IrfanView: Great Graphics On-the-Fly, and Free

If you’re like many a web worker, you often juggle graphics—viewing, editing and converting files. Muscular programs like Photoshop can be great to use for these tasks, but for on-the-fly tasks on a Windows PC, I prefer a freeware graphics program called IrfanView. You can download it in just a few seconds , the program is very highly rated at Download.com, and it gets over a million downloads per month.

IrfanView is great when you need to open an image editor quickly, perform quick tasks and get right back to work. However, it has a surprisingly robust feature set, especially if you often need to convert file formats.

In IrfanView, you can apply batch file format conversions, and a simple drop-down menu lets you convert any image from one format to another. If you often take screenshots by hitting Ctrl-PrtScreen, you’ll find that as soon as you paste them into IrfanView your cursor is an image cropping tool. Just use the cursor to surround whatever portion of an image you want to select, and then hit Crop Selection to eliminate the rest of the image and retain what you want.

The program supports a huge number of graphics file formats, can create panoramas and slideshows, and has plug-in support for most major media file formats, including AVI, MP3, audio CD, and WMA. IrfanView has built-in TWAIN support for quickly converting scanned images, and you can apply edits to images, such as increasing brightness, on a batch basis—across many images at once.

For big image editing tasks, I look to Photoshop, but when I need to paste an image quickly into an editor, crop it and convert it to the right file format, IrfanView is what I turn to.

Do you know of any good freeware graphics programs?

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