Ever come across an image in a file format you’ve never heard of? You try to open it, and nothing happens, which is why you can use a quick conversion tool.
This isn’t about Adobe Photoshop, which could possibly fix this for you, though may also be stuck as well. Plus, Photoshop is subscription-based these days, so unless you own an older version, it may not be an option. And it doesn’t have to be because there are some neat ways to convert images to formats fitting your projects.
It’s always annoying when a different format gets in the way of a smooth workflow. Ever see an HEIF file from your iPhone? How about a Webp file online? Perhaps you received an image or graphic in some obscure format you’ve never heard of?
Well, not to worry because these services can take care of that. And the best part is they’re free to use.
This may be the first option you try out for the sheer utility involved. XnConvert is a desktop app you can download to your Windows PC, Mac or Linux computer, and its main claim to fame is just how much conversion is available. It recognizes up to 500 different formats, and you can convert to any of 70 different file formats.
You don’t have to do images one at a time, either. If you have a batch that needs to switch to the same format, you can set that up easily. It gets better when you also add the ability to apply edits, resizing and colour adjustments to those images as well. Say you fix up one image, and then want the rest of the batch to look the same. It only takes a few clicks.
XnConvert isn’t a linear program that way, meaning it doesn’t just do conversions. It lets you make various edits, so that you don’t need to always use a separate app for that. There is an Android version for those looking to use it on a phone or tablet, but no iOS version thus far.
If you’re looking for something you can use in your web browser, and have modest needs, Zamzar is one way to go. What’s good about it, aside from the convenience of not downloading an app, is how simple it is. Choose the format you want to convert to, drag-and-drop your image into the interface and wait for it to finish.
That’s pretty much it. This does also work for video files, with Zamzar claiming it can support a staggering 1,200 different file types. Whether it’s a photo, graphic, GIF, video, eBook, or whatever else, there’s a good chance this platform can handle it.
If you think there’s a catch to all this, there is. As a free user, you’re limited to just two files per 24-hour span. That’s why Zamzar is better as something you would use in a pinch for a quick conversion for a one-shot deal. Doing it with multiple images will require a subscription.
For Apple users, this is a good way to keep things simple. As its name implies, the idea is to convert HEIC image files to JPEG or PNG files. HEIC is a proprietary Apple format meant to maintain the image quality of a JPEG, but with greater compression to take up less storage space on the iPhone, iPad and Mac.
iMazing HEIC Converter is free to download and even easier to use. Transfer the images you want from your iOS device to your Mac using AirDrop. Launch this app on the Mac, drag-and-drop the images into it, and it starts converting.
Don’t fret if you’re using Windows because there’s a desktop version for PC, too. Lightweight and convenient, this is the kind of app you may want to keep handy in your applications folder.
This site is good at creating GIFs from video, which can be useful if you like to use those as part of social media outreach. But that’s not all EZGIF.com can do. You can convert other image files, and when you do, you have a range of editing options to choose from. This is a great way to deal with WebP images and convert them to JPEGs.
You can also do the reverse, or even convert a GIF to a WebP image. The beauty of all this is that EZGIF.com can complement the other options on this list, rather than sticking out as an end-all, be-all choice.
These are just a few options among many that are out there. But they’re free to use and don’t require much else. The learning curve isn’t steep, and the tools are easy to pick up and utilize when you need them. That’s great for getting something done with an image quickly, no matter if it’s a tight deadline or just looking to not waste time.
Even if you have Photoshop or a more professional image suite, platforms like this are still handy anyway. At least they have been for me. And they can certainly be for you as well.