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8 Excellent Tools for Optimizing Your Images

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One of the easiest ways to reduce page response times is by optimizing your website images to reduce their file sizes as much as possible. Optimizing images not only makes your web pages load faster, but also reduces your bandwidth consumption, which can translate to significant savings in your hosting bills.

There are several free tools available at your disposal to shrink and optimize images. In this article, you will find convenient and user-friendly tools for making your web images as tiny in file size as possible.

1. smush.it!

smush.it!

smush.it! makes optimization of your images a breeze. Created by Stoyan Stefanov and Nicole Sullivan, smush.it! is a tool that is available as a Firefox extension, a bookmarklet, or as a simple web-based application (hosted by Yahoo!). It takes in most types of image formats, and automatically converts GIFs to PNGs (because they’re virtually the same, only that PNGS weigh a whole lot less).

2. RIOT

RIOT

RIOT – which stands for Radical Image Optimization Tool – is an image optimizer for Windows users that is available as a standalone application or as an extension of IrfanView. It supports inputs in JPG, PNG, and GIF files and has the ability to strip out image metadata for further reduction of file bloat. It also has some basic image-editing utilities such as pan, zoom, and rotate, and flip built in.

3. PNGOUT

PNGOUT

Created by game programmer Ken Silverman, PNGOUT is a popular, free, and no-frills tool for lossless optimization of your images. PNGOUT can run in the command-line or Windows Run dialog box. It has a robust set of options so that you can easily customize the way your files are compressed. It takes most of the popular image file formats (such as JPG, GIF, and PNG).

4. Online Image Optimizer

Online Image Optimizer

The Online Image Optimizer from Dynamic Drive is a web-based tool for compressing your images further. You can either provide the link to the image you wish to optimize, or upload it from your local machine. Besides optimization, you can select what output you’d like the optimized image to be (the default is the same file type as the input). The limitation of Online Image Optimizer is that it only accepts images less than 300 KB.

5. SuperGIF

SuperGIF

SuperGIF is a free utility for Windows and Mac OS users that optimizes your GIF images. It has an intuitive and simple user interface that allows for drag and drop interaction, and it can compress GIFs 50% more in some instances. The free version can only compress one GIF at a time, but it has all the same features as the commercial version ($29.95) except batch processing.

6. PNGGauntlet

PNGGauntlet

PNGGauntlet is a .NET GUI application for PNGOUT. It can be used to convert JPG, GIF, TGA, PCX, and BMP to highly optimized PNG files. PNGGauntlet is perfect for individuals that are uncomfortable working in the command-line/Windows Run dialog box, but would still like to take advantage of PNGOUT’s superior optimization algorithm. Check out PNGGauntlet’s FAQ page or its forum to get help in case you run into trouble using it.

7. PNGCrushrrr

PNGCrushrrr

PNGCrushrrr is a free GPL-licensed Mac OS utility for crushing down your PNG files to very small sizes. It has a drag-and-drop interface, allowing you to drag one or more PNG files into it, compressing the files and preserving the original file so you are able to compare the size difference. The creator says that PNGCrushrrr is best used on PNG-24 files.

8. SuperPNG

SuperPNG

SuperPNG is a free Photoshop plugin for saving significantly smaller PNG files compared to Photoshop’s native save feature for PNG’s. It also includes some advanced PNG-creation features such as 16-bit color support, variable compression, gamma correction, and metadata saving. Check out some PNG samples saved by SuperPNG in the PNG Samples page.

What’s your image optimization tool?

If your favorite image optimization tool isn’t on the list, please share it with us in the comments: let us know why you prefer it over other image optimization tools.

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This was published on Jun 7, 2009

69 Comments

Sebastian Jun 07 2009

I often use TewakPNG (http://entropymine.com/jason/tweakpng/) to delete metadata in PNG-Files or insert copyright information.
Besides that, it fixes some color issues with PNG and IE6.

JPEG & PNG Stripper removes unnecesary tags from jpg and png images.
http://www.steelbytes.com/?mid=30

In fact, i use “smush it” by the plugin “wp smush it” for WordPress. You can “smush” pics uploaded and see the size than you earned with the operation.

http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wp-smushit/

This is great, thanks. I’ve been wondering about some images i’ve seen on sites like large background implementations with such amazing backgrounds and such a low size graphic!

vovanbo Jun 07 2009

What about ImageOptim (http://pornel.net/imageoptim/en). It’s complex optimisation OS X tool for JPG and PNG images contain AdvPNG, OptiPNG, PngCrush, JpegOptim, jpegtran and PNGOUT. Very useful.

Ohh! Now this one I have got to save! I am only using IrfanView to convert stuff but it cannot have a copyright thing on it.

Smashbase Jun 07 2009

Thanks for this list! I’ll be giving SuperPNG a try.

Jim Gaudet Jun 07 2009

These are great, but are there some specific settings you like to use when using Photoshop? I mean, I Save for Web and play with the settings, but wondering if there was some sort of standard..

Amal Roy Jun 07 2009

Great collection!

nh design Jun 07 2009

Very good. I am going to try smush.it. I like that it is a Firefox extension.

Matthew Bertulli Jun 07 2009

As one of the few Windows users left (laugh it up Mac fans) I can say that RIOT has come in handy on more than one occasion.

Nice list Jacob. I’m bookmarking this one for sure.

Danh ba web 2.0 Jun 07 2009

Thanks for nice list. I like smush.it!

Let’s not forget the open-source variants: PNGCrush and its successor, OptiPNG

I often use Adobe Firework’s Export Wizard to quickly optimize the image.

OptiPNG for the *NIX folks

http://optipng.sourceforge.net/

OptiPNG for *NIX folks.

http://optipng.sourceforge.net/

Steve Morris Jun 08 2009

I downloaded pngout.exe and tried it on a couple of JPG files. It “compressed” my sample files to 400% to 600% of their original size. Am I not getting some practical joke?

i’ve been using VSO ImageResizer to optimize my pics size. I use it because it doen make my pics loose their quality in normal mode, or you say untill zoomed. However i’ll definitely try’n’test some of the tools out of the mentioned above.

charles Jun 08 2009

Nice tools for the beginner but I’ll stick with photoshop

Hercules Jun 08 2009

thanks for this great post

telecomm Jun 08 2009

“…an extension of IranView”? :-D

Raithlin Jun 08 2009

PNGcrush for Windows does a great job for me, and I have it in my context menu for ease of use.

http://pmt.sourceforge.net/pngcrush/

How do any of these compare to the “save for web” option in Photoshop? That’s what I’d like to know.

Rene Zammit Jun 08 2009

useful tools. Thanks :)

I often use TewakPNG (http://entropymine.com/jason/tweakpng/) to delete metadata in PNG-Files or insert copyright information.
Besides that, it fixes some color issues with PNG and IE6..

psychic readings Jun 08 2009

Thanks for the interesting article!

smush.it is fantastic and by far the best, but inconvenient when you have a very large site with several folders. But it basically uses OPTIPNG and you can get a few programs that do that already:

http://www.apple.com/downloads/dashboard/developer/pngpong.html This is the best one of the lot, it corrects Gamma and compresses the. If you want to overwrite the files then press the info button (a bit hidden on the base of the racket)

The other good one is:
http://www.amake.us/software/pngcrusher/
But it doesnt seem to correct Gamma and doesn’t compress as much as the widget.

Wow.. That PS plugin is cool. I tried it already.

Akhil Sasidharan Jun 09 2009

Where’s my fav, Shrink-O-Matic? ;-)

Mário Andrade Jun 09 2009

I’ve been trying RIOT and it’s doing an impressive job. The quality maintains but compresses better than smush.it
the only problem I find is that you can only open 1 file at a time.

prem ypi Jun 09 2009

This is really cool collection. Personally i had bad experience with smush it!

It kills the transparency of png images. So check the image in different background after smushing, else you may just screw up GUI

Ah very handy list, thank you!

My eye fell on the Iranview link tho, might want to sneak that ‘f’ back in there ;)

Jacob Gube Jun 09 2009

@Ilja: Nice catch, but really, it was intentional, Iran is a nice country, it’s nice to view it. :))

OMG, I can’t think about online optimization cause we don’t have quite a good connection here at our place. For me offline optimizers does the job. But I’ve tested and found out that Smushit, RIOT and dynamic drive are my favs.

Ever since Yahoo bought out Smushit, it hasn’t been the same =( But still a useful tool — nice post!

Great list, I love dynamic drive their scripts have gotten me out of more than one jam.

ddlinks Jun 09 2009

great list thank u for sharing

Gizelle Jun 09 2009

Good to know about all these available free tools. But I am just puzzled whether optimizing images in Photoshop is not enough? Because what I do is just save my images for web to reduce the size without compromising the quality of my images.

Jason Grant Jun 10 2009

Useful set of tools. Bookmarked!

Jacob Gube Jun 10 2009

Thanks for sharing your thoughts everyone, and @vovanbo, awesome addition, thanks for that!

John Rygielski Jun 10 2009

Great post. It’s just what I’ve been thinking about this week for my website. Tried PNGCrushrrr but it doesn’t start up. Running OSX 10.5.7.

@Edward. Thanks for the link to PNGPong. Works great. Reduced a fullscreen PNG with transparency by 70%!

John Faulds Jun 11 2009

I’ve been using http://psydk.org/PngOptimizer.php for a while and it does a good job of compressing PNGs that have already been exported from Fireworks.

Thanks for introducing these tools. Will try to take a look at ’em.

adjie14 Jun 12 2009

I use irfan view, it can set how small is the output file

Hi,
Great Post. Thanks for this valuable information
I use contenta converter to organize, convert, process, rename and reduce my images. You can get more information about it here:http://www.contenta-converter.com/

Module23 Jun 14 2009

Don’t forget OptiPNG, open source and really doing a great job.

There is a great one at http://www.imageoptimizer.net. You can download the tool for bulk optimizing pictures of a folder by rightclicking it. so handy!

Will Dashwood Jul 01 2009

I use TweakPNG to set the bkgd chunk (to avoid the nasty grey box in IE6) and then PngOptimizer to squash the file sizes down. The combination works great but I need a tool to add a bkgd chunk to many files in a batch. Does anyone know of a tool to do this? It would be a great addition to PngOptimizer so maybe I should contact the developer.

Paul West Jul 13 2009

how do these tools compare to using Adobe Firework’s Export Wizard, are they tools for people who don’t have Adobe’s web suite? or are they even better at compressing??

Conrad Chu Jul 14 2009

There’s also another service which I created called punypng which gives very impressive compression results in comparison to the other tools.

Give it a try:
http://www.gracepointafterfive.com/punypng

also using sprites inside of images can spead it up alot for icons just use css offsets to load diff images in the sprite

Philipp Feb 04 2010

Hallo.
Thank you for your list. I will try some tools.
I have to compress the a lot of images. So i can improve the PageSpeed of the websites.

ps: your Blog is bookmarked ;)

I don’t think we need any other tool to optimize the images. I am used to doing it though Photoshop itself and do it wonderfully.

Ramesh V R Feb 08 2010

The list is good.
But designers won’t choose online optimizers if the images are confidential.

So the best tool remains “Save for Web” option in Adobe Photoshop.

another vote for ImageOptim here. Combined with picturesque for other batch goodies it’s another sexy OS X app win!

PNGCrushrrr is very fast and is working good. Article shared.

PNG GAUNTLET ROCKS Jul 28 2010

PNG Gauntlet is AWESOME. Thanks for this post. PNG Gauntlet really helped me out.

I’ve tried RIOT and works pretty good….but there is only minimal difference between PShop’s save for web application

Paul Ouano Nov 26 2010

Doesn’t Adobe’s Fireworks do a splendid job at optimizing?

Bobby Barkley Jr Dec 16 2010

I usually use the save for web devices option on Photoshop but I will certainly try this out

Andrew Edney Jan 23 2011

I’ve had some problems with uploading images when I had SmushIt installed – only way to fix the problems were to turn off the plugin :-(

Yes I used some of the tools that you mentioned its really useful, by the way thanks for the additional list, its really great for optimizing pictures

Is it possible to optimize image for web in ACDSee 4 software.
Anyone ?

Fernando May 30 2011

I love ImageOptim, thank you, webmaster

I love ImageOptim, thank you, webmaster

richard rees Sep 22 2011

absolutly love it!!!!!!!

matthew morgan Sep 22 2011

thanks i think this awesome my mum gwen told me about this site she loves this and told all her friends and family

Does anyone know of a tool that is able to optimize mixed formats and output them all in their original formats, all in one batch operation? I have hundreds of subfolders each containing a mix of jpeg, png and gif images. None of the image optimization is able to handle all these folders and subfolders and output in one operation all the various files. They all very stupidly try to convert them all to jpeg, or gif, or png. I just want the original format kept intact – it’s the optimization that I care about!

thank you!
al

Sylvain Nov 25 2011

Thanks Mate….I have been speding some time trying to find those….

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