You may want to add a signature (or logo, copyright, etc) to your photos for many practical reasons. If you shoot Nikon NEF RAW, Capture NX is the top choice for getting the best image quality. However Capture NX does not have a built-in tool to add signature to photos. You typically have to relay on a third party editor such as Adobe Photoshop.

Not any more! NXSignature (original post in French) is a Java application written by a French blogger by the ID totograph. In a comment posted to our Ultimate Capture NX Resource Guide, he (or she) brought to our attention the existence of this useful utility.

The software is written in Java so it should run on platforms where Java is supported. On Windows Vista, double-clicking on the jar file will launch the application. It is also quite easy to use. All you need to do is create your signature in JPEG or PNG format, select the signature image in the application, choose where (X and Y offset from top left corner) to put the signature on your photo, then hit the “GO!!!” button. The software will create a .set (Capture NX settings) file in the same directory as your signature image. You can then load the .set file in Capture NX to add the signature to your photo. You can also batch-processing many photos using the .set file.

You can actually overlay any image you’d like, as long as they are in JPEG or PNG formats. It also support transparency (option called “Encode gray levels with opacity”) as shown in the following screen capture.


Overall, it works well but it does have some limitations.

  • It overlays the signature image pixel-to-pixel on the photo. If it is appropriate for small photos, it won’t look good for large photos. A signature image scaling capability would be great.
  • The signature is placed at a fixed offset from top-left corner. The exact placement on the photo depends on photo size and orientation. Additional signature placement options will be good but you still won’t be able to use one .set file for all your photos.
  • The .set file is quite large even for a small signature image. In my test, a 9KB jpg is turned into a 3.5MB .set file. If you save the signature in your NEF RAW file, you can certainly expect a large increase in file size. This isn’t an issue if you output JPEG files with the signature.

Despite of some limitations, this utility will certainly fulfill some people’s needs. We can also likely to see some improvements made to the program in the future.

Posted in: Software, Tips and Techniques on August 4th, 2009. Trackback URI
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