option for sure, especially for several tens or several hundreds of images. So here’s how to deal:

Image Processor

The Image Processor dialog

You need Adobe Photoshop and Bridge. Open up Bridge and navigate to the folder where are the files to be converted. Select all the files you want to convert and click Tools → Photoshop → Image Processor… Check the Save as TIFF and the LZW Compression options. Make sure no other things are checked. Then hit Run. If the Save in Same Location option was selected, don’t worry about the overwrites, because a separate folder, named TIFF will be created in the given location and the converted files will be created inside this folder. Also don’t worry about the channels, layers, adjustment layers, etc., these will be kept in the resulting TIFF!

Finally you may delete the old files and replace them with the new TIFF’s. But before the replacement, it’s advised to make some checks by opening several old and new files to make sure, everything is preserved…

For a quick check of the monitor’s correct brightness/contrast adjustment, here are some simple, downloadable charts.

Why do you need to check the brightness/contrast adjustment of the monitor?

When working with graphics you need to be able to view the very dark (5%) and the very light (95%) shades of colors or gray. Otherwise your newly created graphics or adjusted photos will tend to be very dark or very light.

Note that this isn’t a monitor calibration! To calibrate a monitor you need a special device that reads the monitor colors and creates an icc profile, specific for the monitor.

How to use the adjustment charts?

View the chart image and adjust your monitor and/or video card settings until you see and you can distinguish all the squares, especially the 5% and 95% ones.

  1. Download the chart that’s the most appropriate for your monitor’s resolution. If the needed resolution isn’t listed, download a smaller resolution image.
  2. Open the image in an image viewer that has the possibility to view images in full screen and also – if needed – it’s able to display the remaining areas around the image in black (examples: FastStone or XnView). Or simply set the image as wallpaper with desktop color set to black.
  3. Play with the monitor brightness/contrast settings. If you can’t achieve good results with this, activate the desktop and open the display or video card properties – depending on where you can adjust brightness/contrast/gamma. Make visible the image and play with the settings.

Notes

  • You may not be able to distinguish the fully saturated and the 95% red, green or blue colors just by adjusting brightness/contrast, due to the monitor abilities.
  • This process isn’t a monitor calibration! Linearizing the color/grayscale transitions isn’t possible with this method.
  • Your monitor may be well adjusted from the factory. Thus, every attempt to make it better may lead to worse settings…

You can download the charts here:

Monitor adjustment chart 1920x1440

1920×1440

Monitor adjustment chart 1920x1200

1920×1200

Monitor adjustment chart 1920x1080

1920×1080

Monitor adjustment chart 1680x1050

1680×1050

Monitor adjustment chart 1280x1024

1280×1024

Monitor adjustment chart 1024x768

1024×768

When you are deeply involved in graphics editing, at some point you will need specially-sized images, such as:

  • specified megapixels while having a fixed 4:3, 3:2 or other w/h ratio
  • width and/or height to be multiple of 2, 4, 8, 16, etc. at a given w/h ratio
  • calculate the other side, knowing one side and the megapixels

To help with these calculations, the Aspect Ratio Calculator has been created. Extremely simple, no manuals, no installation or dependencies, just a single .exe file:

Aspect Ratio Calculator

Aspect Ratio Calculator

What this simple app does? Calculates the other parameters that aren’t focused. You can change the values by writing numbers or pressing up/down keys.

  • if you are at the ‘Width’ field, changing the value changes the ‘Height’, based on ‘Aspect Ratio’
  • if you are at the ‘Height’ field, changing the value changes the ‘Width’, based on ‘Aspect Ratio’
  • if you are at the ‘Aspect Ratio’ field, changing any value changes the ‘Width’ and ‘Height’, based on the new ‘Aspect Ratio’. You can choose from the dropdown list the basic aspect ratios or you may enter custom values if you wish.
  • if you are at the ‘Megapixles’ field, changing the value changes the ‘Width’ and ‘Height’, based on the ‘Aspect Ratio’. Any other time the ‘Megapixels’ field is updated as Width × Height / 1.000.000.

The info box displays every time the W/H, H/W and the W×H values.

Tips:

  • If you want a given megapixels at a given aspect ratio, enter the width and height of the actual image into ‘Aspect ratio’ fields, enter the megapixels into ‘Megapixels’ field and read the resulting ‘Width’ and ‘Height’.
  • Change the ‘Width’ or ‘Height’ fields by pressing up/down arrow keys. When both width/height becomes dividable by 2, 4, 8 or 16, the dividend will appear in square, next to ‘Width’ and ‘Height’ fields. This can help when you want to make calculations on video frames or you want to efficiently optimize jpg files, video frames, etc.

Download the executable here: ARC