IrfanView is a simple image viewer software with support for a multitude images formats.
Windows operating system can show images using his own image viewer software. This viewer can be enough for some users, but for others it is necessary a program with more options and possibilities.
IrfanView displays images and pictures quickly. The program is compatible with a large number of image formats: PNG, JPG, GIF, animated GIF, BMP, TIFF, etc. In addition it can play video and sound files, although this is not their primary function.
The program is notable for its simplicity of use and ease to show the images in a directory. Once installed, we can associate image files with this program, so when we double click on any image, ti will be opened in this program. For example, if we want to see the images in a directory, we can use Windows Explorer and double-click on any image, then it will launch this program and display the selected image. We can now use left and right arrow keys to scroll through the images. If an image is rotated and we want to change the rotation we need to press R or L key. R = rotate 45 degrees the image to the right, L = rotate 45 degrees the image to the left.
We have the ability to view images in slideshow mode. That is to say, we will select multiple images, and these will be displayed one after the other after a few seconds of pause between them. We can choose the images that will be part of the presentation, or we can include all the images from a directory without having to manually select one at a time. We can choose pause time between image and image, display in full screen or window, etc.
Another interesting option is batch conversion and rename. We can select multiple images and convert them to another format, for example from JPEG to PNG. We can also select multiple images and rename them in batch.
This program has a navigation mode that will display images Thumbnails contained in directories. In this way we will be able to copy, move, and delete images, and copy them to an FTP server or send them by e-mail.
If we are looking for an image, and didn't find one, we can use this program, because it incorporates an internal search engine with which we can search for images in all PC units. In addition to search by name and extension, we can search int the EXIF and IPTC image fields.
Another interesting option is the possibility of using the program to scan documents or images, since it's able to recognize connected scanner our PC and save an image of the scanned document, or even to send scanned document to printer directly.
IrfanView includes a simple image editor with which we can add text, lines, shapes, delete parts of the image, freehand, etc. We can also crop the image to a specific area, or insert another image as a watermark. We can also resize the image with the least loss of quality using one of the following algorithms: Lanczos, B-Spline, Mitchell, Bell, Triangle, and Hermite. It is also possible to add image filters such as: black-and-white, invert color, color correction, replacement of color, red-eye reduction, sepia, and more.
The program supports plug-ins that extend the basic functionality. For example, we can add the option of Optical Character Recognition (OCR), include a media player, modify EXIF data in JPEG files, and more.
The program is able to detect whether an image has the wrong extension and it will alert us when we open the image, offering the possibility of correcting the extension of the file. For example if we open a .png file, which in reality is a .jpg file, the program will detect it and can fix file's extension.
IrfanView can be considered one of the most important image viewers for Windows, because during all the years in which it has been developed, has been incorporating new functionality and features that no other software image viewer possessed. The first version was launched in the year 1996. The program is free for non-commercial use.