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View photos fast with ImageGlass

Display your pictures with this versatile free alternative to Windows Photo Viewer.

The Photo Viewer is like many built-in Windows tools: it does a fine job, but it has room for improvement. ImageGlass is a lightweight, versatile image viewing application that is designed to take the place of Photo Viewer in Windows 7 and Vista, especially those installations that may have trouble displaying PNG and GIF files in Photo Viewer. ImageGlass loads images faster than Photo Viewer, thanks to a feature that uses RAM to preload the next image. It also lets you quickly resize and reorient images in the main display.

With a blank main window and an icon-based toolbar, ImageGlass presents a clean aspect. The Open File icon is about halfway along the toolbar; we clicked it and browsed to a JPEG image in our archive. From the toolbar, we could instantly rotate the image right or left, zoom in and out, and scale the image to the screen or the screen to the image. We could also convert images using an ultrasimple tool that involves choosing a new file type from a drop-down list and saving the file to a directory of our choice. Buttons also let us alter the background, toggle a full-screen view, display thumbnails, and access the program's settings, including the ImageBooster feature, a slider that designates specific amounts of system memory to loading the next image in a series. It enables users to quickly move through a file full of images, even large images, though the program advises caution in low-RAM systems. We could also add ImageGlass to context menus, enabling us to right-click image files and open them directly in the program. One entry let us go online to get new skins for the program, too. We could even Like or Dislike ImageGlass on Facebook directly from the interface. The Help file is a pop-up offering Web and Facebook links, and though the program's Web site is in Vietnamese, Google made quick work of translating it to English.

We like ImageGlass, especially the way we could quickly scale images to the interface or the interface to the image, or open a single image in a folder and navigate quickly through them all, thanks to the ImageBooster. You can also keep multiple instances open. All in all, a versatile viewer.

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