Launch a web browser and go to Balesio's website. When the web page loads, choose Fileminimizer Pictures FREE from the Downloads menu. If the File Download Security Warning dialogue box appears, click Save and then choose a location for the downloaded file. Firefox users should select Save File to save the download to Firefox’s default download folder.
Now locate and double-click the downloaded program. If Windows displays a security warning, ignore it and click Run. Follow the instructions and leave all the defaults as they are – including the options to add Fileminimizer to Windows’ context (right-click) menus and install the Facebook Uploader – and at the end, click the Finish button to complete the installation and load the program. Here’s what it looks like – menu bar along the top, task commands down the side and working windows in the middle.
Before doing anything else, click the Settings button and when the dialogue box opens, click the Settings for images tab. By default, Fileminimizer will choose the best combination of image format and physical size to produce the smallest possible image. Most digital cameras store pictures in JPEG format. Assuming you don’t want that to change, click to select the ‘Keep original image format’ radio button. We’d also suggest removing the tick from the ‘Allow image to be resized’ box, as this will prevent the physical size of images from being reduced. These settings should produce images that look identical to the originals, just smaller.
Now find a large picture to work with. We’ve popped one on the Windows Desktop that we know is 3,504 x 2,336 pixels and takes up 11.4MB of space – a very large image file. We can drag and drop that into the top window or if it’s stored somewhere else, click the Open Files button, use Windows’ file commands to find it and click Open. By default, Fileminimizer puts the new smaller version of a picture in the same location as the original and differentiates it by appending ‘(FILEminimzer)’ to the end of the file name. Click the large Optimize Files button to start.
When Fileminimizer has finished its job, the old size and new size will be displayed in the top window. In our example, it has compressed the original photo by 92.7 per cent, down from 11.4MB to a mere 850KB. But what does it actually look like compared to the original photo? Here we’ve opened the before-and-after shots in an image-editing program and then zoomed in on both. The level of detail in the new ‘small’ version on the right is incredible and it’s hard to believe that it’s less than one-tenth the size of the original.
Even though the picture has been compressed using Fileminimizer, the program isn’t required to open it elsewhere – so these smaller pictures are perfect for sharing. To compress more than one picture at a time, drag and drop several files into the top window using the mouse or by clicking the Open Files button and then selecting multiple pictures with Windows Explorer. Alternatively, just open a folder of pictures, select them all and then right-click on one – notice that Fileminimizer has been added as an option to the menu.
Select it and then flip back to the Fileminimizer. If we process these pictures now, they’ll just get dumped one by one into the same folder as the originals. Let’s change that by defining a separate destination folder. Click the button next to the ‘Save optimized files in folder’ option (it’s got three dots on it) then scroll up to click Desktop. Click the New Folder button and type in a folder name and press Enter. Select the new folder and click OK.
Click the Optimize Files link and Fileminimizer will do its stuff, putting the new, smaller versions of the image files into the folder created in the previous step. If you want to share them on Facebook, highlight all the photos in the top window by holding down the Ctrl (Control) key and then tapping A or be selective by holding down the Ctrl key and clicking with the mouse pointer. Click the Upload to Facebook button in the toolbar. You’ll need a Facebook account for this to work.
Fileminimizer will ask if you really want to upload the photos to your Facebook account. Click Yes. When the login page appears, type in your username and password, tick the ‘Keep me logged in’ box and then click the Log in button. At the next screen, click the Allow button. After a moment, Fileminimizer will start to upload the selected photos to Facebook. When complete, click the Visit Facebook button. When the browser launches, sign in to Facebook again and you’ll see the photos on your News Feed page.
Back at Fileminimizer, click the Close button to get rid of the Facebook Uploader dialogue box. Not a Facebook user and want to share a large photo with a friend? From the main Fileminimizer window click the Pack and Go button on the button bar. Use Windows Explorer to locate and select the photo and then click Open. When Fileminimizer asks if you want to start the optimisation, click Yes. After a moment, the default email application will launch with the compressed version of the photo already attached, ready to address and send.