Irfanview freeware Irfanview freeware

Irfanview; the best freeware image tool

translations of this page:

Russian: by Jim Jerginson. (originally translated by Patric Conrad)

Danish: by Einar Solbakken.

Ukrainian: by Ted Mosby.

Irfanview freeware

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. Irfanview loads very fast making it very handy. And there is a forum at

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. Thumbnails

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. Quick Resize, Crop etc.

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 such as text. See point 13 below.

3. Color

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

4. connect or attach pics

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

contact sheet

(a) make a "contact" sheet of the pictures you want: (see step-by-step details in 15 below)

connect pictures

(b) make one picture out of any number of individual pictures


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

text on picture

5. Add text to an image

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. Batch Changes

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

7. Slideshows

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

In July, 2009, my friend Uzi Levitov in Israel told me how he makes slideshows with music AND he said: "...if there is a need, I'm ready to try answering users' questions, re using i-view, via e-mails." So, here is his address: cia2 (at) 012 (dot) net (dot) il. (YOU know how to make the changes!) THANKS, Uzi!

8. Scanning

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

picture button

9. "Button" and other effects

You can add various "effects" to your pictures. One of them is a "3D Button" and this is SUPER nice/handy. See point 14 below for more.

10. New, Blank image

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

11. Desktop picture

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

12. Animations

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

13. Re-sizing images

resize images 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.

resize images
In July of 2011, I downloaded SmillaEnlarger from Sourceforge and tested that photo enlarger against Paintshop Pro XI and Irfanview; here are the results:

You can decide for yourself, but I prefer the Irfanview version. Number 1 is the original, Number 2 is the one done with SmillaEnlarger, default settings, Number 3 is the Paintshop version, NOT enhanced with the "one-click" tool, Number 4 is the same but enhanced with the Paintshop "one-click" tool, and Number 5 is done with Irfanview, no enhancements.

resize images resize images
resize images resize images

14. Change Text to GIF (or JPG etc)

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 a "button image" for a web page from text:

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:

link button and Irfanview

The one on the left is a GIF with 1.53Kb filesize and the other is a JPG with a file size of 7.23Kb. Clearly, in this case, you would delete the JPG and use the GIF.

15. Contact Sheets


(mentioned in #4 above) These 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.

16. Thumbnails on a website

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 thumbnail 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: Irfanview

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, HTML editor, try Kompozer or Nvu. See my Favorite Freeware page for those and other links, at

Re the color and size of the text, I used the "h2" tag to enlarge the text, and the Font color="#FF0000" tag to color it red.

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. No problem with Irfanview.

funny face

19. Helpful in making Animations

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

If you look at the Title Bar of your browser, you should see the icon which I use for all my websites; it is a black hiker with a red hiking stick. 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:

icon icon icon icon icon
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."

When you are happy with your icon and want to use it for your website, just save it as "favicon.ico" and upload it to your server like all your other images etc and add this line in the "Head" part of your website:
<link rel="shortcut icon" href="favicon.ico">

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:

Screen dump

- 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 when I leave the house, I carry one around my neck with a lot of my "very important" data and files on it; mine happens to be 16Gb 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 and press 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.

27. Fun with Filters

8BF filters

When you download the main IrfanView program, you should download the plugins same way. That is a bigger file. When I downloaded Irfanview 3.99 in Feb. 2007, that (.exe) file was only 1,047Kb and the plugin (.exe) file was 5,702Kb. But the plugins give you a lot of neat features that you'll enjoy using.

When both have been downloaded to your desktop, double-click the first one, "iview399.exe" to install the program. With later versions, that file name will, no doubt, be a little different.

The Setup dialog box has a few options; I like to click the first item, the third, and "for all users." The program will be installed in your "Program Files" folder, into a new folder called "IrfanView." You will see a dialog box asking you what file-types you want associated with IrvanView. I like to click "Images Only" for "all users." I do not install the "Free Google Desktop Search" but you may prefer to get it too.

Once it has been installed, if you then open Windows Explorer and browse to the folder at: C:\Program Files\Irfanview you'll see that there is a folder called "plugins" in the IrfanView folder. If you open that folder, you will find that there are NO plugins in that folder yet. CLOSE Windows Explorer.

Now double-click the other file you just downloaded: "irfanview_plugins-399.exe." They will automatically be installed in the proper folder. Just like magic.

Now you can delete the two files you downloaded. Just drag them off the desktop into your Recycle bin. On the desktop you will have a shortcut to the program. I like to drag that down into my Quick Launch Tray so the desktop is cleaner and it takes only ONE click to start IrfanView.

If you now open IrfanView and open an image, and in the "image" menu go down to "effects" you will see a list of "interesting" effects which you can appply to that image. If you click "Effects" and then choose, e.g. "Adobe 8BF Filters" there will be no filters seen in the dialog box. Click "Add 8BF Filters" and then you can browse to the correct folder and enter all the filters. When done, click the "Exit" button; not the red X in the t/r corner. By default, they do not show until you add them. Later, Irfan may change that. You can find free "8BF" filters all over the WWW and you can drop them into the "Adobe 8BF Filters" folder. I tried dropping them into the "Filter Factory 8BF" folder but somehow, IrfanView did not find them there.

You will also note that if you chose to "associate" IrfanView will "Images Only" as I do, then all images (JPG, GIF etc) will show the IrfanView icon; the red road-killed cat with black eyes. That gives you instant notification that the file is an image and not something else. Very handy.

There are websites where you can download additional plugins at NO COST; one is at

28. Optical Character Recognition (OCR):

You can turn a written (paper) page of text into text without re-typing it. Here is how I do it with Irfanview:
Irfan told me:

The OCR plugin is very big and extra.
You can find it on my Plugins website ... scroll down to Kadmos/OCR, direct:
Then click again and you will be on the download page ... download and install.

I scan the (typed) page "File - Acquire/Batch scanning..." and when it is scanned: "Options - Start OCR...(Plugin)"

That opens "KADMOS for Irfanview" and I click "Machine print" and under "Language" I select "English US" and under "Additional" I select "English US" as well. In "Dictionary 1:" I select "no check" and also in "Dictionary 2." You will note that the scanned text is yellow. You can click on one yellow "block" or you can drag a rectangle around the whole page; either way, when you do one or the other, wait a moment or two and the recognized text will pop up automatically. From that you can select it, copy and paste it to where you want it. IF the window is too large for your monitor, and you cannot see all of the text, you can click "File" and then "Copy ASCII text to the clipboard" and then go to the application where you want the text, where you then "Edit" and "Paste" or simply Ctrl-V to paste it in.

I did find that for me it worked better if I enlarged the scanned image and sharpened it. ("Image - Resize/Resample" and "Image - Sharpen")

NOTE; I had some VERY poor results until I figured out that when SCANNING, I had to change the "Resolution (dpi)" to 300 and the "Color Depth" to "Black & White." That made the results VERY good. If you still have poor results, possibly a different scanner might be the way to go. I found that my Lexmark printer/scanner did not do nearly as good a job as my old HP scanner did.

29. Preparing images to view in your KINDLE e-book reader from Amazon:

In Feb. 2011, I got my first Kindle. What an AMAZING piece of technology! The more I learn about it, the better it gets. In learning about it, I started a website with all the tricks I learned. One of the things I needed to know about was how to best put images/photos into the Kindle. THIS YOU HAVE to see! If you don't already have a KINDLE, I urge you to get one asap! You will love it; trust me on this one! My page lives at and go to the section "Showing your pictures" for notes on how I used Irfanview for this task. There is even a link you can click to get a Kindle - FAST!

30. Giving photos that "Polaroid Look:"

I had this picture of some Diamond Willow sticks, to start with:


First, in the "Image" tab, I clicked "Change canvas size" and, using "Method 1" I set the first 3 borders to "20" and set the bottom side to 60. I set/left the "Canvas color" at white. Then clicked OK.

Then I clicked the "Image" tab again and chose "Add border/frame." In the dialog box there, I chose "White with black inner edge" and under "Frame size" I set all 4 values to "2." Finally, Under "Frame colors" I set the top one to black and left the other 3 at white, and clicked OK. Here is my result:


Note that the resulting picture is larger than the original, but now, IF YOU WANT, you can "Resize/resample" it to match its original dimensions.

31. Make a 'Movie' from screen shots:

I have a habit of watching ships pass through the Panama Canal. On my "Favorite Webcams" page it it my first listing. That page lives at

I managed to make a time-lapse movie. In Irfanview, I clicked "Options" and then "Capture/Screenshot." The settings that worked for me are like this:


The key here was to leave the mouse cursor ON THAT image all the time. I figured about 250 of the large, "Miraflores - High Resolution" pictures made a good movie. I had to TURN OFF my computer's screen-saver, of course.

MORE information and Help:

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.

To download this Tutorial in Web Page format here (9.08 Meg Setup file), click here: and click on "Download Irfanview Tutorial files."

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. )

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

4. Resizing Graphics with Irfanview

5. Google Search for Irfanview Tutorial. Many more tutorials available.


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 Irfanview 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.

Angie 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.

John Arve Hjellvik:

was good enough to share this:

I saw your efforts to get Irfan view into linux. maybe you fixed it by now, but at least for me this worked:

Install latest Wine. Download the irfan-install file, make it executable, rightclick and open with wine. Install to default folder. It now works, for me at least. I run version 4.27 of Irfanview.

Get Firefox!


how to get Diamond Willow

in fact, tell EVERYBODY!

Diamond Willow Sticks

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