I want to convert from the command line a bunch of RAW files into tiffs using the same converting engine as Apple's Aperture or Preview (in order to get the same results as from these applications).

Does Apple provide a command line interface? Does another (open source) tool hook into this? Or do I have to (apple-)script preview for this?


1 Answer 1


Command line solution

In your terminal try to run this command:

sips -s format tiff /Path/To/Image/bla.CR2 --out bla.tiff

Now you can easily create a Shell Script and do your batch conversion. Credits to this solution goes to this comment.

Automator solution

I came up with another solution that utilize the very nice feature of Mac OS X: Automator!

Automator allows you to do batch type of tasks easily. Open automator from your applications and in the opening dialog select workflow. Then from side-bar drag the items (in order) to the left panel. You can find them by searching the titles in the search-box (e.g. "Ask for Finder Items"). Just be sure you set the parameters as I've set in the screenshot. Once you run it, a open dialog pups-up and and you need to select your raw files. Then It copies them in-place and then converts the newly copied files to tiff. Conversion may take long.

enter image description here

Then simply hit play from top-left. It would be wise to copy original files prior to run just in case. Please comment me if you had any question.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Mmmmh, that's not a bad idea, but I rather thought of something I can really use from the command line, so that I can tie it together in a shell scriot with other command line tools... \$\endgroup\$
    – halloleo
    May 11, 2013 at 19:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ @halloleo, I added a second solution. I assume you know how to create a bash script so I thought adding the command would suffice and writing the whole script is off-topic. Back up your original files and give it a try. Let me know! \$\endgroup\$
    – Pouya
    May 12, 2013 at 8:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ Hey, thanks the sips command is it! :-))) Don't you think it is worth its own answer? It's quite a different workflow to the automator approach. Either case, I'm happy to accept it as the main answer! \$\endgroup\$
    – halloleo
    May 13, 2013 at 9:02

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