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You are here: MacNN Forums > News > Mac News > Hands On: Reformator 1.2.2 (OS X)

Hands On: Reformator 1.2.2 (OS X)
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Jun 12, 2015, 09:25 AM
It's misnamed. Not that we have any idea what it should be called, but Reformator 1.2.2 does so much more than reformatting that we'd contemplate a name like Image-o-Matic. Within this app, you can convert any or all of your photos between different handy formats, you can watermark them, do certain edits, and more.

To be fair, this software's full name in the App Store is Reformator: Batch, Convert, Edit Metadata, Crop, Resize, Watermark, and even more. Having to include words like "and even more" in your title says less about the app, however, and more about how hard it is to find anything in the App Store.

Still, the app's reformatting is central to how it works. You can drag an image, a folder full of images, or a selection of shots onto the app, and it will convert them all. What it converts them to is up to you but, for instance, you can take a hundred shots from your digital camera, and have Reformator get them ready for Facebook.

That's not a great example, because few people even realize that Facebook shows lower-quality images than you expect. Or if they do realize, and don't care. It's only Facebook, and everything you upload seems to show up, so you won't be drawn to Reformator just for that.

What you will be drawn to is taking those 100 or a 1,000 shots and renaming them from detailed but ultimately unhelpful titles like "2015-02-23 21.27.54-1.jpg" to "Aunt Mabel's Court Hearing 001." You'll be drawn to changing all the shots you've been sent by some nutter on a PC who thinks BMP is a universal standard, turning them all into JPEGs that you can actually use.

The real reason that "2015-02-23 21.27.54-1.jpg" is that curious thing of extremely precise detail that tells you nothing is that we're talking about images instead of words. You need to be able to see these images, and Reformator displays them all. It's a photo viewer. You wouldn't use it to store all your images the way you would Apple's Photos app or Google's Photos service, it's more for actively working on them. Yet you can see everything you drag in, and you can also see the results of applying conversions and filters to them.

Reformator shows you the current image in a Before and After pair, so that you can see the difference that you're making when you lighten or darken, watermark or title, crop or rotate images.

It used to be that if you wanted to do any of this, you needed Adobe Photoshop. It's still the case that Photoshop can do all of this, but it's a huge application. For a long time we've seen smaller, cheaper apps come out that can't remotely touch Photoshop for its overall power, but can for certain specific tasks. Reformator is like that, except instead of taking on one task, it's doing more and more.

When you need Photoshop, you need Photoshop: Reformator is not a replacement. However, it is enough of a replacement in ease of use, in speed to an extent, and in price for certain, that it's a great tool to have. We just think it needs a bigger name than Reformator.

Reformator 1.2.2 requires OS X 10.9 or later, and costs $8 in the Mac App Store.

Who is Reformator 1.2.2 for:
If you ever have to do anything twice with an image, get this. Even if you're only going to do a lot of image work once, then if it really is a lot, this will help you.

Who is Reformator 1.2.2 not for:
Strictly speaking, Adobe Photoshop users need not apply -- but for eight bucks, it's a remarkably handy tool to have around.

-- William Gallagher (@WGallagher)
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Join Date: Mar 2004
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Jun 12, 2015, 10:16 AM
Adobe's unacceptable new subscription model has caused many of us long-time users looking for other products. Our workflows are changing: instead of first going to CS6, for instance, we will look at the specific task needed and often choose a smaller more efficient non-Adobe app for the job.

New apps like this one are appearing all the time, and modern OS X with solid state drives make opening/closing multiple applications fast and easy. After being a loyal Adobe user since the 1990s, CS6 was my last Adobe expenditure.
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