View pictures better with Roboreader

Display images sequentially with this free tool.

Roboreader is a free sequential image viewer that is designed to replace the default Windows image viewer (typically Photo Viewer) with a faster, more capable tool. It displays animated GIFs as well as most image files, and it can let you view images directly in a wide range of archived files, too. It automatically continues on to the next image archive in a directory.

There are several options for fitting images to the desktop, which is one of Roboreader's chief advantages. As widescreen displays become common, more users will appreciate the ability to get the best fit for their slideshows and image displays.

Roboreader opens with a tiny box instructing you to press O to open files. Since it automatically displays images in sequence, you only need to add the first image. The interface has two display modes, a frameless image with Exit and Maximize buttons, and a maximized view with a black background (you can change the color). In either view, we could drag the image anywhere we liked. Right-clicking called up the program's menu, which accesses features, settings, and the Help file, which is brief but explains how the mousewheel zooms in and out, double-clicks toggle between actual size and screen fit, and other basic features.

Roboreader's hot keys are listed under Actions, including Left and Right arrows for moving back and forth. Unfortunately, that seems to be the only way to advance the image. We tried clicking on the image's edge and other parts of the image and interface, searching the options for navigation arrows we could enable, and other signs of this very basic feature. Roboreader offers tons of extras, such as optional dual-page views, nine different resizing options, bookmarks, file filtering, and background setting.

We like Roboreader a lot, especially the many options it offers for fitting, resizing, and centering images and the quality of its displays. But it needs the option to advance images with a mouse click, such as Forward and Back arrows. (Windows Photo Viewer has these basic, essential controls.) That simple addition would make this fine tool an excellent choice as a default image viewer for Windows.

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