I have always been a big fan of Adobe Photoshop, the trendsetter/innovator for all photo editor and image manipulation software.
The downside for typical users though, (other than its price – which is formidable), is it’s huge size on disk, it’s very challenging platform requirements, and an extreme learning curve which demands time and training.
Most of us don’t need the flexibility, or the power of a high end (read expensive), photo editor. Instead, we’re looking for an application that’s small, fast, and free with an intuitive interface that’s very easy to use; especially for those with only modest previous experience.
IrfanView which is one of my favorite photo applications, not just mine; there have been over 34 million downloads, is not just an image viewer, but an image browser, converter, and an editor as well. Best of all, you’ll find the interface intuitive and very easy to use. If you’re curious, this application is named after its developer Irfan Skiljan.
With IrfanView you can fix and enhance digital photos including resizing, cropping, correcting red eye, flipping, and rotating. As well, you can perform a wide variety of image adjustments, including brightness, contrast, and applying special effects such as sharpen and blur.
I have been using this neat little program for years and with every new release it just keeps getting better. The latest version – version 4.20, released July 16, 2008, includes plug-in support for most image, video, and sound formats, including MP3, AVI, audio CD, and WMA. An added bonus in the latest version is you now have the ability to Draw, Erase, Fill, Rotate, and Draw an Arrow.
(Click pic for larger)
The most downloaded Image Editing Software, out of 2618 products, on CNET
Small – only 1.2 MB
Many supported file formats
Multi language support
Slideshow (save slideshow as EXE/SCR or burn it to CD)
Show EXIF/IPTC/Comment text in Slideshow/Full screen etc.
Support for Adobe Photoshop Filters
Drag & drop support
Fast directory view (moving through directory)
Batch conversion (with image processing)
Multipage TIF editing
Change color depth
And much more
Unless you have unusual image editing requirements, IrfanView should more than meet your needs.
System Requirements: Windows Vista, Windows XP
Download at: Download.com
For the Geeky Photographer: Image Analyzer 1.30
(Click pic for larger)
If you’re a geeky photographer, then Image Analyzer 1.30 could be just the program you’ve been searching for. This small (1.24MB), free, advanced, feature-rich image editor, comes complete with serious enhancement and analytical tools.
At the advanced level, this is not a program for the faint of heart, and requires a good understanding of photographic techniques. Check it out at “Free Image Analyzer 1.30 -Professional Photo Editor” on this site.
For a great review on a terrific alternative image viewer, checkout FastStone Image Viewer, by my good buddy Rick Robinette, on his site What’s on My PC.
18 responses to “Irfanview – The Best Little Photo Editor in Texas (or Elsewhere)!”
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This has always been one of my favorite image viewers… Ironically, I just did a write-up on another image viewer called “FastStone Image Viewer” I use Irfanview and FastStone has my primary viewers.
Just read your cool review and have linked back to it.
i started with Faststone, moved to Irfanview, then XNview, and have since landed on picasa3 since they now incorporate a nice picture viewer.
my second favorite is Xnview and has more editing features than picasa. it will also view more file extensions than picasa which is why it’s still my backup.
i love picasa’s way of handling my ever increasing photo albums. highly recommend!
Yeah, I’ve reviewed Faststone and XNview – both are terrific applications. I
particularly like Picasa when I have to organize my pics – it does a
Thank you very much for the “link back”… I have always had an interest in image viewers and editors; however, never had the patient to learn Photoshop, Gimp, etc…
I’ve used PhotoShop for years, but I recently took it off my home machine
since free programs like IrfanView, FastStone Image Viewer, and others, are
up to the tasks set by most users.
Just as an afterthough, The Gimp sucks.
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Just posted a “link back” as well from my blog to this great post on Irfanview…
have you tried Artweaver? Pretty good photoshop ripoff although it doesn’t have near the features. it’s more in line with photoshop 4 or somewhere near that era. i like Artweaver for the simple fact that i learned how to use photoshop and have spent quite a few years with it. i got tired of buying upgrades and freeware/open source became more viable. Check out Artweaver. It’s the closest clone to photoshop i’ve come across. And best of all, it’s FREE!
Thanks for the tip Glenn.
Took a look and have downloaded it to give it a test drive. Looks pretty
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Great post Bill, I’ve been playing with several free photo editing/managing tools lately and I think Irfanview looks very interesting and will give it a try. I also like the new Windows Live Photo Gallery (pretty basic), Picasa and Paint.net. All have specific features that are appealing. Finding one that works with raw formats is also important now that my son has saved his money and bought an DSLR. Picasa handles the Canon raw format, but I’m not sure about the others.
And I share your opinion about GIMP I hear there’s an add-on that makes it more like Photoshop but I’ve never tried it.
Lucky lad you’re son, with a new DSLR.
As you’ve noted, the RAW format is becoming increasingly more important –
with good reason.
I do like Picasa – but I must admit I tend to stay with the apps I’ve had on
my machine for ages. It’s the old “comfort zone” thing I guess.
“ArtWeaver” that Glenn pointed out is also portable… Great little program.
I just downloaded ArtWeaver this morning, and I’m going to put it through a
full test drive in the near future. I noticed the portable version was about
3 MB heavier than the HD version – what’s up with that?
Good to hear you recommend ArtWeaver as well as Glenn. Two strong votes from
two “geeky guys” – what could be better!
don’t throw things at me but i like GIMP!
Gotta admit, I still think the Gimp sucks, and I’ve even tried it with the
PhotoShop GUI add-on. On the other hand, I was running PhotoShop 9 at the
time, so I might have been just a little bit prejudice.
BTW – duck!