ImageOpen can serve as your default image viewer in Windows or as a lightweight alternative. This portable freeware is compact and launches quickly, even with large images, but it also lets you open very large images inside Internet Explorer, if you prefer. It sizes windows to images and offers a borderless display option. It also displays slideshows. ImageOpen can handle most image types, including less common ones like ICO and TIFF as well as the usual JPEGs and GIFs. It works in all versions of Windows, though XP and previous versions may require .NET Framework 2.0 or better. We tried it in Vista and Windows 7, both 32-bit and 64-bit versions.
Since ImageOpen is portable, you can extract the program's compressed executable file to pretty much any destination, including removable drives, though you should save it to an accessible directory if you want to use it as your default image viewer.
Right-clicking ImageOpen's main window produces the context menu that serves as the program's central controls and its minimal options. In addition to the Open, Next, and Previous selections, we could start slideshows as well as speed them up and slow them down (keystroke combos are provided). Selecting the slideshow option starts the show automatically in the open image's folder. You can also select any image in any folder. Selecting No Border eliminated the already minimal window borders and displayed a pop-up list of key commands, though the easiest way to change the view was via the context menu. Clicking Open with IE opened images inside the browser.
The About menu accesses developer Patrice Zwenger's Web site and e-mail address as well as Facebook and other access points. Aside from a Top command to keep ImageOpen always on top, that's about all there is to this simple but efficient tool.
We tried ImageOpen as a standalone portable image viewer and as our default image viewer in Windows, with good results in each mode. In the default mode, images opened very quickly, even though ImageOpen is a portable program (or perhaps because ImageOpen is a portable program). It's a handy addition to portable toolkits, too.