Converting images has evolved all these years from difficult to configure programs to light applications that come with settings preconfigured for the needs of the average user. With SageThumbs you get not only ease of use, but also a phenomenal range of supported input formats.
I was hoping for a brief installation process, but the entire procedure is old-school. This does not mean that it is complicated or it takes too long, as you only have to go through a small set of screens.
SageThumbs has no application window to input the image files, because you don’t really need it. The program installs as an extension to Windows Explorer and you can find it in the context menu of every picture you hold on the system.
And when I say every picture, I really mean it, since the list encompasses more than 200+ choices. These are not just the popular formats you deal every day, but really exclusive ones, proprietary to specific cameras. So yes, it does support raw pictures, too.
As for the output result, SageThumbs is pretty modest with only BMP, PNG, GIF and JPG in its portfolio. However, the app has been created to offer you the chance to convert all sorts of image types, even if you have no software to open them up with.
During our tests we had no trouble converting to the above mentioned types any of the regular image formats. We also tried some raw formats from Nikon and Canon cameras and the application encountered no difficulty in converting them. However, given they were raw pictures, it took a while to display the results.
One of the best parts in SageThumbs is that its menu shows a thumbnail of the selected image. If multiple items are selected the thumb preview is no longer available and instead you’ll get a clear view at the main options of the application.
Besides turning the photos into one of the four popular formats mentioned above, the app also makes available the possibility to send the item, or just the thumbnail preview via email.
In the case of the single-item selection SageThumbs’ menu is a tad richer. It includes the possibility to set the chose picture as the desktop background, stretched, tiled or centered.
Handling the app is no rocket science, and it is makes for an extremely handy way to batch convert piles of photos to BMP, JPG, GIF or PNG with the least effort possible: select the files and choose the output format. The only problem is that you won’t get to pick the storage folder for the results, in case you want to separate them from the originals in one move.
The configuration panel of SageThumbs may appear slightly complicated for a novice, but leaving everything to default should be perfectly fine. On the other hand, advanced users won’t have any trouble with the screen and will be able to customize the size of the preview thumbnail in the context menu, define the quality parameters for JPEG output and the PNG compression.
Another customization option in the settings panel is to choose the exact type of files you want the application to process. Applying the settings actually requires running SageThumbs under an account with administrative privileges.
However, you will get the alert informing you of this condition even if you are already in an administrator account. Still on the downside, we noticed that while the configuration screen is visible, the entire desktop area becomes unusable if you launch it from the context menu of an image.
You won’t be able as much as refresh the workspace or access the context menu. But running it from Windows Start menu won’t give you any trouble at all.
On the downside, the conversion process offers no indication on the completion time. There is no progress bar available or any other sign that it is working, except for the bump in system resources usage, which, in our case, showed a 48% CPU average and RAM requirement beyond what we expected, continually increasing to demands of greater than 300MB. We worked with a batch of 63 JPEGs.
This would make it acceptable for small jobs that do not require numerous conversions, but it is an awful solution if you want it for batch conversions.
A shell extension allowing to preview many image formats.
SageThumbs is a powerful shell extension allowing to preview enormous amount of image formats directly in Windows Explorer by using Pierre-e Gougelet's GFL library (XnView's author).
As SageThimbs is a Windows Explorer context menu extension, there is no an executable file that you should launch to bring it up. To use it, just open any folder with image files in Windows Explorer, and then right-click a file you want to preview. You'll see the thumbnail immediately in the context menu. Easily preview almost any image format using this powerful shell extension.
Here are some key features of "SageThumbs":
· Extended thumbnail image view of Explorer folder
· Thumbnail image in explorer context menu (rigth-click menu)
· Extended info tips
· Support 162 image formats (224 extensions) via GFL Library
· Support additional 26 image formats via XnView plugins (if installed)
· Send by mail support
· One-click conversion to popular image formats support
· Wallpaper selection support
· Copy to clipboard support
· About 2 Mb of disk space + additional space for cache
What's New in This Release:
· Combined 32/64-bit distributive
· Added "JPEG quality" and "PNG compression" convert options
· Added "Convert to PNG" context menu item
· Optimized options dialog