IrfanView by Irfan Skiljan initially started off as an simple image viewer but has grown into an extremely functional and powerful tool. However, even people who have been using it for a long time aren’t fully aware of what IrfanView is capable of doing. Here are 10 simple things that you can do with IrfanView.
1. View Multimedia Files : The most obvious feature. IrfanView can open an impressive number of file types. It is a true multimedia viewer with the ability to open not only images but also audio and video files. Click here for the full list of file formats supported by IrfanView.
2. Compress Images : Save your bandwidth with IrfanView. Compress images before you upload them on the web. While saving images check the “Show Options Dialogue” check box. Now you can set the quality of your output in the options dialogue box. Fiddle around with it till you manage to strike the right balance between quality and file size. I generally use 70% quality setting for jpg images. While saving png images you can use the PNGOUT plugin by Ken Silverman for effective compression.
3. Convert Images : With IrfanView you can save Images in as many as 20 file formats. Choose the one according to your requirements. I would recommend JPEG for most purposes, gif when you require transparency and PNG when quality matters. Avoid using JPEG format when the image contains a lot of text. Also be careful while using transparent png images on the web as Internet Explorer has a lot of issues with PNG images (more info)
You can even create high quality transparent icons from images using Irfan View.
4. Resize Images : Press Ctrl+R (or clicking Resize/Resample from Images Menu) to bring up the resizing tool included in IrfanView.
5. Crop Images : This is very simple. Simply select the area of the image you want to retain, press Ctrl+Y (or select “Crop Selection” option from Edit menu).
6. Extract all Frames from Animated GIF Images : Open the animated gif and then select “Extract All Frames” option from Options Menu.
7. Take Screenshots : You can use Prt Scn button to first copy the screenshot to clipboard and then paste it in Irfan View. Or you can use IrfanView’s inbuilt Screenshot Capture utility. Press C (or select “Capture/Screenshot” from Options menu) to bring it up. You set a custom hotkey, include or exclude cursor from the screen capture and automatically save the screenshot in a file. IrfanView can capture the entire screen, active window or the client area in the active window based on your requirements.
8. Add Text to Images : Open the image and select the area where you want the text to be added. Now press Ctrl+T (or select “Insert Text into Selection” from Edit Menu). You can either make the text background transparent or add custom colour.
9. Adjust Colour : IrfanView is capable of basic colour correction. Open the Image and select the area you want to process. Now press Shift+G (or select “Enhance Colours” option from Image Menu). You can change brightness, contrast, saturation, colour balance and gamma level. Press Shift+S (or select “Sharpen” from Image menu) to sharpen the image. You can also create a greyscale or negative of the image.
10. Remove Red Eye Effect : You don’t need expensive software to get rid of that pesky Red Eye Effect present in your photographs. Open the photograph in IrfanView. Select one eye and press Shift+Y (or select “Red Eye Reduction” form Image menu). Now repeat the process for the second eye.
In this guide I have only scratched the surface. The real power of IrfanView lies in its Batch Processing abilities. I will deal with that and more in my next article on IrfanView. You can ensure that you don’t miss out on that by subscribing to my RSS Feed.