Tuesday, August 09, 2005

The Beauty of Irfanview...

I read a blog post today about Macromedia not including Freehand in their latest product package, Studio 8. the author indicated that he had used Freehand in the past, rarely, to open Illustrator files. Reading this, it occurred to me that the free graphic viewer Irfanview is one of my favorite pieces of software.

Here are some of the reasons I love this program so much:
  1. It's free.

  2. It can open almost ANY image, including Photoshop, Illustrator, .gif, .jpg, .png, etc. (Be sure to get the plugins...)

  3. It can open almost ANY video files, including .mpg, .avi, etc...

  4. You can do basic operations such as pasting in a screenshot and saving. You can crop, resize, resample, reduce colors or go to grayscale (I often do this when pasting a screenshot into email to minimize message size and bandwidth usage.)

  5. It has support for basic effects, but also lets you use Adobe .8BF filters, too!

  6. Did I mention it's free? If not, it's free!

  7. It's updated frequently. I had v3.95 on my machine when I started this, but found that v3.97 was available. (I updated immediately...!)

  8. It can whip out thumbnails for a whole directory for quick viewing super fast. Very useful to find a file you seek quickly.

  9. You can defined an external editor per file type. I have my image files (all types) associated with Irfanview. When I double click a .psd file, it opens there and shows me if it's the file I think it is. Then I can hit SHIFT+E and it opens in Adobe. But I was able to determine if it was the file I was looking for without having to actually load Photoshop.

If you haven't ever used this little program I highly recommend downloading it and trying it. You have nothing to lose, but you might find you'll wonder how you ever lived without it!

- Will Belden
August 9, 2005

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