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How to Create a List of Photo Pixel Sizes

Sometimes it is necessary to create a list of the dimensions (pixel width and height), of every photograph in a folder. If you are setting up a database of your own portfolio of photographs, you will know that this is an essential requirement to build the database table with. You could, of course, open each image in PhotoShop, press Alt+Shift+Control+I, and read and then note down the values from the Advanced > EXIF Properties > PixelXDimension and PixelYDimension boxes, but that would be very tedious for even a small number of images, much less if the folder contains a few hundred photographs.

What is needed is an automated tool that can scan an entire folder or directory, and produce a text file with all the information in it. Fortunately, there is such a tool, and you can download it for free from the EXIFtool homepage External link opens a new Browser window. Unfortunately it has no GUI (Graphic User Interface) so you will need to action it using the Command Prompt, or a DOS BAT file. Unless you have been working with computers since the 1980s, these may be unfamiliar tools, and apt to fill today's computer user, more familiar with the mouse and the icon, full of dread. Don't worry! This Tutorial will explain everything you need to do, and how to do it, in the simplest of terms.

What is ExifTool? It is a stand-alone Windows program written and kindly made available for free by Phil Harvey. It can read and write the Meta Information in your photographs. Meta Information lists all kinds of interesting information that is hidden away in each of the photographs you take, such as when it was taken, the aperture used, the shutter speed used, flash information, and much much more. It is the space that you write to when adding a Description, Location or Keywords to your images, prior to submitting them to a Photo Agency. ExifTool can access and update all of this information, if you use the right commands. It can also produce a file that contains tag information from images in a given directory, and all sub-directories, which is the way that we are using it here.

First of all, you will need the stand-alone Windows version of the EXIFtool program. You will also need a blank text file called 'out.txt'. You can create the latter yourself (any existing contents will be over-written) and you can download the EXIFtool program from the web, or you can conveniently download both here, by clicking on this download link: EXIFtool (3.7MB). After unzipping the archive, you will see that both of these files are in a directory called 'photos'. Using 'My Computer' or 'Windows Explorer', you should Move this directory to the Root directory, so that its new address will be C:\photos

Copy all of the photos that you wish to create a size-list for into this C:\photos directory. Now for the fun stuff. Click Start > All Programs > Accessories > Command Prompt to open a 'Command Prompt' window. Change the current directory by typing cd c:\photos and then pressing your 'Enter' key. The Command Prompt screen will show you that this has been carried out by printing 'c:\photos', indicating that this is your current directory. Congratulations - you are now an official Computer Nerd!

Type in the following command line, just as it is printed below, including ALL spaces:
 
exiftool -r -T -filename -createdate -imagesize c:\photos > out.txt

Press your 'Enter' key. The list of photo dimensions will be saved in the file called 'out.txt'. You can now close the 'Command Prompt' window, and double click on the 'out.txt' file to open it in your normal text-file program.

For further information on the other ExifTool options, or to find out other things you can do with ExifTool, you can see the ExifTool documentation, which I have included in the 'photos/html' directory: just click on the 'index.html' file. You can also double-click on the 'exiftool.exe' file itself, which will open a 'Command Prompt' window with lots of information.

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