This is how to quickly batch resize images using the built-in Automator app on a Mac. It can also change filenames, and do some other neat tricks too!

A duotoned dark purple and beige version of the Apple triangular ruler emoji, in front of a blue zig zag shape across the bottom of the image

As an efficiency guru, I’m here for anything that can help make digital processes easier or faster*, so I can spend my time on the juicy stuff. Enter… Automator!

Automator is a nifty little app for running workflows on your Mac, including:

  • Workflows within the Automator app
  • Workflows run by other applications
  • Quick actions‘, added to Finder windows, the Touch Bar or Services menu
  • Print plugins, within the printing process
  • Folder actions, within Finder
  • Workflows that are triggered by a calendar event
  • Workflows within the Image Capture app
  • Workflows that run when dictation is used

*See related: How to get the best out of Siri, for some handy voice commands.

Batch resize images

This is the Automator feature I use the most, and in the category of ‘things I feel like not everyone would know unless someone else has told them’ so here tis!

In this video (7min), I show you how I use Automator to resize and rename a batch of images:

Here’s what’s covered:
0:15 What is the Automator app
0:23 What it can do
0:50 Launch the app
1:09 Setup a new ‘automation’ workflow
4:03 Run the new workflow
4:29 Review the newly created images
5:00 Save as reusable workflow

And here’s what it looks like in the app:

Screenshot of the workflow selection screen in the Automator app
New Automator workflow screen
A list of Finder actions including 'ask for finder items', 'rename finder items' and 'sort finder items'
File action options
A list of image actions including 'flip images', 'scale images', crop images, and 'change type of images'
Image action options

The steps used for this workflow are:

  1. Ask for Finder items (allow multiple)
  2. Copy Finder items
  3. Scale images to size (eg 500 pixels)
  4. Rename Finder items: Add text (eg. ‘_small500x’ after name)
Screenshot of an Automator app workflow showing steps: ask for finder items, copy finder items, scale images and rename finder items: add text
An example workflow in Automator

You may not need it often, but when you do it can save hours.

Happy Automator-ing!

Screenshot of a saved Automator workflow icon
Saved Automator workflow icon