IrfanView is a lightweight image viewer for Windows. Unlike Windows’ built in viewer, it is responsive, intuitive, and easily passes your images on to the full-featured image editor or collection manager of your choice. It is proprietary but available at no cost for noncommercial use.
Download the IrfanView base installer (choose any mirror). Double click the downloaded file to install.
If the user wishes to use IrfanView in a language other than English, download the relevant language pack, double clicking it to install. We will configure the desired language below.
Many plugins are available for additional features, but most users need no more than the lightweight base install.
Most configuration is done in Options – Properties/Settings. Settings I’ve found many users to be happy with are:
- Start/exit options: Set program start folder to user’s My Images folder. Ask to save changes on program exit or image change.
- JPG/PCD/GIF: Auto-rotate image according to EXIF information.
- Extensions: Select “Images Only”. Add “Browse with IrfanView” for drives and folders to shell menu. Use thumbnails for BMPs.
- Language: Set as desired.
- Miscellaneous: Set paths to the user’s preferred image editor (Gimp is a good choice) and/or collection manager.
I also enable View – Display Options – Fit images to window.
TIPS AND TRICKS
To send an image to an image editor or collection manager
File – Open with external editor, then select the application you have previously configured.
To resize a large image for uploading or emailing
Image – Resize/Resample. Set new size as desired; the preset value of 640 x 480 is reasonable for most uses. Select the resample (not resize) method, 72 DPI, “Preserve aspect ratio”, and “Apply sharpen after resample”. Press OK; the image is resized but has not yet been saved to disk. In File – Save as, select output location and filename. If you are saving to the same folder as the original, take care to rename the new image to avoid overwriting the original. Set any options as desired and press Save.
If IrfanView is not what you are looking for, there are other image viewers for Windows.