IrfanView : A great free image viewer and more

The image viewer that usually comes built in to versions of windows is usually a bit too basic. But with so many programs to choose from, it can be hard to find an image viewer that is simple to use, yet still has many useful features.

I first found Irfanview many years ago and all these years later its still my must-have program for viewing and working with images. I’ve tried some others, but I doubt I’ll ever find anything to surpass the simplicity of Irfanview anytime soon.


It lets you view just about any type of image file (also video and sound files, but thats just an added feature, image files is definitely what it was built for first and foremost.) One of its major strongpoints is its ease of use, you simply set it as your default image viewer and thats basically all you need to do!

But one thing I love is how easy it is to use once you memorize the basic keyboard shortcuts.

The ones I use all the time are:

F to Switch (toggle) between ‘Fit images to desktop’ and ‘Fit window to image’

H to Horizontal Flip

R to Rotate

Arrow keys to move between next/previous images

There’s more, but you get the idea ( see the help file for details)

As well as being an excellent image viewer, it also has additional features, like being able to save as whatever image type you want ( which makes it also an image format convertor) and also batch conversion/batch renaming, and image optimization for web, view as or  create slideshows, take screenshots etc. As well as all the things you’d expect such as cutting, cropping, ability to add text and basic image effects, etc.


So if you are still using the lame image viewers that come with windows as default, its really about time you give Irfanview a shot, You have nothing to lose as its totally free, if you try it, feel free to post your opinions on it as a comment below.

Download it from

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Scott Kelby's Digital Photography Boxed Set, Volumes 1, 2, and 3

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