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.

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.


  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.

  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!

  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.

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


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