For those who work with large numbers of images frequently, nothing can be more tedious than going through and applying the same changes to all the photos in an album or collection. Thankfully, you can batch edit photos to skip the tedium, applying a single edit to hundreds or thousands at once.
Unfortunately, not all photo software has it, and those that do don’t always have it in the most obvious places. So whether you are an eager amateur, a busy professional, or somewhere in between, here are your notes on how to batch edit photos via Mac, Windows, or Chrome OS.
Batch editing for Macs
Mac has the easiest methods of batch editing photos, as long as you have the right software. The good news is that if batch editing is your game, you probably already have the necessary software, such as the ubiquitous Adobe Photoshop.
In Photoshop, you need to create an image export action that will apply to a group of images, or a “droplet.” First, decide your individual actions with the Actions panel. Then head to the menu, choose Automate, and Create Droplet. Save the Droplet and select the Action Set to use. Set your options for processing, saving, and file naming, and the changes will occur. Adobe provides information on this and other options for batch work. You can also create droplets that will affect images across platforms. If you only want to convert or process batches of files, not edit them, there are options for this too.
Of course, not everything comes down to Photoshop. If you are looking for another option that also includes batch editing, there are a few more options for you. Photoscape X is one of the better tools, because it is available for free and offers an easy option to edit multiple photos in a batch. Features are a little limited compared to Photoshop, but you still have colors, filters, effects, stickers, brushes, framing, and more. It’s probably a better idea to download Photoscape rather than paying for Photoshop if all you want is batch editing functionality,
As a sidenote, if you prefer to work on your iPad for photo work, take a look at the VSCO app. It’s a film and photo app with a focus on elegant functionality. Among many other things, it now allows you to batch edit photos.
Batch editing for Windows
The latest versions of Windows actually includes a couple native options to tweak your photos in big batches. The first and most obvious option is the Photo Gallery. Bring up the Gallery and the images that you want to edit (organizing them in one folder first may make this easier). First highlight all the pictures you want to affect with a mouse drag or holding down the shift key. Then head over to Edit, choose Quick adjustments, and then select the edits you want to make.
If this is a little too simplistic for your needs, or you are using an older version of Windows software that may not have all the same features, you can find other batch editing options over at the Picture Manager in Microsoft Office. This includes an Edit Pictures task pane that allows you to auto-correct, crop, rotate, or resize all your selected pictures at once. Keep in mind that this solution applies primarily to older versions of Office, so it may not always be available.
Remember when we talked about Photoscape up in the Mac section? Yep, Photoscape is also (and originally) a Windows program that you can download for free. Visit the download page for the latest version of Photoscape pick a download option. Once you have installed the software, go to the Batch Editor and use the Add button to add whatever photos you want to change. After making the changes, select Convert All to trigger the changes.
Batch editing for Chrome OS
Chrome OS is a bit different from our other options. Since Chrome OS is most likely to be found on an inexpensive, there isn’t always room or power for running large photo programs that are good at dealing with multiple images at the same time. Chrome OS does have some basic photo editing functions of its own, but they lurk in the background and don’t provide batch editing. Fortunately, thanks to the power of the cloud and the right software, you may not even notice.
Let’s start with Adobe’s work with Google, which allows some users to access various editing programs via the Creative Cloud. Yes, Photoshop and Lightroom are among them, but they are primarily focused on schools for the moment, so you may not be able to get a license for it. Ask around at your school or work to see if you are able to take advantage of this offer, or request access directly from Adobe. However, you should know that you need a Creative Cloud login, and that these will be lite versions of the software, with limited functionality.
Your other option in Chrome OS is to find the right extension. Just what the right extension is depends on what you’re trying to do. The Polarr Photo Editor 3 is one of the deeper photo management options with the ability to batch export photos, but it was designed for Android originally, and doesn’t translate to Chrome OS that well.