• ARTICLES
SEARCH

How-To Geek

How to Batch Edit Photos with Phatch

If you have ever needed to edit a whole folder of photos with the same effect or need to repeatedly crop, add watermarks, or drop shadows to images for the web, Phatch is the tool for the job. Phatch is a photo batch editor written in python so it works on any operating system.

Install Phatch

Phatch is available in the package manager of most Linux distributions. If it is not available you can download installation files from the Phatch website or source code from launchpad. In Windows and OS X things are a bit different and you will need to install all dependencies and launch the phatch.py script manually. Links and download zip with all dependencies for Windows can be found below.

Use Phatch to Edit Your Pictures

When Phatch is opened it looks more like a buddy list window than a photo editor. The first thing to do is click on the plus sign to add an action.

000_add-action

The first action to add should always be save. It is important to make sure save is on the bottom of the list because actions run in order from top to bottom.

001_Phatch actions

When save has been added to the action list, there will be more options for filename, type, and location. Some file formats will add more options to the save action if they are available.

002_save-action

Even if the photo does not need editing, Phatch is still a great conversion tool with a plethora of available file formats it can read and write.

003_filetypes

Now that the save action is on the list, click the plus sign again to add more to the action list. Each photo edit is its own action, so if the photo needs a watermark and a drop shadow, separate actions will need to be added.

Use the up and down arrows to change the order the actions will run, and make sure there is at least one save action at the bottom of the list. Phatch also can use external programs such as Blender and Imagemagick if those programs are installed.

004_action-list

Note: If you need multiple copies of the same file (eg. web thumbnail and full size image) you can have multiple save actions anywhere on the list. But remember the action list is processed from top to bottom. So don’t create and save your thumbnail before the full size image.

Click the action list menu to save and easily repeat these steps later on any pictures. Action list are stored in .phatch files which can be opened on any platform to have identical photo edits every time.

If an action needs to be temporarily disabled, right-click on the action item and then disable it. Disabling skips that action when processing the list. This can be helpful if an image already has a watermark or drop shadow and doesn’t need to be processed again.

006_howtogeek - Phatch

To run the action list, click on the gears icon or push Ctrl+Return and another dialog will pop up for a location of files or folders and options to overwrite images, include subfolders, and what filetypes to process. Click Batch and the action list will run and save in the location you specified.

007_phatch-run

Here is a few examples of photo edits we created quickly with a photo of a friends car.

008_lotus

008_border

008_offset

Phatch Image Inspector

Phatch also comes with an image inspector which can show the EXIF and IPTC information from the image. To launch the image inspector, click on the magnifying glass in the main Phatch window.

009_image-inspector

Drag an image to the window to see its attributes and tag information.

010_image-info

Phatch is a powerful photo editing tool that can repeat common photo edits in a snap; it is also free and cross platform which makes it even more valuable when working with the web from multiple machines.

Link

Go to Phatch homepage

Phatch on launchpad

Download Phatch with dependencies for Windows XP

Justin is a Linux and HTPC enthusiast who loves to try new projects. He isn't scared of bricking a cell phone in the name of freedom.

  • Published 06/29/10

Comments (4)

  1. Matthew Guay

    Nice overview, Justin … thanks! I’ll have to give this a try sometime soon :)

  2. Stani

    We are working on our last pieces of a beta installer for Windows. We are also have an alpha installer for Mac OS X. We will open these soon for public testing.

    Thanks for the review!

    The Phatch development team.

    PS Note you can load multiple images into the Image Inspector and edit their EXIF and IPTC tags individually or by row.

  3. Abhishek

    Phatch is probably the only way I know you can insert date & time stamps into a photograph from the EXIF data on Linux. They do not have a ready-made option for this but you can tweak the Text (Write text at a given position) action within minutes to add the date & time stamps. This is useful for some of the lower-end Sony cameras which do not give an option to superimpose the date & time stamp on the photos.

  4. Joe

    Thanks for a much needed tool my friend. Being multi platform will also make it easier for people to switch over to Linux.

Get Free Articles in Your Inbox!

Join 134,000 newsletter readers

Email:

Go check your email!