Working with web-based visuals? Then you need to check out TinyPNG

Pete Brown
Pete Brown // April 18, 2017

Have you ever liked a service so much that the best you can do when recommending it is to blurt out its name and mime a mic drop? As if its usefulness transcends the feeble words you’d otherwise try to summon?

I never thought I’d wholeheartedly recommend any modern web service like that, until I met TinyPNG.

If you build or maintain websites, apps, PowerPoint presentations, online videos or any sort of electronic asset that lives on a web server and includes images, you need to meet my friend, TinyPNG.

Basically, TinyPNG is a website where you can drag your images with large file sizes (up to 5 MB) and TinyPNG will make a tiny file-sized image that looks just as sharp as the original for you to use instead. As you might expect, the smaller the files on your server, the faster loading your project will be.

The service takes PNGs and JPGs of up to 5 MB and applies “smart, lossy compression” techniques to reduce the file size. As their website indicates, they leverage a technique called quantization, which involves combining similar colors in an image to realize huge savings in file sizes. Have you ever selected “reduce file size” while working in PowerPoint or Word? TinyPNG laughs in your general bush league compression direction.

For years, those of us working in Photoshop used “Save for Web,” or its current iteration “Quick Export as PNG” to get to what we thought was the smallest possible file size.

But that all changed once I tried TinyPNG. The service just works and the resulting file sizes are incredibly—often unbelievably—small. In fact, I regularly experience file size reductions of more than 70 percent.

Here’s a hand image with a transparent background.

Original Save for Web (legacy Photoshop) Quick Export as PNG Tiny PNG
       
106 Kb 98 Kb 92 kb 35 KB


If you’re not working frequently with images, using TinyPNG’s free service will more than meet your needs. You can drag up to 20 images onto the webpage, then download the tiny-fied versions in one *.zip package.

Power users, however, should consider purchasing TinyPNG’s Photoshop plugin, which lets you get the tiniest size possible while working directly in Photoshop.

TinyPNG also supports JPGs. Although I rarely use this feature of the service, its compression for JPG is equally impressive.

For comparison, I reduced the quality of the JPG when exporting from Photoshop. It’s tough to see in the images below, but setting quality—which is maxed at 12—to levels 8 and 5 forced me to accept some visible downgrade in image quality. But when I used TinyPNG, the tiny-fied JPG still achieved massive savings with no discernible quality loss.

Original Export from Photoshop,

Quality reduced to 8

Export from Photoshop,

Quality reduced to 5

TinyPNG
 
     
635 Kb 123 Kb 94 Kb 73 Kb

 

TL;DR: TinyPNG, you complete me

There are other methods to reduce file sizes using a variety of tools. But I have yet to find one that is as drop-dead easy and achieves such significant savings as TinyPNG. If you find yourself regularly prepping images for the web, then you will be glad that you checked it out.

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