Batch Process Your Image in macOS with SIPS

I’ve always been on a search for a command-line, batch image processing tool on the Mac.

Previously, I found out about ImageMagick, an extremely powerful and versatile image processing tool. Unfortunately, it doesn’t come pre-installed on your Mac, plus I found it too complicated to use.


I chance upon SIPS (Scriptable Image Processing System) recently and I couldn’t believe such a versatile tool was already built into the OS since Mac OS X 10.3.

For a list of commands that you can use with SIPS, enter sips -h.

Resize images to use on social media
Scale images to width of 1080 pixels (for Instagram) and lowers DPI from 300 to 72 keeping compression at the high setting.

sips --resampleWidth 1080 -s dpiHeight 72 -s dpiWidth 72 -s formatOptions high

Add Copyright and Artist EXIF properties to your images

​sips -s copyright MyName -s artist MyName *

Do note that SIPS automatically compresses images it processed by default. This applies even if you are just editing image property tags.

I did a quick test to see what are the compression settings like. I have a folder with 50 images and a total size of 427.9 MB.

I tried editing new Image Property and include the -s formatOptions parameters for this test. For example, ​sips -s copyright MyName -s artist MyName * -s formatOptions best.

Best: 597.8 MB
High: 121 MB
Normal: 61.5 MB
Low: 34.9 MB
No parameter: 121 MB

mac os sip compresssion level test.png

If no parameters are enter in your command, SIPS uses the High preset to compress your images.

Is there a way for SIPS to process image properties without affecting the original image quality?

If you are looking for a command line tool that can edit image EXIFS without affecting picture quality, check out ExifTool.

I will be updating this post with commands that I found useful for my workflow.

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