Sunday, June 3, 2012

Software and Productivity - IrfanView

I love software, especially free...and if I really like it and use it regularly I look for a donate button on the website. Over the years, across many computers, I have used quite a variety of programs so I thought I'd write a few posts about my favorites.
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My favorite image viewer program, IrfanView, is free for non-commercial use. I first used it back in the late 1990's. It's hard to believe that the author continues to add enhancements and still keeps it free. Yes, I made a donation. If you download and install it, please be sure to also download and install the plug-ins for some extras.

IrfanView is so much more than an image viewer. I can change file types, make my own .ico files, listen to and watch files, crop images, resize and optimize files, add special effects, flip/rotate images, insert text and watermarks, auto-adjust coloration on photos, manually change coloration settings and much more. But, this is NOT a Photoshop type product so be aware of its limitations. [Check out GIMP or Zoner for better Photoshop replacements. I've downloaded both but as a non-Photoshop user, I find Zoner easier to use.]

I probably use maybe 25% of the capabilities and this program is the one that keeps me from moving to a Mac....this is a Windows only product and so far I've been unable to find a satisfactory replacement.

On a scale of 1 to 5 stars, this is definitely a 5 star winner with bonus points for being free. The only downside I have ever found is the need to check manually for updates. I can live with that!

PS. If you are on a Mac, I'd love to hear about anything you think might be a good replacement.


5 comments:

  1. Thanks for the tips! I have a photo editor that I've used for most these tasks, though it wasn't free, but I'll look at Irfan View - maybe I'll skip the next upgrade fee by switching.

    I too found GIMP difficult to figure out, I just snagged Zoner off CNET and will give it a whirl.

    Thanks again.

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  2. I used Irfanview for years and loved it! When I had to change laptops at work, they wouldn't let me download it, so I ended up with Snagit. Got kinda used to it and so that is what I have on my current laptop at home. It's a real dog switching s/w -- all the muscle memory and ways of doing things change. *sigh*

    BTW, I still use NoteTab for my test editor for web dev and perl programming though. And, I've used that one for 15 years!

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  3. Good luck with both IrfanView and Zoner. When I tried GIMP, I couldn't figure out how to do anything. With Zoner I at least accomplished the task at hand (whatever it was).

    Take your time to learn IrfanView, lots of tutorials and videos out there. It is surprisingly versatile.

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  4. Watch for my review of Jarte for text editing...sometime in the next couple of weeks.

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