Well, I'm busy re-installing my computer after the hard drive failed. I've decided that I'm going to try to do a little more blogging about what I'm doing on the computer and in my life in general. One of the utilities that I installed right off the bat is IrfanView, described on their website as "one of the most popular viewers worldwide." I discovered this utility probably almost ten years ago, and it's continued to be improved and had a number of plug-ins added. For general image viewing and manipulation, this is the one program that I go to. And, best of all, it's free! You can create thumbnail webpages, you can create self-executing slideshows, and you can do batch conversion of whole folders of images at a time. Cropping a section out of a photo is a snap, as it resizing an image. There's a package of plug-ins and filters which is also available for free. Some of those plug-ins allow you to open seemingly nearly any kind of graphic on the planet. And as far as filters, the built-in ones will let you do all kinds of things like red-eye reduction, color adjustments, and artistic effects like embossing or making your picture look like an oil painting. You can also use Adobe Photoshop filters within IrfanView, which expands that manipulation capability to nearly endless levels.
One weakness of IrfanView, if you can consider it a weakness, is that it isn't a very good drawing or painting tool. It really was never intended to be such, so it's hard to hold it against the program. They have added a paint dialog which allows you to do some basic drawing, fills, and the like, but it's certainly not going to replace a serious drawing or drafting program. But I don't think that was ever its intent, so not really a problem.
Anyway, if you want a utility that can easily convert a JPG to a BMP or vice versa, which will allow you to open that 40 megabyte graphic and resize it to the point where you can e-mail it, or which will let you view a bunch of files that were created in some program that hasn't been supported in ten years, and which won't break the budget (or cost you a dime, for that matter), IrfanView is definitely a must have.
Labels: computers, IrfanView, utilities