I'm a fan of IrfanView

IrfanView makes a minor-point update with a major image-editing palette, including freehand draw tools, built-in arrow drawing and basic shapes.

IrfanView arguably has the worst name in all of freewaredom, but that doesn't stop it from being a top-notch lightweight image editor. Oh, and it just got better.

If you've used it before, you know that it loads fast, except for asking if you want to install two Google programs that you probably already have anyway. Opting out is easy, and then you can go paint the town red, or blue, or green.

That's right, IrfanView has finally added an image-editing palette, accessible by hitting F12, whose simplicity belies its depth. On the surface, there's not much you can do with it. The Freehand drawing tool, Eraser, Select and Straight-line tools jump out. However, there's also Circle and Rectangle tools, Fill and Clone-stamping, Color selection and Color palette, image Rotation, and an Arrow-drawing tool.

IrfanView now has an image-editing palette, including an arrow-drawing tool.

(Credit: CNET Networks, Inc.)

There's also a Pen and Brush Settings dialog that provides users with a huge range of options, from the basic changing the line color to more advanced editing the line from solid to dashes, to changing line joints from smooth to beveled, and more. It's quite amazing what the program publisher was able to cram into this minor-point update.

IrfanView's basics are all intact, allowing users to edit a huge range of image, sound and video formats, create autoplay slide shows, make batch conversions, add, sharpen, or blur effects, create panoramas, and change color modes easily. Sadly, the completely unintuitive crop method continues to befuddle me, and prevents the program from earning a higher rating.

Other than that, IrfanView does its job very well. It's not going to replace a major paint program, but why use meat cleaver to cut a stick of butter?

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