PngOutBatch: Optimize your PNGs by running PngOut multiple times

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PngOut is a command-line tool that can losslessly reduce the file size of your PNGs. In many cases, it can reduce the size of a PNG by 10-15%. I’ve even seen some cases where it was able to reduce the file size by over 50%.

There are several other PNG compression utilties out there, such as pngcrush and AdvanceCOMP, but I’ve found PngOut to be the best optimizer most of the time.

There’s an excellent tutorial on PngOut for first-timers.  Running PngOut is pretty easy, simply run it once agaist your PNG:

PngOut.exe [image.png]

However, to get the best optimization of your images, you can run PngOut multiple times with different block sizes (eg, /b1024) and randomized initial tables (/r).

There’s a commercial program, PngOutWin that can run through all of the block sizes using multiple CPU cores, but I wanted something free that I could run from the command line.

To aid in this, I created a simple DOS batch script that runs PngOut through 9 different block sizes (from 0 to 8192), with each block size run multiple times with random initial tables.

While the first iteration of PngOut does all of the heavy lifting, I’ve sometimes found that using the different block sizes can eek out a few extra bytes (sometimes 100-bytes or more than the initial pass).  You may not care about optimizing your PNG to the absolute last byte possible, but I try to run any new PNGs ready for production in my websites and mobile apps through this batch script before they’re committed to the wild.

Running PngOutBatch is as easy as running PngOut:

PngOutBatch.cmd [image.png] [number of iterations per block size - defaults to 5]

PngOutBatch will show progress as it reduces the file size.  Here’s a sample compressing the PNG logo from libpng.org:

Blocksize: 0
Iteration #1: Saved 2529 bytes
Iteration #2: No savings
Iteration #3: No savings
Iteration #4: No savings
Iteration #5: No savings
Blocksize: 128
Iteration #1: Saved 606 bytes
Iteration #2: Saved 10 bytes
Iteration #3: No savings
Iteration #4: Saved 2 bytes
Iteration #5: No savings
Blocksize: 192
Iteration #1: No savings
Iteration #2: No savings
Iteration #3: No savings
Iteration #4: No savings
Iteration #5: No savings
Blocksize: 256
Iteration #1: Saved 1 bytes
Iteration #2: No savings
Iteration #3: Saved 5 bytes
Iteration #4: Saved 11 bytes
Iteration #5: No savings
Blocksize: 512
Iteration #1: No savings
Iteration #2: No savings
Iteration #3: No savings
Iteration #4: No savings
Iteration #5: No savings
Blocksize: 1024
Iteration #1: No savings
Iteration #2: No savings
Iteration #3: No savings
Iteration #4: No savings
Iteration #5: No savings
Blocksize: 2048
Iteration #1: No savings
Iteration #2: No savings
Iteration #3: No savings
Iteration #4: No savings
Iteration #5: No savings
Blocksize: 4096
Iteration #1: No savings
Iteration #2: No savings
Iteration #3: No savings
Iteration #4: No savings
Iteration #5: No savings
Blocksize: 8192
Iteration #1: No savings
Iteration #2: No savings
Iteration #3: No savings
Iteration #4: No savings
Iteration #5: No savings
D:\temp\test.png: SUCCESS: 17260 bytes originally, 14096 bytes final: 3164 bytes saved

The first block size (0) reduced the file by 2529 bytes, then the 128-byte block size further reduced it by 606, 10 then 2 bytes. The 192-byte block size didn’t help, but a 256-byte block size reduced the file size by 1, 5 then 11 more bytes.  Larger block sizes didn’t help, but at the end of the day we reduced the PNG by 3164 bytes (18%), and 635 bytes (25% more) than if we had only run it once.

The PngOutBatch.cmd script is hosted at Gist.Github if you want to use it or contribute changes.

  1. May 24th, 2012 at 11:21 | #1

    Check out PNGGauntlet. It runs your images through PNGOut, OptiPNG, and I think another one, and tries all sorts of combinations. And it’s multithreaded. I use it all the time whenever I’m uploading screenshots and whatever.

  2. May 26th, 2012 at 20:08 | #2

    I would love it if you offered PngOut or PNGGauntlet as an option to run when saving in PDN!

  3. October 24th, 2013 at 05:06 | #3

    Very nice. Thanks a lot.

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