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Full user review
"Best free viewer for images, thumbs and slideshows."
IrfanViewer displays any directory as thumbnails, or loads any combination of files into a slideshow. Slideshows may be saved and reloaded from .TXT, .EXE or .SCR files. Thumbs, fullscreen display and image manipulation options are many and easy.
The terminally unsatisfied might find cons. Well, imported animated GIFs won't paste into the viewer moving, so save them first. When opened, they will move and you can do things like Options=>Extract All Frames (IrfanView options are dynamic).
I've been a user for 11 years! With a great selection of display, sort and description line options for single view, thumbs and slideshows, it's worth a try. Can remember your position in interrupted shows. Thumbnails setup is from a tree that displays even the Temporary Internet Files subdirectories and other concealed directories. Moving and copying selections from Thumbnails to preselected directories is somewhat awkwardly done but easy to learn.Minor correction: slideshows can be saved and played from .EXE and .SCR files, but retrieved for editing only from .TXT files.
Choice of multiple external viewers are optional from Main and Thumbnails modes. Cutting, cropping and maximizing images to screen are easy. Easily dispatches unwanted solid-color margins with "Auto crop borders." Can maximize a pic to six different screen ratios/orientations with auto cropping. In main viewer, many pic adjustments and effects are available, plus more with the plugins.
If you can't let go of your finished image, splash it to Wallpaper, centered, tiled, stretched or stretched in proportion. Or save your favorite slideshow as a screen saver, but without music looped from an MP3 file that you can have otherwise.
I wish picture overlays and inserts were possible, even transparency, not just the vertical and horizontal merges ("Panorama"), but I rarely have to copy an image into MS Paint.
IrfanView has its own media player plugin, and can do videos within its slideshows. It has many advanced capabilities I haven't used even after all these years, such as lossless JPG rotation, batch conversion and renaming, optical character recognition (OCR), and creating multipage images or contact sheets.
Just try it, and if you don't love it, you'll already have your money back, because it's free!
Updated on Dec 20, 2010