Snap2Img lets you quickly create contact sheets for any set of pictures

Understanding how your digital photo collection is laid out normally requires just a few moments of thumbnail browsing. Click a folder here, another over there, and you’ll quickly be able to locate the pictures you need.

If the folders aren’t accessible, though -- they’re on a CD, say, or you want friends to get a quick overview of an image set -- then it can be useful to generate a contact sheet, another image with thumbnails of your folder contents. And that’s where the free Snap2Img comes in.

Launch this portable program and a tabbed dialog opens with some very basic settings. You can define the source folder, for instance. There’s an option to create separate contact sheets for each subfolder. And you’re able to define the basic layout, including thumbnail size (anything from 32×32 to 256×256) and the number of thumbnails per row.

If you’re in a hurry, or don’t particularly care about the visuals, then you can stop right there. Clicking the Preview button shows how your contact sheet will look, while clicking "Create & Save" builds and saves it to disk.

If you’d like more control, though, you can also configure thumbnail spacing, page margins, and any text to include (header, footer, file names). There are options to set up colors, add shadows or borders to thumbnails.

Unsurprisingly, it takes a while to set all this up, but you can at least save your settings as a Preset for easy recall later. (The program even includes a few Presets to show you what’s possible.)

We had one or two issues with Snap2Img. If you’re creating contact sheets for a number of folders, for instance, you might expect at least the option to see previews of each one -- but you’ll be disappointed. The program displays a preview of the root folder only, and to see anything else you’ll have to create the contact sheets and check the results.

And a little more seriously, there seems to be a bug or two in the program’s processing of images. We gave it a few bulky folder trees to scan and it crashes a couple of time for no obvious reason.

Still, for the most part Snap2Img worked very well. It’s also easy to use, highly configurable and entirely free (no adware or other hassles), so if you’re looking for a simple way to create visual indexes of folders then it’s definitely worth a try.

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