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We will want to show many of these images to others, perhaps individually, or perhaps in a slideshow — for example of holiday photos or family day photos. Some will need a touch-up before they can be used perhaps altering their colours, or adding effects, or changing their size, cropping, combining, there are many ways to make different uses of a single image.
IrfanView offers facilities to do all these things in one, small-footprint application. It has a clean and simple user interface so that it’s not daunting for beginners, but behind that lies a very powerful and useful application that might not have all the features of a high profile, professional image editing tool, but which does enough to meet many of our needs.
Easy to apply filters and effects: It is remarkably easy to get quite dramatic results really quickly. A quick menu selection — no more than a couple of clicks — allows you to easily play with image colours and apply a wide range of filters and effects.
Slideshow creation: One of the reasons we take photos is to show them to other people. With IrfanView it is easy to combine multiple images into a slideshow that can run completely independently of the application because it is created as an executable file. This means a slideshow can easily be shared with other people, who can enjoy it as a standalone.
Watermarking: You might want to add a watermark to an image to identify a picture as yours in order to stop other people using your photos without your permission, or maybe to theme photos as belonging to a particular set. Adding a watermark is easy. Just define the watermark, and then it can be added time after time after time to any image you select with a couple of clicks.
Many file formats supported: Well over a hundred different graphics file formats are supported, in addition to many video formats. Conversion between different formats is easy and it you can convert either in batches or as single files.
Image creation: There are various ways to create new images such as splitting an image into tiles whose dimensions you set, and combining images to create panoramas. You can write and draw onto images using a simple set of paint tools that comprise various brush, line, shape and fill tools, so that they can be personalised or made specific to a particular use.
Scanning: IrfanView will acquire images direct from your scanner, so there’s no need to go through a separate scanning application before you start working on an image.
Go straight to other editors: For those times when IrfanView doesn’t offer what is needed you can open an image you are viewing into another image editor from within IrfanView. So it is easy to switch out if you find your creativity is limited by what’s on offer here, without wasting any time.
Plugins: New features are relatively easy to add thanks to support for plugins. There are a lot of plugins available, and they allow for some quite specialised features to be added by those who need them, without making everything available to everyone — which would make the application feel rather bloated. See a full list of current plugins.
Simple user interface: The simple user interface and rather old-fashioned design be seen as a positive or a negative. It is relatively easy for newcomers to be productive really quickly, and there are no distracting visual aspects to the general look and feel of IrfanView. But on the other hand some will think the look is very old fashioned.
IrfanView is a well featured image editor, with lots of options, yet they are sensibly arranged and easy to get to at speed. As a result, IrfanView can be used to produce good results really quickly. Plug-ins mean you can add specialist features without the whole application becoming bloated with features many people will never use. The somewhat basic look will put some people off, but don’t be swayed. The beauty of this application is under the skin.