Saturday, October 13, 2007

IrfanView 4.0 - Compact, Fast, Free & Friendly Image Vewer

IrfanView (pronounced Ear-Fan-View) is named for Irfan Skiljan, a very generous programmer from Bosnia. Irfan keeps his users happy by giving them the best Windows picture viewer available with regular updates that expand the program's features.

New IrfanView releases have continued virtually nonstop since I first discovered the program around version 1.70, released in January 1996.

It's difficult to imagine how a programmer can pack IrfanView's vast array of features into a executable program file under 1 MB. There are far too many to list, but some worth noting are:

IrfanView is the first graphic viewer that supports both animated .gif and .ico (icons) and one of the first that supports the multipage .tif format.

My favorite feature is the full screen right-click browsing capability, which allows a user quickly cycle through all image files in a directory. I have not found a single other viewer that does this.

Many basic editing functions are available like crop, rotate, flip, resize, and increase/decrease colors. Some good bread and butter effects like sharpen, swap colors, and even palette and filter support are also at your fingertips. This means that if you want to alter an image, you don't have to summon up Adobe Photoshop or Jasc Paint Shop Pro from the depths of your hard-drive.

A vast number of file formats are supported (I counted around 60), including multimedia files supported through plugins. One of the really neat uses of IrfanView is its ability to handle icons (.ico). I sometimes use it to make so called favicons, which appear in browser address bars and favorites after bookmarking some sites. This involves shrinking an image to 16 X 16 size, then decreasing the colors to 16 and saving as a ".ico" file.

If IrfanView sounds like an image editor, remember that its just a modest image viewer. It's never going to replace a major paint program. It can't be beaten for speed, flexibility and ease of use on days when you want to sit back and feast your eyes upon your image collection. Irfan reports receiving over 45,000 e-mail messages expressing appreciation for the program.

Download now!! IrfanView 4.0. OS Support:, Windows (All).

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