Image optimizers. Free.

Image optimizers. Free.

Summary: Oh Free Software, how brilliant are you? I was looking for an online PNG (oronounced “ping” graphics format optimizer, to squash down my delightful but chunky graphics.

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Oh Free Software, how brilliant are you? I was looking for an online PNG (oronounced “ping” graphics format optimizer, to squash down my delightful but chunky graphics. I know from somewhere that you can reduce the number of colours in an image and keep the alpha channel transparency. For a start, Fireworks give you this functionality out of the box.

Jake's social CSS sprites
Quantize THAT

On my search, I came across OptiPNG, a command line utility for doing just that. A skip and a jump over to Synaptic to install it, and then I find Trimage lossless PNG & JPG compressor, pngnq PNG quantizer and pngquant PNG quantizer & ditherer.

I installed them all. Just like that.

And then I tried them all out, and on this occasion, the low-level grey image above, with an alpha channel, compressed by about 40% using OptiPNG.

Postscript: Many of these utilities are available for McWindows too. Give them a go, if image compression floats your boat.

Topic: Software Development

Jake Rayson

About Jake Rayson

A web designer since the 20th century, I am a pragmatic advocate of Free Software and I use proprietary software when appropriate. I made the full-time switch to Linux back in 2007, and my desktop tools of choice are Linux Mint, Inkscape, GIMP and Sublime Text.

As a Front End Developer, my core skills are HTML5, CSS3 and jQuery, and my working life reflects my commitment to open standards and accessible websites (ie accessible by everyone, regardless of browser, platform, ability or technology).

For web publishing platforms, I use WordPress for ease of use and Drupal for more complex solutions.

I am also learning about Ruby, Rails, Sinatra and CoffeeScript. I like the minimalist Ruby Way. To this end, my personal portfolio website is built with NestaCMS.

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  • Very informative, thanks. I also love the ease of adding and removing software in the mainstream GNU/Linux distributions, especially for testing software like this.
    Chris_Clay