Irfanview; the very best free image viewer for Windows 9x/NT, 2000/WinXP. in the world!

This website is being made by enthusiastic users of that program. You are invited to contribute. Here is the program in actual use:

For anyone who may not be aware of it, this is a coyote with a most luxurious fur coat, near my cabin.

The program and all the plugins can be downloaded entirely free of charge from Irfan Skiljan's website which lives at and as well as various mirror sites around the globe. This program is exceptionally configurable to your personal tastes/needs. If you register, you may expect an e-mail from Irfan to let you know when a new version is available. Irfan requests US$10 if you want to register. If you want to use it for commercial purposes then registration is required. You can send payment to him:

Irfan Skiljan
Postfach 48
2700 Wiener Neustadt
Austria, Europe

Don't forget to download all the current Plugins too; you'll make the program MUCH better. Download that file into the folder "Plugins" which will be created when you install Irfanview. Then run (double-click) it to install it. That's all.

My Favorite Uses:

1. Sometimes it is nice to see all the graphics in any folder of my Hard Disk, using the "Thumbnails" feature. Thumbnails can be whatever size you like. You can even, while viewing the thumbnails, rename or delete or copy them. In some other programs when you do a similar "Thumbnails" feature, it produces and saves in the relevant folder, a HUGE file. Irfanview does not but still loads the thumbnails extremely fast.

NOTE: when you go into "thumbnails" you will not see your desktop at the top of the list but only the folders in C: etc.  To see the desktop (in Windows 98) go down to Windows and find it there. In WinXP, go down to "Documents and Settings" and there, into "All users."

2. It is a very quick and easy job to resize a picture and/or crop it, rotate it, convert to greyscale or add numerous effects.

3. It is excellent in adjusting the colors and brightness of a picture.

4. Sometimes it is very handy to make ONE picture out of several. You have at least these options for doing so:

(a) make a "contact" sheet of the pictures you want: (see step-by-step details in 15 below)
(b) make one picture out of any number:

(c) create a Panorama, either in horizontal or vertical format:

5. It is very quick and easy to add text to an image. Note that you can make the text "transparent" as it is on the left side, here, or not-transparent, as is shown on the right. When it is not transparent, you can set the background color as well as the text color.

An example of how I use this feature is HERE.

6. It is excellent in making changes to a whole "Batch" of pictures all at once.

7. The Slideshow feature is a lot of fun and very useful. It will remember from one time to the next which pictures are in the slideshow so you don't have to reload the pictures every time. Better yet, you can make a slideshow into one ".exe" file for other people to view on their computers. If some of the pictures are far too large for the monitor, Irfanview will automatically show them reduced to completely fill the screen. The slideshow feature has many options.

I had some difficulty making a slideshow which would play music while the slides were advancing. Jerry Frank was good enough to e-mail me the solution. Jerry wrote:

"The music must be in an MP3 file. Then, all you have to do is make this MP3 music file the first file in your slideshow. Then, when it starts, the music will start first, but it will keep playing as you progress through the rest of the slideshow (the pictures). (The music must be an MP3 file, however, as a WAV file will not work -- if it is a WAV file, the music plays but you cannot progress through the rest of your pictures while it is playing.)" THANKS, Jerry!

To make the ultimate slideshow, I added an autostart feature so that when the CD is inserted into the computer, the slideshow starts automatically. To do that I put both the EXE file (the slideshow) made by Irfanview AND the "autorun.inf" file to the root of the CD. The "inf" file looks like this:

label=My Application

BUT, JERRY....... I tried this with "several" MP3 files; it did not work; any solutions, please?

diamond willow sticks

8. I use it to scan pictures; this is a lot faster than using some of the larger programs.

9. You can add various "effects" to your pictures. One of them is a "3D Button" and this is SUPER nice/handy.

10. You can make a "blank image" so you can, for example, add text to that as an introduction page/picture for a slideshow.

11. If you are looking at a picture you particularly like, a couple of clicks can make it your desktop picture.

12. It will show animated GIFs as well as non-animated ones.

13. When you are making a small slideshow to put onto a website it will probably be necessary to reduce the size of the images and to make sure they are all exactly the same. This is easily done with Irfanview. Even if some of the original pictures are "landscape" format and some "portrait" format, the program shows you in numbers exactly where the cursor is so you can crop a picture precisely. Note the "Selection: 120 x 36" here:

14. On my "Favorite Freeware" pages, I had a tool listed named "TextToGif." The name indicates what it did. It worked fine but I found that IrfanView can do the same thing better. Here is how I made an *image* out of *text:*

- open IrfanView 
- Image | Create New (empty) image 
- set your size and color; I used 50 high x 200 wide and yellow here 
- "Drag" with your cursor to make a box on it 
- Edit | Insert text into selection 
- Choose your font and text color and I like to make it transparent 
- OK 
- type the text (and here I like to "select" the text and Ctrl - C to copy*) 
- OK 
- click anywhere on the yellow (outside the box) to remove the box you drew
- at this point you could, if you want, "buttonize" it with Image | Effects |3D Button
- save the image as JPG and/or GIF   

* NOW if you do not like the result, you can "Edit | Undo" and go thru the steps again without having to type the text again; you can Ctrl-V to paste it.   This is the result; saved as a JPG but I could save as GIF, of course; I sometimes save as both and delete the one with the larger filesize:

Here is it, saved as GIF, 1.53Kb Here it is, saved as JPG, 7.23Kb

Clearly, in this case, the GIF version is far better and has a much smaller filesize.

15. Contact Sheets (mentioned in #4 above) are similar to a sheet which a photographer might print directly from negatives, without enlarging his photos; this is often done to provide an index of a series of photos. IrfanView does it very nicely; here are my steps:

- Open IrfanView and click "Thumbnails"
- browse to the folder which has your pictures in it; change thumbnails size if you want.
- hold down the Ctrl key on your keyboard and single-click each of the images which you want on the Contact Sheet
- when done, release the Ctrl key
- File | Create contact sheet from selected thumbs
- set your page width and height; keep in mind that if you set the page too short, not all the images will appear on it; best make it much longer than you expect to need it.
- set anything else you want to change
- Create. It may take a moment or two if there were a lot of images
- File | Save as
- now you can crop it etc. etc.
- this one has been greatly reduced in size 

16. Making a website with an index page of thumbnails:
P. Klein asked this question in the Irfanview group:
"I don't know if this is possible to do, but I would like to add a lot more text into the (page title) when creating thumgnail html files,the page title will only allow maybe like 3 lines of text and there does not seem to be a font or text size selection, is there a cure for these problem."

My reply to P. Klein went something like this:

To reply, I just did what you are doing. I entered a short title, "The Gas and Oil Industry of Alberta" and it showed up very nice on the page of thumbnails. It became the TITLE of the page, which does NOT show up on the webpage AND it showed in the BODY of the page, which DOES show up on the page.

To make that text longer, in the BODY part, I would simply, in Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0, click "view" and "source" which would open the page (HTML) in Notepad. Then I would type more text where it shows AFTER the <body> tag and resave the file. I'd leave it alone at the top where it is in the TITLE tags.

By default, Ifanview gives the text a tag of "h4" and you can make that larger by changing the "4" to "3" or "2." You can change the color of the text too if you like. Either use a Web Editor ("HTML editor") or, if you know HTML, tweak it that way. If you need a free, simple, but no longer supported editor like that, try the one from AOLPress. I am NOT a fan of AOL but they did make a pretty good tool there. If you need a lot more info on that item, email me please; I have a LOT of links for it.

Re the color and size of the text, here is how I made my text larger and red:

<h2><font COLOR="#FF0000">The Gas and Oil business in Northern Alberta.</font></h2>

For anyone who has not tried to make a website like this, give it a shot; Irfanview does a super nice job of it:

File | Thumbnails
Browse to the folder with your pictures
Options and "select all" or hold down the Ctrl key on the keyboard and click the pictures you want.
File | "Save selected thumbs as HTML file"
enter a name WITH the ".htm" or ".html" after it, e.g. "oil.htm"
for "Page Title" enter a short, descriptive name for the page; this name will appear BOTH in the "Title" of the page, which does NOT show on the page, AND it will appear in the BODY of the page, which WILL show on the page.
I suggest a checkmark beside the 4 boxes and a dot in the first radio button

Now close Irfanview and, in Windows Explorer, go to the folder where you saved it.
double-click the main htm file, in my example, "oil.htm" to open it in your browser.

To continue, carry on with my reply, above, to P. Klein. My resulting webpage:

17. Scanning pictures:
Recently I had 1400+ slides to scan with my HP Scanjet 5370C. It has a template into which you can lay 4 slides at a time and a "Transparency Adapter" which sits over top of the slides. My favorite way to do this, after trying it with some "expensive" software was like this:

- put 4 slides and adapter in place on the scanner
- open Irfanview and File | Acquire
- when the preliminary scan is done, mark one 'box' around the 4 slides
- File | Return to Irfanview and start the actual scan
- When the scan is done, SAVE the (huge) image containing all 4 slides with a lot of black area
- crop the first slide, eliminating all the rest
- Image | Enhance colors and adjust to suit
- Image | Sharpen (and see if that improves it; if not: Edit | Undo)
- save the final picture with a NEW NAME
- open the original scanned picture again and do the same with the second slide
- when the second slide is done, click File | Reopen to open the original picture quickly for slides 3 and 4

18. Converting files (no religious connotation involved here)
Often you will want to convert, for example, a BMP file to the JPG format etc. etc.

19. While other programs can be used for various functions, often it is easier/faster to use Irfanview for the same job. For example, while Irfanview can NOT, as far as I know, make an ANIMATED GIF, Irfanview can be used for part of the job of making one. Take this animation; I used Irfanview, Toono and Movies12 by Jan Verhoeven to make it:

Irfanview's part of the job was to crop the 8 images, convert them to GIFs and resize/save them.

20. Reduce the size of a GIF image:
Here are two versions of a GIF image; the one on the left is the original and the one on the right is the copy which I reduced using only Irfanview; the reduced one is only 2,803 bytes, 44% of the original which is 6,316 bytes.

All I did was open the image in Irfanview, click "Image" and then "Decrease color depth" and changed it to "Custom" of "15" and resave it. Here they are:

21. Making Icons:
This is not something I'm 'into' but the subject came up so I looked into it. I searched the WWW for "icon makers" but did not find many. Few were free and the ones that were free were not user-friendly. I never dreamed that Irfanview could make icons but thought I should check. IT CAN. Not only can it make them, it makes them better and much easier and faster. Here is what I did:

the original picture (GIF)

This icon was made with Snlco freeware

This is a JPG made in Irfanview simply by shrinking the image size

This is an icon made in Irfanview simply by shrinking the image to 16x16 and saving as an ICO file.

This is the same icon saved in Irfanview as "Transparent."

22. Screendumps:

Often I'll be trying to do something in another program and need to email somebody a picture of what I see on my screen. The easiest, fastest way to do that is, imho:

- press the "Print Screen" button on the keyboard (OR......if you want *only* the "active" window: Ctrl - Print Screen)
- click the Irfanview icon in my QuickLaunch tray
- Edit | Paste
- resize the picture or add text to it
- save it ("Save AS")
- attach it to an email.


Here I was doing a job in Paintshop Pro 8.10 and wanted to e-mail part of the screen to a friend. This picture shows the Paintshop window part which I wanted, cropped, shrunk and saved with Irfanview.

23. Putting dates on pictures:

Suppose you have some pictures and when you took them, you did not have your camera set to put the date on them. Now you wish you had. No problem. You can still put the actual date onto each picture, assuming you still have the original picture with the embedded "EXIF" information.  Here is how: open the picture and with your mouse, "draw" a "selection box" showing where you want the date to appear. Click "Edit" and choose "Insert text into selection."  Note that there are all kinds of options for putting text onto a picture. I suggest clicking "Choose font" next and picking a font, its size, style and its color. Then click "OK."  Do not click "Append date" or you'll get the *current* date on the picture. Click "Help" and choose the "placeholder" which works with your pictures. For my Panasonic FZ20 camera, the first one I saw, "$T" did the trick and inserted the text. Then click "OK" to enter the date on  your picture. Click outside the "selection box" to remove it. Now, if you are not happy with the result, cancel it with "Editt" and "Undo." Then you can try different options to get it exactly as you want it. Then you'll have to manually do the same with all your other pictures. Note that if you have "messed with" your picture, and the embedded EXIF information is lost, then you are out of luck. To see all the EXIF information for the picture, click "Image" and "Information." Note there is also "IPTC" info which you can edit.

24. Using it with my Thumb Drive:

Many of us have learned the wonderful tool called the "Thumb Drive" and I carry one around my neck with a lot of my "very important" data and files on it; mine happens to be 1Gb in size. That holds a LOT of info so I added a folder with some of my favorite pictures. I reduced the size of the pictures to 800x600 rather than leave them so large most people could not show them without scrolling. There are about 20 pictures in the folder and now I've added the main file in the Irfanview package, "i-view32.exe" to that thumb drive. This file is only 424 Kb so it is hardly noticeable. Now I can do a very nice slideshow or show thumbnails of my pictures much nicer than I could with the Windows XP tools.  It even allows me to make changes to a picture, including adding text to it. "Don't Leave Home Without It!"

25. Removing Red Eye from images:

I've searched all over for a good, free tool, to remove the red eye from photos. I do have Paintshop Pro 8 but I think it does a very poor job and it is awkward to use.

With Irfanview, simply drag your cursor to make a small rectangle around one eye and click "Image" and then "Red Eye Reduction" and it is gone. Then do the other eye.

26. A screen dump with the cursor showing:

Usually, when you grab a picture of your screen, the cursor does not show. You will remember, I'm sure, that to grab the WHOLE screen, you simply push "Print Screen" on your keyboard to put all of it into your Windows Clipboard and then you can open (Irfanview) and hold down your Ctrl key as well as V to paste the picture of your screen into (Irfanview.) You will also recall, I'm sure, that if you want to grab ONLY the top/current/active window, and not the whole screen, you hold down the Alt key on the keyboard as you press "Print Screen" on the keyboard. In either case, the cursor does not show. If you want the cursor to show also, you can do that very easily with Irfanview:The way to do it is to open IRFANVIEW and:

Options | Capture/Screenshot
set the options you want and click "Start." Irfanview disappears; put your cursor where you want to show it and you hold down the Ctrl key and press F11.
Irfanview comes back with your screen capture, cursor and all so you can crop it, resize it, add text or whatever.

MORE information and help:

Bernard Buchta was good enough to e-mail this information to me: (Thanks, Bernard!)

1.  First of all, there's a great set of interactive "Help" tools that come with the Irfanview program. Merely open the Irfanview program and then press your " F-1 " Key.
2.  A terrific  Online Irfanview Tutorial can be viewed here.  Check this out: 
You can download this same tutorial into your machine in two different formats. That way you don't have to always "go online" in order to view and use the Tutorials.

3.  To download this Tutorial in Web Page format here (9.08 Meg Setup file), click here:  and click on "Download Irfanview Tutorial files"
4.  To download this same Tutorial in an 8.75 Meg compiled Help (CHM) format , click here: 
and click on "Download Irfanview Tutorial (HTML Help format")
(Note: All formats of this tutorial are best viewed in a screen resolution larger than 800x600 pixels. To adjust your screen resolution, RIGHT-click on your DeskTop > Properties > Settings Tab > Settings: 1024x768 OK. )

Another online Irfanview Tutorial is Milleneum's 11 page Irfanview Tutorial . 

(Note: Window may try to install "Gain" plug-in.  Click "No.")

Resizing Graphics with Irfanview

Google Search for Irfanview Tutorial.  Many more tutorials.

Angi was kind enough to explain to me that you CAN start Irfanview in, for example, the "Thumbnails" mode. Here is how; thanks to Angie:

I have Irfanvie in C:\Program Files\Irfanview and the main application file is "i_view32.exe."
- Right-click that file and choose "Create Shortcut."
- Right-click the shortcut and choose "Properties."
- In the "Target" line, enter this exactly as shown here:
"C:\Program Files\IrfanView\i_view32.exe" /thumbs
- Drag the shortcut off the Windows Explorer screen onto your desktop and it is ready to use.

Angi points out that you can use all sorts of "switches" in place of the "/thumbs" used here; for a list of the switches, look into the file i_options.txt which you find in IV install dir.


1. Emmanuel asked if it was possible to add the identical text to a large number of photos, all in one batch; does anyone know if that can be done? 

Ken Conklin gave this reply (thanks very much, Ken!)
" To try to answer the question about inserting text into many photos, it IS possible, but not without the aid of a macro tool. One problem, I can't see how to open the different files in batch mode. There IS a freeware tool called ThumbHTML that can do that to many pictures available at   As far as the macro tool, it would have to be able to use Keypress Combinations, and Mouse movements to be able to work. There are a ton of macro tools out there. Many of them will do that, but very few of them are freeware.   The only one I have found is that is freeware (with a limit of 30 macros, or something like that) is Shortkeys. but It is very limited. It suits my purposes, though."

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