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?