Graphic Design Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for Graphic Design professionals, students, and enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have a folder on my computer with some images inside it.

For each image I would like to create a smaller thumbnail of the image with a specific width and height.

I recently downloaded Microsoft expression design. Is it possible to use expression design to generate thumbnails for a folder of images, if so how, or must I use a different program, if so which one and how?

share|improve this question

There are many softwares which come exclusively for the task of creating thumbnails of images. One of the established commercial solutions for Windows that come to my mind is ThumbsPlus which comes with a 30 day evaluation period after which you will have to buy a license.

Mostly whenever I need to quickly create a lot of thumbnails I do that with the unbeaten light and immensely versatile freeware (for non-commercial usage) tool IrfanView.

For thumbnails we are able to define the size as well as several options for output:

  • create single thumbnail images from selected files
  • create a contact sheet of variable dimension
  • create a HTML page with thumbnails of selected files

To do so we open the separate IrfanView Thumbnails program (or start it from the main application window on the menu entry File > Thumbnails):

enter image description here

share|improve this answer

Here is a list of batch image resizers/converters:

I haven't tried any myself, but you'll probably find a solution that works for you.

share|improve this answer
Could you please include links to (some) of the batch processors named in the article. In case the link goes down your answer will still be useful. – Saaru Lindestøkke Nov 10 '13 at 22:19

There is one free online thumbnail generator. It supports up to 5 images at a time

Online Thumb-Nail Generator

share|improve this answer

Found this page while searching how to batch-thumbnails for my fine art for bodies gallery and image catalog, and also found these steps on how to do them via the Windows>Actions in photoshop:

By Corrie Haffly

I’ve started with 12 photos of the same size (2560 × 1920 pixels), oriented as shown below. We want to create a 150 pixel-wide, web-optimized thumbnail for each photo, while keeping the original images intact.

Our original photos

The first step is to create a Photoshop action, which is a saved set of commands for the process.

Open one of the images in Photoshop, and display the Actions panel by selecting Window > Actions. Click on the Create new action icon at the bottom of the panel, as shown below.

Creating a new action

The New Action dialog box will appear. After you’ve given your action a descriptive name (I’ve called mine “Thumbnail - horizontal”), click Record.

Back in the Actions panel, shown below, you’ll see that the name of your new action has been highlighted, and the Record button (which was gray earlier) has turned red. This indicates that Photoshop is now recording your commands.

Activating the Record button

Select Image > Image Size. In the dialog box that appears, enter the size details of your thumbnail; I’ve made mine 150 × 113 pixels. Click OK to apply the new size.

Let’s revisit the Actions panel. As you can see below, a new line has appeared under “Thumbnail - horizontal.” This is the image size command we’ve just performed.

Adding the image size command to the action

Now, let’s add a command to save our thumbnail for the Web.

Select File > Save for Web… and choose your web optimization settings. Use settings that will work reasonably well with all your images. I’m saving my thumbnail as a JPEG with a Quality value of 60. When you’ve finalized your settings, click Save.

To prevent your original file from being overwritten, create a new folder called “Thumbnails” to store your thumbnail images in.

After saving the thumbnail, close the original image without saving any changes. The process is complete. Click the Stop button at the bottom of the Actions panel, as shown below, to stop recording the action.

Stopping the recording

To see your action in progress, open another photo and select the “Thumbnail - horizontal” action from the Actions panel. Click on the Play selection button, as shown below.

Action replay

Photoshop will quickly run through the steps you recorded earlier. Check your “Thumbnails” folder to make sure everything’s in order.

That’s your action completed. Now, let’s run a batch command, which will let us use the action to process multiple images at once. First, make sure that all the photos you want to work with are in the same folder. Select File > Automate > Batch…, and the Batch dialog box will appear.

Select your action from the Action drop-down menu in the dialog box. I’ve selected “Thumbnail – horizontal” from the previous example.

From the Source drop-down, select Folder. Click the Choose…button and select the folder that contains your photos.

You’ll notice that, by default, the Destination drop-down is set to None. If you keep this setting, the thumbnails that are created will be saved into the folder that you specified in your action. If you want to save your thumbnails to a different folder, select Folder from the Destination drop-down and click on the Choose… button to pick a folder. Photoshop will provide additional options for naming your files.

Click OK to run the Batch command. Photoshop will apply the “Thumbnail - horizontal” action to each file in the source folder. When it’s done, you’ll find a collection of shiny new thumbnails in the destination folder.

Saving Time with Custom Actions

I’ve found it useful to create custom actions for tasks that I perform frequently. For example, rotating images clockwise or counterclockwise, then saving to overwrite the original image, or creating thumbnails for portrait- and landscape-orientated images using the method that we used for the action in this solution. It’s a great time-saver!

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.