[Windows] Add watermarks to multiple images at once with uMark Professional [Mac OS X]

2013-03-28_230046The Internet has opened an avenue for artists, photographers, etc. to easily share their work with others, and gain recognition in the process. However, as easy it is to share content on the Internet, it is just as easy to steal it. As such, many people want the ability to watermarks their images and photos. uMark Professional is a program that does just that; let’s see if it is worth your time.

WHAT IS IT AND WHAT DOES IT DO

Main Functionality

uMark Professional allows you to add text and/or image watermarks to your images.

Take note uMark comes in two versions, uMark Lite and uMark Professional. uMark Lite is the free version while uMark Professional is the paid version ($29). This review specifically looked at uMark Professional.

Also take note uMark Professional is available on Windows and Mac OS X. This review specifically reviewed the Windows version.

Pros

  • Allows users to add text and/or image watermarks
  • You can add both text and image watermarks to images or just one
  • Text watermarks can be customized in the following ways: position (top left, top middle, top right, middle left, middle middle, middle right, bottom left, bottom middle, bottom right or custom), font type, font size, opacity (transparency), bold/italics/underline/strikeout, color, shadow, rotation (including diagonal, vertical, or inverted), and horizontal and/or vertical tiling.
  • Image watermarks can be customized in the following ways: position (top left, top middle, top right, middle left, middle middle, middle right, bottom left, bottom middle, bottom right or custom), opacity (transparency), rotation (including diagonal, vertical, or inverted), and horizontal and/or vertical tiling
  • Has the ability to insert macros as text watermarks: image name with or without extension, folder name, image path, creation date, last modification date, and EXIF data (modify date, artist name, rating, rating percent, original date and time, creation date, sub-second time original or digitize)
  • Shows live preview of images, so you know what your image(s) will look like if you were to output them with the current watermark(s)
  • More than one watermark can be added to an image at the same time
  • Supports batch processing
  • Supports JPG, PNG, GIF, BMP, and TIFF input images
  • Supports JPG, PNG, GIF, BMP, and TIFF as image watermarks
  • Can output all input images as JPG, PNG, GIF, BMP, or TIFF or you have the option to leave output image format the same as input image format (i.e. no conversion)
  • Output images can be optionally renamed with an arbitrary number and/or today’s date
  • Output images can be optionally resized
  • Watermark configurations can be saved for easy re-use later
  • Easy to use and works fast

Cons

  • Does not automatically resize watermarks relative to input image size
  • Does not allow users to manually resize image watermarks (i.e. if you load a 100×100 image to use as an image watermark, you are unable to resize to from within uMark Professional — you need to resize the image watermark using an image editor before you load it into uMark Professional)
  • Requires .NET Framework 3.5 or higher
    • Vista, Win7, and Win8 come preinstalled with .NET Framework 3.5 so, unless you manually uninstalled it, users of Vista/Win7/Win8 have nothing to worry about.
  • Always starts full screen (annoying!)
  • Bugs out on Windows XP

Discussion

2013-03-28_230148uMark Professional is an almost perfect watermarking program; it supports batch processing, allows you to add text and/or image watermarks, provides a great amount of customization for watermarks, does not force users to convert all input images to the same output format, is easy to use, and works fast. Where uMark Professional falls flat on its face is the lack of ability to resize watermarks relative to input image size.

When I say “ability to automatically resize watermarks relative to input image size” I’m talking about the following. When you are batch processing and adding watermark(s) to multiple input images of different sizes at the same time, being able to resize watermarks relative to image size would mean a watermark program resizes the watermark(s) you are using so that it is proportional to the size of each input image. For example, let’s say you have three input images that are 1000×1000, 500×500, and 250×250; you want to watermark each of these images with a 100×100 image watermark. Being able to automatically resize watermarks relative to input image size means the 100×100 watermark would be 100×100 on the 1000×1000 image, 50×50 on the 500×500 image, and 25×25 on the 250×250 image. uMark Professional, however, is unable to do that — it would show the 100×100 watermark on all three images; uMark Professional would do the same thing (i.e. not resize text relative to input image size) if a text watermark was being used.

Being able to automatically resize watermarks relative to input image size is, in my opinion, an absolutely critical feature to have in a watermark program. In fact, it is a deal-breaker if a watermark program doesn’t have it. It is so important because users will likely often be watermarking images of different size and the inability to resize watermarks relative to input image size can ruin an image. For example, you want to batch watermark the just-discussed 1000×1000, 500×500, and 250×250 images with an image watermark that is 100×100 in size; however, if you were to do that with uMark Professional, the 100×100 watermark will take up almost half of the 250×250 image… effectively ruining it.

The work around here is you only batch watermark images that are of the same size. But the whole point of supporting batch processing is so users can add watermarks to multiple images at the same time. If you have to filter out images based on size because uMark Professional is unable to resize watermarks relative to input image size, then batch processing is only half as useful as it should be.

That said, there is one other major issue I ran into with uMark Professional. As per my tests, it bugs out on Windows XP (SP3). Whenever I tried to use uMark Professional on Windows XP, I received a prompt saying: “There was an error would you like to send the error details to so we can fix it?” I was unable to use uMark Professional in Windows XP at all — it just gave me an error when I tried to do anything. The odd thing is it works just fine on Windows 7, so I’m not sure what is up. Maybe it was just my computer — Windows XP users please do let us know in the comments if you got uMark Professional working or not.

CONCLUSION AND DOWNLOAD LINK

uMark Professional is a very good watermark program; it does almost everything right that a watermark program should do. However, the lack of ability to automatically resize watermarks relative to input image size is a deal-breaker in my opinion. You are welcome to grab uMark Professional if you want or need it, but I can’t recommend anyone to spend $29 on a program that has a deal-breaking issue. The sad part is I pointed out this shortcoming almost three years ago when I reviewed uMark Professional v1.3 but the developer has not added the feature, so I don’t have much hope for the future.

If you are looking for an excellent watermark program, check out TSR Watermark Image. TSR Watermark Image isn’t perfect (e.g. you can’t add more than one watermark to images at a time) but it makes up where uMark Professional falls short: TSR Watermark Image does automatically resize watermarks relative to input image size, which, in my opinion, overshadows any cons that the program has. The best part? TSR Watermark Image is free for non-commercial use ($29 for commercial use) so you don’t even have to pay if you don’t need it for professional purposes. Check out dotTech’s article on 7 free watermark programs to learn more.

Price: $29

Version reviewed: 3.12

Supported OS: Windows and Mac OS X

.NET Framework 3.5 or higher is required on Windows

Download size: 3.5 MB

VirusTotal malware scan results: 1/46

Is it portable? No

uMark Professional homepage

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1 comment

  1. Suze

    I’m running XP SP3, so thanks for the warning :) I have v1.3 from an earlier GotD offer (2007!), and that still works fine (I just tried it to make sure). There had been more recent GotD offers that I didn’t take advantage of.

    According to today’s GotD offer, the System Requirements are “Windows Vista, 7 or 8; Microsoft .Net Framework 3.5 or higher” — notice that XP is not included :(