Why WEBP? The format introduces improvements on many fronts, according to Google. For example, it supports both lossy and lossless compression, and can result in a file size saving of 45% over PNG (preserving transparency) and 28% over the same PNG’s that are re-compressed with compression tools (source: Wikipedia).
While Google’s introduced the WEBP image format in 2010, it seems to have taken a while to become more widely used on the internet. If you have come across WEBP and, like me, found that your image conversion and editing programs will not recognize or convert it to other formats, this post will suggest a number of ways to do it.
Interestingly, a WEBP codec is available for Windows, which provides WEBP support for a number of common Windows applications (e.g. Windows Photo Viewer, MS Office 2010, and FastPictureViewer). It also adds WEBP thumbnail preview support in Windows Explorer, but does not really help much if you want to convert from WEBP; to do that you can use one of the FREE converters/image viewers below.
List of free converters that support WEBP as source:
It was strangely difficult to find freeware programs/services that support WEBP conversion, but here’s a list of desktop and online converters that do (as of Nov 2013; others may have followed suite as you read this).
|Picasa||Windows, Mac||You probably know Google's Image Management Suite, and you probably guessed that it supports WEBP conversion.|
|ImageMagick||Windows, Mac, Linux, Others||Comes in command line form but there are several GUI front ends that are available.|
|XnConvert||Windows, Mac, Linux, Others||My free Converter of choice; simple, multiplatform, and a delight to use|
|XNView||Windows, Mac, Linux, Others||One of the world's best freeware image viewing programs, supports WEBP, can do conversions.|
|NConvert||Windows, Mac, Linux, Others||Command line utility from the makers of XNConvert and XNView.|
|FastPictureViewer||Windows||An image viewer that can open WEBP if you install the aforementioned WEBP codec, and supports saving images into other formats. Note that the 'standard' version is free; simply let the PRO version expire and it will revert to the free version.|
|IrfanView||Windows||This extremely well known and versatile freeware image viewer for Windows supports viewing and converting WEBP.|
|GIMP||Windows, Mac, Linux, Others||The world's most well known free/open source bitmap editor and Photoshop alternative, supports and can convert WEBP|
|Paint.NET||Windows, Mac, Linux, Others||The world's SECOND most well known free/open source bitmap editor and Photoshop alternative, supports and can convert WEBP (although you may need to install this plugin).|
|RWPaint||Windows||Despite the heavy hitter free Photoshop alternatives above, this program is my favorite bitmap editor and the one I use. Supports and can convert WEBP|
|WebP Utility||Windows||A small program from Google that can do WEBP conversion from the command line.|
|Cloudconvert.org||Online||Online conversion service, can convert WEBP.|
|Online-convert.com||Online||Online conversion service, can convert WEBP.|
|Zamzar.com||Online||Online conversion service, can convert WEBP.|
Our Recommendation: use XNConvert
For the following reasons:
- It is multiplatform: Windows/Mac/Linux and others.
- Is a dedicated converter: not an image viewer, image manager, or image editor
- Easy to use: drag and drop.
- Can convert in batch.
- Supports every output image format under the sun (500+).
- Is fast and reliable
- Portable version available; as is 32 Bit and 64 Bit versions.
Step by Step conversion instructions: simple, self explanatory, and probably not needed, but here goes.
(1) Download and install XNConvert, or use the portable version.
(2) Run the program and drag and drop the images you want to convert onto the interface (see the screenshot below)
(3) Go to the ‘Output’ tab and select the format you want from the dropdown (as in the screenshot below)
(4) Finally, in the same ‘Output’ tab, click the ‘Convert’ button on the bottom right, and you’re done.