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Summary:

I’ve mentioned IrfanView here before–a free download for image editing and viewing. It’s actually my favorite tool of all for working with images, and incorporates a lot of unexpected features such as a slick tool for creating slideshows. Best of all, it opens and closes in […]

I’ve mentioned IrfanView here before–a free download for image editing and viewing. It’s actually my favorite tool of all for working with images, and incorporates a lot of unexpected features such as a slick tool for creating slideshows. Best of all, it opens and closes in a snap and doesn’t slow me down as much as Photoshop does.

If you’re new to this application, there are also a couple of good tutorials for it that can get you going and give you some advanced skills. A couple of Irfanview’s great strengths are that you can work on files in batches and flexibly work with effects. This quick tutorial visually shows you how to get these jobs done.

For a tutorial that offers nicely categorized lessons on subtleties in IrfanView, check out Instructional Endeavors’ IrfanView lessons.  Of the topics covered here, batch file conversions are really good time-savers if you work with many images simultaneously. Also note the lessons on working with thumbnail images.

Although IrfanView is freeware, the developer does invite other developers to contribute plug-ins for the application. The number and usefulness of these have grown over the years I’ve used this application. From IrfanView’s home page click on the PlugIns link down the left rail of the site. This will give you two options for adding PlugIns. You can download all plug-ins as one large .EXE file, or download them as a large .ZIP file.

If you’re used to the massive numbers of filters available in products such as Photoshop, IrfanView’s plug-ins will provide many of the best ones while still not weighing the whole application down. Unfortunately, IrfanView is not available in a Mac version. It’s Windows-only at this point, but it constantly saves me time working with images.

What’s your favorite image editor?

  1. Ifranview too. I just wish the crop was a little better. With points that can be dragged like every other editor has.

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  2. The crop on Irfanview is just as workable as any other graphics editor; it just works a little differently (no diagonal sizing points, and no shape-dragging) and takes some getting used to.

    But if you’re saying that you wish it worked like most other graphic editors, I agree. Despite its simplicity, it took me a while to realize how to use it.

    OTOH I cannot say enough good things about Irfanview’s BATCH EDITING.

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  3. I like FastStone Image Viewer.

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  4. Yes that is true, you can just draw a selection rectangle and change it width and height. My “problem” with it is that I tend to deselect the rectangle sometimes on accident and that I can’t drag it over the canvas. It’s the only thing I can think of that I would like to see improved. I’m not trying to say it is useless the way it works now.

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  5. @piethein and michael–I know exactly what you mean about the cropping in IrfanView. What I use in conjunction with it is this cool little pop-up ruler:
    http://webworkerdaily.com/2008/04/07/5-offbeat-free-utilities-for-everyday-tasks/

    It lets you see exact sizings for screenshots, graphics and photos very easily–also free.

    Samuel

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  6. When I switched all my PCs to linux, Irfanview is one of the few apps I really missed. It is so lightweight and does some tasks so well. I haven’t found anything that really compares.

    Luckily, with a little tweaking (downloading another dll) you can run Irfanview under linux with wine and it seems to work great.

    I haven’t tried it with the plugins, but that might be the next step since some of these look really useful.

    Here’s a link with the instructions for anyone interested:

    http://madbuntu.com/2008/07/run-irfanview-under-linux/

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  7. [...] Samuel Dean has written a couple of great posts about IrfanView on the Web Worker Daily blog called IrfanView: Great Graphics On-the-Fly, and Free, and Tutorials and Plug-Ins for IrfanView–a Graphics Gem. [...]

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