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How to Compress Images in Photoshop

Published: 18/06/2019

Today, I want to talk about everyone's favorite topic: image compression!!! (insert sarcastic clap/eye roll)

Although it may not be the most glamorous task, you are going to want/need to compress your images for a couple of reasons. Your client's MLS may not be capable of displaying full-sized files. Or, you're trying to save space when storing your images. And last but certainly not least, you'll want to compress the images on your website and blog to increase their load speeds (which will also help your SEO!).

There are several online image compressors out there, but if you're a real estate photographer (or any photographer for that matter), you probably have access to Adobe Photoshop.

Below are some quick steps for how to compress a single image or a batch of images using Photoshop.

For single photos:

1. Open an original or edited image in Photoshop.
2. Select File > Export then select Save for Web.
3. Adjust the image size in the Image Size fields.
4. Click the 2-Up tab, which enables you to view the original image on the left window and what the smaller file looks like on the right.
5. Tick the sRGB checkbox. This ensures that the colors displayed in the window are the actual colors that will be seen on your web page.
6. Click the 4-Up tab. The top left window shows the original image. The other three windows show the image at the Maximum Quality, High Quality, and Medium Quality versions based on the settings you set in Step 3. Click on any of those three images so you can change settings.
7. Click the Magnifier Tool in the upper left menu to see slight differences between the original and compressed photos. Clicking on an image will then magnify that image. To view a part of the magnified image that is not visible, click the Hand Tool and drag the image until you can see the sections you need to see.
8. Click a compressed image to see several compression options located at the upper right of the Save for Web window.
9. Tick the Optimize box to further reduce the size.
10. Click Save. In the Save Optimized As window, type a filename different from the original image filename. Choose whether you want to compress the image as a JPG, GIF, or PNG file. Click Save.
11. Close the original file without saving.

For a batch of images:

1. Save all the photos you need to compress in a folder in your computer.
2. Open Adobe Photoshop then click File > Scripts > Image Processor.
3. Click Select Folder under the Select the images to process entry.
4. A new folder where the compressed images will be saved will be automatically created within the original folder. If you want to change the destination folder, tick Select Folder under Select Location to Save Processed Images. Look for the destination folder of your choice.
5. In the same window under the File Type section, adjust the settings to reduce the size of your image file. Check the Resize to Fit box and set the maximum height and width of your compressed photos.
6. Choose a number between 1 and 12 in the Quality field. The higher the number, the bigger the file size.
7. Select Save as JPEG.
8. You can edit images with a single action during export. Click Run Action to view actions available. Use the first column drop down to select the action group and the second drop down to pick your desired action.
9. After inputting all your settings, click Run. The images in your folder will be automatically processed and saved to your specified destination folder.

Check out these simple tips! You can find a step-by-step walk-through of the entire process here:

How to Compress Images in Photoshop

Hope this helps. 🙂

Devon Higgins

9 comments on “How to Compress Images in Photoshop”

  1. I find it much easier to use Lightroom to change a group of photos to a new size, aspect ratio, etc

    Say you want to compress and change aspect ratio on 25 pictures. Select them all and create new virtual copies of of the group. Then put each group into a new collection. Then for each collection, crop, compress, aspect change or whatever to the entire group at once. Then if the new aspect changes the composition too much of individual photos, just correct the shots that need it. Photoshop, on the other hand, would be a torture session, IMHO, for this repetitive task. Lightroom is very easy to do this, once you get the hang of it.

  2. I just do two exports in Lightroom. First, full size and the next reduced, to their own separate folders. If not changing the file name (original camera file name), label the folder by size. Ideally, if changing the name to job address or similar, add "dash file size" to end and the number sequence will be the same for each. For example, 123 Main-3 and 123 Main-1500px-3 are the same subject photo, third in the sequence delivered. I usually only deliver the 1500px but the full size are available for request when developing brochures and they can say #12 #17 and #22 rather than 'the kitchen' and have me going which one.. Plus, I need the 1500px for assembling tours.

  3. When I edit my images in Lightroom, I upload them at 1800 x 1200, 300 dpi to PFRE tours. They in turn, re-size and create the tours, then send the links to download all photos in two sizes MLS and for printing.

    if I am not doing a VT I just upload the 1800 x 1200 @300dpi up to the agencies FTP site for their marketing people. so far I haven't had any issues.

    I know many people use and love tour buzz which offer many options. What size files do they require from the photographer?

  4. If you are going to do this for the web, your first step should be to resize the images to that needed for the site. There is no reason to compress a 3000x2000 image when the site calls for an 1800x1200 image. This is likely to reduce the file size more than compression.

    Also, skip the Optimized setting in favor of the progressive setting. (You can't select both). The Optimized setting will save you around 10k, a trivial amount on today internet. The progressive setting will allow your images to download in stages. That can be far more important on slow or poor internet connections than a 10k larger file.

    Also, talk with your web designer, it's possible that compressing your images will do little to affect your site speed. Google PageSpeed module resizes, compresses and selects a format all based on information supplied by the browsers visiting your site. It then caches the results for future use. Now, you may still have to watch out for storage limits, storage charges, and uploading times.

  5. Back in the days of dial up (if anyone can even remember that far back) we had to size our images to the exact size they were to appear on the website, then "optimize" them using Photoshop's now termed Legacy (File > Export > Save for Web (Legacy). This will take a 10 meg image and reduce it to 1 meg or less. You can set the quality level of the final image and see it much as described at the top of this post. It will also turn out GIFs with transparent back grounds and so while I seldom need to make those photo reductions anymore I still pass my headers and tail credits for video through the GIF system that will sit on top of any video clip and have a clear background through which you can continue to see the video. Call me old fashion. Or just old. But it works.

    Otherwise I just batch select my high res images in Bridge, go to the Menu bar > Tools > Photoshop > Image Processor. There I can set the the file formats, sizes etc and where to put the subsequent files. Very fast. I use this to create full size JPEGs from my PSD files and 1800x1200 versions for use on the internet. Many ways to skin a cat but I am used to this, been using it for years, and I don't have to think about what I am doing.

  6. My company uses an image optimization tool which allows to resize all the original images to the maximum size limit and then compress these accordingly. In this case, it is all automated and we do not need to resize all the images manually. The product we use is

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