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Irfanview Graphics Utility

by Dave Burnside

If, like me, you own a digital camera and/or scan pictures and save them on your computer, you need a graphics program to access and work with your pictures. One of the best and simplest graphics utilities I’ve ever come across, and my personal favorite, is a product called Irfanview32. And it’s also a freeware program for individual use. 

Irfanview32 supports multiple image formats. It also has many different functions for basic and advanced users. Here is a screen capture of a picture showing the Irfanview32 window. 



Of the multiple functions available, the following are the functions I use most often:

Viewing images: You can use Irfanview32 to Open an image file or if you associated the image extensions with Irfanview32 during installation (or from the Options menu), you can simply double-click
the filename in your Windows Explorer. Once an image is loaded, hitting the ENTER key will make the image full screen. You can then scroll through all the pictures in the folder using the right mouse button
to advance forward or the left mouse button to return backwards. You can also use the spacebar to advance through the pictures in the folder. During viewing (full screen or not), you can zoom in or out using the Viewmenu or the +or -keys.

Thumbnails: While viewing an image, pressing the “T” or using the File menu allows you to see thumbnails (small versions) of all the images in the folder using a file manager like interface.

Rotating images: When I take pictures vertically with my digital camera, they are saved such that they initially show laying horizontally. Once a picture is opened, it can be rotated left, right, or flipped vertically or horizontally using the Image menu or using the shortcut keys L, R, V or H. The rotated picture can then be saved as a new file or overwriting the old file.

Croping images: In some cases I’m only interested in a portion of the picture. I can use Irfanview32 to mark the area I want by clicking on one extremity and dragging the box over the area I’m interested in.
Then I use the Edit menu to Crop (cut out) the portion I marked. I can the save the crop as a new file or overwrite the original file.

Batch file renaming: Another extremely useful function is the Batch file renaming capability. Digital cameras name image files using the same filename and adding a numeral to distinguish the files (ex.
Image001.jpg, image002.jpg, etc.). In the File menu, you have a Batch Rename function. You can add all files in a folder or just selected files. You can then provide a meaningful filename template (ex. GeeseNov00_###) and Irfanview32 will rename all the files to the template name. The ### adds
an incrementing numeral to the template (ex. Geese Nov00_001.jpg, Geese Nov00_002.jpg, etc.). You can choose to rename the existing files or copy them to new files, keeping the originals.

Batch file conversions: Similarly, all the files in a folder can be automatically converted to another image format. This function works along the same lines as batch file renaming.

Image resizing: Images can be resized using a variety of options and a variety of filters.

Slideshow: I used the Slideshow function under the File menu to create a slideshow of several thousand pictures we had taken. I then ran the slideshow with auto scrolling set at 10seconds and ported the output through my video card TV Out port to our VCR where I taped the output. The tape was sent to our daughter in Alberta who doesn’t have a computer. 

Irfanview32 even has functions for sharpening colors, enhancing the images, adding effects etc. It also allows viewing of multi-page images.

Overall, this free product is great and simple to use for the novice. But it has a multitude of features that even an advanced user would find useful.

Irfanview32’s home page is located at:

I recommend you download both the Irfanview32 utility and the add-on plugins. Install the utility first and then the add-ons. Personally I use the images only associations when installing Irfanview32.

Bottom Line:

Infranview 32 (Freeware)
Ryan Simmons

Originally published: March, 2002

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