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batch converting images to grayscale


New Member
I have several hundred images that I would like to convert to grayscale - is there a way to do this?. I am familiar with "Process Multiple Files" and I used this to reduce the image size but there is no grayscale conversion option.

I am using Elements 10 and I'd be happy to upgrade to anything that will do this for me.


Staff member
Hello and welcome to PSG.

Since your using Elements, give us some time to see if we can help you out. I myself am not familiar with how Elements does batch processing.

Tom Mann

Re-purposing a group of photos is one of the most common tasks for pro photographers. Converting them to B&W is a common request, as is batch resizing, adding a border to all of them, etc. Simple 3rd party commercial software (eg, some of the FastStone products) is available that can do bulk conversion to B&W, but the tool of choice of pros for this is Adobe Lightroom. It has a bit of a learning curve (...much, much less than the full version of Photoshop), but if you are going to be doing more work like this in the future, it is well worth learning. In addition, it can be leased from Adobe for peanuts, and leased only for a month or two, as needed. If you want to go this way, let me know and I'll find some good tutorials for you on using it.

Unfortunately, I don't have a copy of Elements on any of my computers, so I can't speak with authority on this, but the last time I looked (...not sure of the version, but within the last couple of years...) Elements includes ACR, the Adobe Camera Raw preprocessor. What most people don't realize is that ACR:

(a) can be used to process a group of images all in the same way (eg, "convert to BW");

(b) can be used on JPGs, as well as Raw files; and,

(c) can be used to save the processed output without needing to move the image into Photoshop.

So, if your version of Elements comes with ACR, you probably already have the tool you need.

To enable Elements' version of ACR to be used on JPGs, and not be limited to only raw files (ie, my (b), above) you probably have to set a preference, just like one does in the full version of Photoshop, but here's how to do it one file at a time in Elements:

Here is a nice tutorial on using Photoshop's ACR to batch process a group of images (ie, my (a) and (c), above):

The above tutorial assumes you are using Adobe Bridge to select the photos for processing by ACR, but I assume this function could be handled equally well by the file organization part of Elements. I'm sure a little bit of Googling on your part will give you a definitive answer on this. As I said, unfortunately, I don't have a copy of Elements that I can test this on, otherwise I would.


Tom M
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