At a Glance
- Rapidly watermarks large numbers of photos; chooses light or dark text automatically, based on background
- Poor user interface design; expensive for what it can do
Overlay multiple images with transparent watermark text.
It’s very easy for people to steal photographic work that has
been posted online, without crediting the author, unless that work
has been watermarked (overlaid with semi-transparent text).
Watermarking is a feature so common among photo editing and
management utilities that it’s essentially a bullet-point on the
list of things virtually any photo management tool can do. So the
mere existence of this eponymous product is a curiosity, but only
Alas, the primary function of TheBatchWatermarks is to, well,
watermark large numbers of images all at once. As an additional
feature, it will generate output files in a reduced size. The
program accepts original files from, and outputs watermarked images
in, the common image file formats–JPEG, TIFF, BMP, PNG–as well as
PPM and XPM uncompressed bitmaps.
The vendor, also called TheBatchWatermarks, boasts that it the
software can automatically determine whether it would be best to
use light or dark-colored overlay text, depending on whether the
portion of the image where the overlay will appear is dark or
light. In tests, I found this feature obnoxious, if only because,
when it guessed wrong, part of that watermark became impossible to
read with the default, muted color settings, and there are no other
options to improve the contrast, such as the use of drop shadows or
a background color behind the text. One can change the text color
preferences to use a bright, unnatural color for the watermark, but
that defeats the purpose of using a semi-transparent,
non-distracting watermark in the first place.
TheBatchWatermarks’ interface also has a checkbox that, when
filled in, appends adds the copyright symbol to any text entered
into the program’s text box. The author’s disdain for Character Map
perplexes. You can choose to justify the watermark text in one of
nine positions: right, center, or left vertically, and top, middle,
or bottom horizontally.
Unfortunately, TheBatchWatermarks doesn’t remember your
preferences (or the watermark text, for that matter) from one
execution to the next. D’oh.
The demo version of TheBatchWatermarks overlays an additional,
giant “unregistered” watermark smack in the middle of any image you
watermark. The registered version (which costs an unjustifiably
high $27 for home users, and a you-must-be-joking $119 for
businesses) removes this message.
One can’t configure the naming convention of TBW’s output files,
or their resolution: In tests with 300dpi input files, the program
produced watermarked files in a reduced, 96dpi resolution. The
resulting files were about 20 percent of the size of my originals,
even with the overlay text. As long as you don’t accidentally
overwrite your original files, it works fine for what it’s intended
Seeing as the watermarking or text overlay feature is so common,
in far better photo management or editing tools, and
TheBatchWatermarks’ execution (at best) leaves a lot to be desired,
I’d recommend giving TheBatchWatermarks a pass. You’re going to be
better off with almost anything else, including the freebie utility
named Watermark Image
Software–or even Microsoft Paint.