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XnView – A Digital Photo Manager

by Alan German

If you need a small, fast, digital image manager, consider trying XnView, a freeware program from Pierre-Emmanuel Gougelet of Reims, France. The software is available in multiple versions, but the “minimal” variety has all the basic – and some not so basic – features that you will likely need.

The program’s main window offers three views that I really find useful – a tree directory of the hard disk, thumbnails of the images in a selected folder, and a large view of any selected image. The program is highly configurable, so the layout that you see in the screenshot is one of many variations on the placement of the different windows. In addition, the size of the thumbnails has been customized, and the level of detail for each thumbnail reduced to just the file name.

Left-clicking on any thumbnail displays the image in the preview window. Double-clicking displays the image in a new tab and filling the entire window. In this view, forward and backward arrows allow browsing through the sequence of images. Alternatively, clicking on a Quick Slide Show icon cycles through all the images in the current folder.



There isn’t the usual built-in editor (e.g. crop, resize, etc.) but there is a batch processing system that will do all sorts of things to your images – e.g. auto-crop, auto de-skew, replace colour – if you are brave enough to try! There is also a batch renaming option that will use a name template, add numbers, change case, etc. for a specified range of images.

Some of the other features of the program are obtaining images from a digital camera or a scanner; creating a slide show, contact strip or web page (HTML code); and producing a list of files in the selected folder with options to include various parameters such as the file type, properties, and description.

The program is fast, easy to use, and very flexible. The one possible drawback is the lack of a built-in image editor, but this “problem: is easily accommodated by using an external package like Gimp. Otherwise, for quickly reviewing a set of digital photographs, and creating some useful adjuncts (such as a web page), XnView is an excellent tool.

Bottom Line:

XnView (Freeware)
Version 2.32
Pierre-E Gougelet

Originally published: February, 2016

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