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Fireworks MX - Batch Processing Photos

This is a beginner's Fireworks MX tutorial. Basic knowledge of Fireworks MX assumed. This tutorial was written using Windows O/S.

If you haven't done so already, please work through Saving Commands/Batch Processing first.

Batch Processing Photos

For those that love to take digital photos, adjusting, resizing and exporting these photos for web display can be very time-consuming. Batch Processing can automate some of the tedious work for you.

Let's take a look.

For this project, you may opt to work on your own photos, or use my examples included in a zipped file (1.73 mb). For the best results, the photos for this project should all be the same size. The photos in the zip file are all 640x426 and are in Tiff format. These photos were saved from Hemera's Big Box of Art, and are to be used only for personal use.

Okay, here is what we are going to apply to each photo.

Saving a Command for Text

1. Let's create the command for the copyright text first. Create a new canvas in Fireworks MX - the width and height should be the same dimensions as your photos. The photos in my project are all 640x426 so that is the size I am creating my canvas.

2. Add a text block to the canvas in the exact position on the canvas where you want it added to all the photos in the batch. I added a text block at the bottom right. Set the color and size of the text before laying it down on the canvas.

Tip: If your photos are mostly darker colors, use a lighter colored text. Choose a darker text if your photos are on the light side.

3. Choose the Pointer Tool (or hit "V" on your keyboard) - now check the History Panel. There should be an added action "Text".

4. Select the Text action on the History panel, and click the "Save" icon at the bottom of the panel. Give the command a name.....how about the name "COPY-TEXT"?

Now comes the fun part. Let's start the process!

Batch Processing - Adding Copyright and Exporting

5. Close all files on the workspace. You don't have to save the text file unless you want to keep it.

Choose File>Batch Process and the Batch Wizard appears. In this first batch, we will be inserting the copyright text to each photo and then exporting as JPG files.

Note: I am not going to go over the details for each option, please refer back to Part One for more info on specific settings for the batch wizard.

6. Select and add the files you want included in the batch. Be sure that "All Readable Files" is chosen so all file types will be listed.

choosing files for batch

Click the "Next" button.

7. From the left menu, choose the newly created COPY-TEXT command, click "Add" button. Then add Export to the list of actions.

Customize the settings for the export. For photos, JPG's are the best format. I chose progressive and a quality of 80. Your settings might vary. Click the "Next" button.

choosing the options

8. Choose your backup options, then hit the "Batch" button.

Check out the newly created files. The copyright text was added, and they were optimized and exported to much smaller (web-ready) JPG files.

Batch Processing - Thumbnails

Okay, next, let's create thumbnails for each of our photos.

Choose File>Batch.

9. Select the original photo files and add them to the batch list.

10. From the left options menu, add Scale. Customize the scale setting. There are several scale settings. I chose "Scale to Percentage" 30%.

11. Next, select and add Export to the list, and edit your settings. I chose a JPG setting with quality of around 70.

12. The last action to add will be "Rename" - this is a really cool action. Because you already have exported .jpg files previously, Fireworks gives you the option to add a prefix or suffix to the file name the new batch of files. I set a suffix of "-tn" (for thumbnail files).

thumbnail batching

13. Choose your backup settings if applicable, and then click "Batch"

Check out your thumbnails. Neatly named with a suffix of "-tn" so they didn't overwrite the first set of .jpg files.

All that is left to do now is set up your web page in Dreamweaver. Link the full sized images to the smaller thumbnails.

Batching Tip: Don't forget you can also save other commands like color adjustments and effects. Anything you would like applied to many files, it is a great time saver to either save a command, or use batch processing. Experiment with the many settings and commands. Just remember to save or backup your originals if you are working on something you are unsure of.

I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial.


An Intro to Saving Commands and Batch Processing.

Page updated on July 9, 2003

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