How to Resize Images on Mac Like a Pro

Resizing images is very handy, especially with all those megapixels thrown at us from the latest and greatest smartphones.

I don’t know how about you, but I don’t really need 10MB photos of some reference materials. There are a lot of third-party apps and online services for shrinking photos or images to some meaningful (sane) size, but if you’re using Mac, you can just select all the images you need to shrink and use one simple shortcut, like ⇧ ⌘ S to do the job for you.

Of course, you need to set this up first, because it’s not a built-in feature, and in this article, I will show you how!

Meet Automator

Automator is a great app. You can find it on any Mac with Mac OS X v10.4 (Tiger) or newer. It’s very powerful, and it’s pretty sad that most Mac users don’t even know about its existence.

Fire up the Spotlight with the ⌘ SPACE combo and type automator.

Once it appears, just hit ENTER to run it. You should be greeted with similar window as seen below. If not, just select File -> New (or hit ⌘ N).

Create a New Service

You can do a lot with Automator, but let’s not get too excited here. We just need to create a new Service to move on, so select Service instead of default Workflow and hit the Choose button:

You’ll get this empty window and the fun can begin!

First, make sure to select the Image files option from the top row, so it looks like this:

Next, go to Files & Folders in the left pane and double-click the Copy Finder Items:

This will allow you to keep the original images for whatever reason and place the resized versions in a specific folder. I suggest you create a new folder in Documents and name it resized_720p for example. Next, you will simply select this folder instead of the default Desktop option in the drop-down menu:

Next, double-click the Rename Finder Items option and select Add Text from the drop-down menu. Type the _720p postfix:

Next, go to Photos and double-click the Scale Images option. When asked, click the Don’t Add button:

Type 1280 as the new size, so you’ll get most of the time the resolution of 1280x720 pixels, also known as 720p, hence the name of the folder :)

Make sure your settings look like this now:

Save the changes with ⌘ S combo and name this service resize_720p:

Once the file is saved, you can quit Automator.

Let’s test this!

Right-click the image of your choice and select resize_720p from the list of services. Resized copy of the image should appear in the resized_720p folder. And by the way, this works even with multiple images selected!

Like a Pro!

This is already pretty good, but let’s take it a step further by creating a shortcut to run this service so you don’t have to select it from the drop-down menu.

Go to System Preferences, select Keyboard and locate your resize_720p service in the list of Services:

Click the Add Shortcut button and type the shortcut, make sure it’s not taken by any other application. I chose   S (S for “size” to remember it easily) and should work for you as well:

Now back to your images. Select as many as you like and use this shortcut to let the magic happen! :-)


Jan Zavrel

Infopreneur, Evernote Certified Consultant, iOS & Web Developer, Author, Teacher, Lifelong Learner

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