Tools We Use: Graphic Converter

Photoshop is not always the right tool when it comes to manipulating images. If I want to crop a photo and take out the red-eye, iPhoto is very convenient for that. If I want to remove a person or telephone pole from a picture, then I need Photoshop. I have another program in my tool box called Graphic Converter by Lemke Software GMBH. Graphic Converter is really good a converting graphics, surprisingly enough.

I have been using GC for years. The author Thorsten Lemke has continued to innovate and refresh the program. What started out as a Mac OS 9 app is today a modern Mac OS X Universal Binary application used by millions of people around the world. At a price of just $34.95 / 29.95€, it is an easy choice for anyone who has to deal with batches of graphic files.

Let’s say you have a directory of a thousand images in BMP format that someone sent you. You need to rename them, resize them, and save them as JPG format for the web. There is only one tool for the job. The Batch convert feature will make quick work of that task. Sure you can do the same thing with Photoshop. The actual way you do it depends on which version you are on since they keep changing the interface. While GC’s batch feature has remained consistently simple all these years.

Let’s say someone sends you a file and they are not sure what format it is. I’ve never heard of a .MAX format but let’s see what GC can do. And just like that you are staring at the contents of some long forgotten scanning program. I have used it to recover pictures taken with a QuickTake camera.

I once used it to diagnose document storage and retrieval system that kept barfing on a set of TIFFs. GC was able to open the file and show me the encoding scheme and the format of the preview portion. I learned more about TIFF format than I wanted from that experience. But I was able to use that information to write a program to extract thousands of TIFFs that were embedding in a single file.

I call it the Swiss-Army Knife of graphic image processors. If you have a graphic file, GC can probably open it.

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