How To Batch Reduce Photos For Email

Q: I want to be able to reduce a lot of photos all at once to make them smaller for email. Is there a quick way to do this in PS Elements? Also another question: How can I do a similar thing to lots of photos all at once - I want to add a logo I made as a layer. Is there a quick way to put it onto a lot of photos before reducing them for email?


A: Elements does have a feature found under the File menu called Process Multiple Files. But it's best used if you only need to change the size or file format on multiple files.

There's really not an automatic way to perform the same task of putting your logo into a bunch of photos with Elements.

However, if you have access to the full version of Photoshop or know someone who does, you could probably create an action that could perform at least some of the repetitive task. You can load and use actions created in Photoshop with Elements.

But I think you'd be better off just doing them one-at-a-time because you would still have to open every image you want to place the logo into. And the process below does have some semi-automatic features which makes it pretty efficient.

Here are the steps I would use.

  1. Open the image that contains the Layer of the logo.
  2. Make sure the layer with the logo is active by clicking on it in the Layers panel. Go up to the Select menu and choose All to select the entire Layer. Press Control-C (Mac:Command-C) to copy the logo. Close that image.

  3. Open all the photos in Elements that you want to place the logo into. You will see their thumbnails in

    the Project Bin.
  4. Press Control-V (Mac:Command-V) to Paste the logo into the photo. It will be on its own Layer. If you need to Resize and move it, go up to the Image menu and choose Transform>Free Transform.

    A Bounding Box will appear around the logo. Click and drag diagonally on any of the four corner handles to Resize it. Place your cursor inside the Bounding Box and click and drag to move it to a different position. Click on the green checkmark when you are done to commit to the change.

    If you Resized the logo in this step and you want it to be that same size in all your other photos, copy the Logo Layer the same way you did in Step 2 so that you can paste the new size in the remaining photos.

  5. Now go up to the File menu and choose Save for Web…. A Dialog box will open showing a before and after of your photo.

    On the right side of the Dialog box is a Preset field. I usually use JPEG High from there. That gives you a good quality result and still keeps the file size low.

    Below that you will see the Image Size area. Make sure the Constrain Proportions box is checked.

    If your unsure of the recipients monitor size choose 650 pixels for the longest dimension. That will ensure that people with the smallest monitors will be able to view it without scrolling. Click OK and choose a name and place to save it to.

Note that the Save for Web will automatically flatten your photo so the logo will no longer be on a separate Layer.

Now open the next photo by double-clicking on it in the Project Bin. Paste the logo into it and Save for Web.

I think this technique will get you through a fair amount of photos pretty quickly.

Good luck,

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