Freeware optimizes images side by side

Anyone who has posted images to a Web site or blog knows that making the riotimage “Internet-friendly” is crucial to fast page-loading times. Similarly, optimizing images for e-mail is important because sending enormous image files through your e-mail client can cause problems for those with slower connection speeds. There are several software tools available to reformat and optimize your images, but I found one recently that’s free, easy, and effective.

RIOT (Radical Image Optimization Tool) (Free) for Windows takes the side-by-side interface approach for painless image optimization. Those who have used Adobe ImageReady will immediately recognize the layout of the interface, with the original image on the left and the optimized image on the right. The file size is listed above both the before and after images, so you can tell how your tweaks will affect the end result. You also can zoom in to see how much your changes effect image details.

If you’ve ever optimized images before, you know that there are many ways to lower image size without degrading the quality of the image to the human eye. RIOT lets you output to Internet-friendly formats like JPEG, GIF, or PNG, and lets you tweak different settings for each format. For a JPEG image, you are given a slider you can adjust to tweak the quality or you can adjust between four levels of Chroma subsampling (Wikipedia link) to reduce size. GIF and PNG formats allow for color reduction (often the most effective method), which you can choose from a dropdown menu or use a slider. Alternatively, RIOT also lets you choose between two predetermined color quantization algorithms to take the guesswork out of optimizing. Our favorite feature is the “Compress to size” button, which lets you pick your optimal size and RIOT gives you the result. Obviously, you’ll need to experiment with this option to get your desired results.

Along with the handy side-by-side optimization features, RIOT offers basic image editing tools like rotation and flip horizontal and vertical. We should point out that RIOT is still in beta, but in all of our tests the software performed without a hitch. One thing we would like to see in future versions is the capability to batch optimize, but as a standalone, free image optimization tool, RIOT is definitely worth checking out.

Visit: RIOT

Stock Photography Search Engine

PicFindr is a stock photography search engine that lets you simultaneously pickfindrsearch on several free stock photography websites such as Freerance, DreamsTime, Stock.xchng, GimpSavvy, FreeDigitalPhotos, Flickr… etc. The search results can be filtered by permitted use and attribution requirements.

Appart from searching for royalty-free images that can be freely used for personal or educational purpose, PicFindr can also search for images that can be used for commercial purpose without any permission or credit.


  • Search multiple free stock photography websites at once.
  • Supported sites are: Freerance, DreamsTime, ImageAfter, Stock.xchng, GimpSavvy, FreeDigitalPhotos, PDphoto, FreePhotosBank, MayFlower, Flickr and more.
  • Search images by permitted use and attribution requirements.
  • Instantly preview image thumbnails.
  • Free, no registration needed.


Free High Resolution Digital Stock Photography Site

MorgueFile is a free high resolution digital stock photography resource that morguelists images contributed by many different artists. images can be downloaded and used for personal, non-commercial purpose. The site has more than 200,000 free public domain photos.

You can browse photos by category, filter results by image size, terms, categories, date, rating and more. There is also “Portfolios” section which contains only copyrighted images submitted by artists. If you are a photographer or some kind a creative artist, Morguefile lets you register, create personal Portfolio and display your work.

  • Royalty free public domain pictures,  for all kinds of creative types – journalists, illustrators, designers and teachers.
  • More than 200,000 free images in high resolution available for download.
  • Browse photos by category, filter results by image size, keywords, date, rating, color and more.