IT Employment

IrfanView: The Right Tool for the Job?

Default IrfanView application window

By Paul Mah

Professional photographers and designers often need to preview large groups of image files quickly. Even IT professionals working in a non-creative environment occasionally need to perform basic edits to images or convert many images as a batch job. For jobs like these, the image viewing software bundled with Windows just doesn't cut it. Enter the IrfanView graphic viewer. Is it the Right Tool for the Job?

Read a concise summary of IrfanView's strengths and weaknesses.

This is what you see what you see when you start IrfanView for the first time.

About

Paul Mah is a writer and blogger who lives in Singapore, where he has worked for a number of years in various capacities within the IT industry. Paul enjoys tinkering with tech gadgets, smartphones, and networking devices.

43 comments
bonxgzit
bonxgzit

Is this an ACDC version? hheehe

wsmith8
wsmith8

Best thing ever, nothing does as good a job as this does

js_nojunk
js_nojunk

I switched away from IrfanView just because of the poor UNICODE support for file/path name. It was a hassle to work around this by renaming files. Does the new version support UNICODE file name/path properly now?

robsida
robsida

I've used IrfanView since it was first several years back. If you have this one in your "box of tools" you need to add it. It's TOPS !

kstar
kstar

This program is great and I use it quite alot. It is freeware, yet when you click on the sponsored link to IrfanView2008 you have pay for it and have to get other software with it. It is good as it is and shouldn't be bundled with other shareware programs.

alexp023
alexp023

From what everyone is saying it sounds great. Although, I have not been able to locate a FREE download. When I visit the site, they want between $29 & $35 to get get from 1 year to unlimited access. I must be at the wrong site, can someone tell me where to get the FREE download.

ttterk
ttterk

to Done@: On his website, he sez, "pronounce 'EarfanView'" so I guess that's right. As to the notion of free, like most freeware, it's only free for personal use. Commercial users (who are making money from using it!) should send him $12 or ?10. Now that he has a PayPal account, it's easy to do--I wouldn't send $12 to Bosnia in an envelope, but I was willing to click on a PayPal icon. And when I sent him the ?10 in 2007, that meant I'd paid somewhere around ?1 for each year I'd used it. What a bargain!

tdaiuto
tdaiuto

I've use this program both for personal use and professional work for working batch files of images. Nothing else compares. I highly recommend this product.I give it 5 stars. Tom- NY

soccerkingpilot
soccerkingpilot

I believe that Picasa (by Google) is a much more advanced and powerful program, Not just because it's Google either. Picasa has a very nice layout and offers a variety of publishing options including print to store.

CaptBilly1Eye
CaptBilly1Eye

That's how long I've been using and endorsing IrfanView. Its best feature is how quickly it opens almost any graphic file. But I also use it for quick & simple editing like resizing, cropping, or converting an image to another format. The ability to do batch conversions and renaming along with creating screensavers and stand-alone slide shows are added bonuses. I have to admit I don't take advantage of even half of it's capabilities. I first met Irfan on-line in the CompuServe days back when he lived in Bosnia. I heard he graduated from the Vienna University of Technology in Austria a while back. I wonder what he's up to these days besides occasionally releasing updates for IrfanView. ...and did I mention... it's free! and with NO advertising! I guess it's time to send him another donation.

jarrodf
jarrodf

I love this tool. We used it a lot for viewing screenshot captures taken while gaming! :)

melvyn_ingram
melvyn_ingram

I love this program for the ease of use in saving, viewing and editing quickly. This is normally the first one I use when saving image and clip art befor moving on my specialize programs. Melv

mj.rojas
mj.rojas

Been using this little app for nearly 10 years - no regrets, period !

dzahra
dzahra

I just downloaded it and WOW! For Free are you kidding me? This is a web designers dream!

dr54eagle
dr54eagle

Best little program EVER for quickly editing large picture files. I have been using it for years and would NEVER give it up!

dave
dave

Can't say enough good things about this little program and what it does, and without polluting your registry and adding a bunch of Explorer injected dll's.

Photocrazy
Photocrazy

I have used IrfanView since it first came out. I still keep and older version that does not have to be installed on a computer. I can take it anywhere on a usb stick or place it on a cd/dvd with pictures to use on any computer without installing it on the computer. I use it to show slideshows. I even used it at my old job because we were not allowed to install anything on the computers, all I had to do was drop it on my desktop and I wasn't breaking the rules. I use other programs but this is my old standby for converting and other quick jobs.

done
done

On any PC I'm setting up. It just plain works. Doesn't do fancy stuff - but what it does - it does well and quickly with minimum fuss. While the user interface seems rather sparce - that to me is a big plus.. since most of the often used functions can be found to have keystroke combinations to activate. It's good enough that I'd pay for it..

Norm Cimon
Norm Cimon

"That means no My Documents..." Just toggle the Common Shell Folders under Thumbnail Options and this shows up as does My Documents and My Images.

big_boy2u
big_boy2u

can you watermark photos? And if you can...can you do a batch at 1 time?

lyle124
lyle124

Irfan is probably my most-used software. Why does this reviewer see complexity as a "problem"? The program does so many different things, it seems that the menus will obviously be complicated once you start drilling down. Great Program!

lisamorgan
lisamorgan

I have been using this wonderful tool since its early releases back in the late 90's. I own Photoshop and have owned half a dozen other purchased tools, and I still rely in Irfanview for its flexibility and features in managing my photo collections. I also use it for scanning, resizing and conversions. I cannot say enough good about this tool.

Rickier
Rickier

"...(I like to use it to print odd-sized images within a single page.) ..." Why didn't you tell us how you did this. I wanted to do exactly this, but went into IrfanView and couldn't figure out how to do it. Rick

jhhymas
jhhymas

Irfanview is extrememly useful and has been so for years!

kyle
kyle

I've been using the program for a few years now. It is small and efficient enough to work on just about any computer, and has an insane amount of functionality. For being free and still recieving updates, I don't see myself ever giving it up. I highly recomend it to anyone. Everyone I have shown the program too loves it.

kstar
kstar

Go to www.ifranview.com You can download the program and all of its plug-ins

Lizzie_B
Lizzie_B

it seemed like a good idea at the time. Then it started trying to index the 1+ terabytes (about 850,000 images) on the server. It took a while to figure out how to shut off the indexing. Then it insisted on trying to index every CF card we put in the reader. Since we shoot about 16,000 images between the middle of February and the middle of June, that can be a problem. ;-)

klaasvanbe
klaasvanbe

Another one that is freeware and covers a lot of formats and features is XnView. It's a matter of what you need, used to, taste etc. that makes your preferred choice of tool especially in this case. Some people love the Spartan Gimp, for me it's the aforementioned. There are like standards too many to choose from.

caryyy
caryyy

Even the newest version is available as a stand alone app. The file name is always the same format. Any time a new version comes out, I just do a quick Google search (for example iview410.zip). There are so many mirrors out there, it's always available. Besides that, once installed, the install directory can be copied and will run as stand-alone from a thumb drive or another PC. Same goes for the free plugins. See the official site for the zip version of the plugins http://www.irfanview.com/plugins.htm.

done
done

how to pronice IrfanView.. I always tend to pronounce it as In-Fan-View which is obviously wrong.. :)

TJ111
TJ111

As a web developer/graphic designer (kinda) this little application is amazing. After creating the final images for a website, I can batch process all of them to convert them to smaller filetypes, as well as remove transparency from bitmaps/gifs (stupid IE6). I don't use it for photo viewing or slideshows, but for quick changes or batch processing, this program is a beast.

caryyy
caryyy

File\Print\Print Size or to add multiple images to a single print... Image\Create Panorama Image You can add images vertically or horizontally

andrew
andrew

I attempted to download this 'Gem' as it features looked great and it had excellent reviews here on TR. I was asked for my credit card and also to nominate what 'Plan' I wanted, including monthly and once-off. That's not my definition of a free program. Or maybe I am missing something?

Lizzie_B
Lizzie_B

Irfanview is indispensable to us. It's fast, light, easy to use and configure and supports a staggering number of image formats. We use other packages - Adobe CSx and Thumbs+ as well. Irfanview plays amazingly well with them. I can't endorse it heartily enough.

alexp023
alexp023

From what everyone is saying it sounds great. Although, I have not been able to locate a FREE download. When I visit the site, they want between $29 & $35 to get from a 1 year to unlimited access. I must be at the wrong site, can someone tell me where to get the FREE download.

dem_z
dem_z

Not only does it have the small footprint, but all of my non-technical clients who are afraid of Photoshop just love this program. Simple and small, it's much less intimidating to them. I also love the fact that it can view just about any file type (Mac file on a PC, for example). It is also one of the first programs I'll install on a new system. I've been using it since the 90's as well. Invaluable.

chache17
chache17

I couldn?t tell how many times it really spared me a lot of work which I would've done using other software. Fast viewing and lots of useful options. It's great.

FiOS-Dave
FiOS-Dave

Ear-fohn (or uhr-fohn)is probably the closest you'll get to pronouncing his first name properly! Don't fret over it too much...spend the time using this great little program instead! Dave

NPetersen
NPetersen

Not sure where you tried to download it from, Andrew, but I just downloaded it (again) from cnet.com and there was no request for payment of any kind. I followed the download link from irfanview.com. Nelson