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Best Image-Viewing Software

Posted on 2001-08-02
Last Modified: 2013-12-22
Ixla Explorer is an irritatingly buggy program. Is there better software for viewing image files?

~ Qunck
Question by:qunck
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LVL 59

Expert Comment

ID: 6346909
One of the best programs for graphics file display/conversion is the freeware program called IrfanView. Part of the "readme" file description follows: IrfanView is a fast FREEWARE image viewer/converter for Win95/98/NT. Supported file formats: JPG/JPEG, GIF, BMP/DIB/RLE, PCX/DCX, PNG, TIFF, TGA, RAS/SUN, ICO, CUR/ANI, AVI, WAV, MID/RMI, WMF, EMF, PBM/PGM/PPM, IFF/LBM, PSD, PSP, CPT, EPS, CLP, CAM, MPG/MPEG, MOV, LWF, AIF, SND/AU, G3, SFW, DAT (Video CD), RealAudio, KDC and Photo-CD. Some features of IrfanView: Thumbnail option, preview option, drag & drop support, slideshow, fast directory view (fast moving through directory), batch conversion, audio CD player, print option, change color depth, scan support, cut/crop, effects (sharpen, blur, photoshop filter factory etc.), capturing, extract icons from EXE/DLLs, many hotkeys, many command line options ...
Find it at this web address:


Accepted Solution

reghakr earned 50 total points
ID: 6346966
I liked the older version of iXlaArtist myself. I use ACDSee mainly and some of the freeware ones below. Slowview is a "clone" of ACDSee.

I agree with Lee's choice and here's more, mainly freeware:

Excellent FREE graphic viewers and editors:


SlowView is an ImageFileViewer. Perhaps you already know ACDSee 32 or IrfanView32? SlowView is something similar, but not as good as the other ones (at least the current Version :). The essence of an ImageFileViewer is to provide the user a easy and fast possibility to load and display Images, convert Images to other Formats, and organize Images. That's what SlowView is thought to be used for. Also note, that SlowView is Freeware for both private and commercial use.

Our Review:
Despite its name, SlowView is not slow. It's actually quite a nice freeware viewer which defies its name by running straight from its .EXE. A good range of file types are supported and an attempt has been made to cover a fair number of options ( dithering, thumbnails, conversions, etc ), albeit to a lesser extent than its more expensive competition. If you're after a very fast, lightweight viewer which covers the basics well, give Slowview a shot.

Ulead's PhotoImpact Viewer is a 32-bit image viewer that can be configured as a helper program for Web browsers or as a Windows image viewer for selected file formats. PhotoImpact Viewer offers open, print, save, and save as functions, as well as drag and drop support for BMP, CLP, CUR, DCS, EPS, FAX, GIF, ICO, IFF, JPG, IMG, MAC, MSP, PCD, PCT, PCX, PIC, PNG, PSD, PXR, RAS, RLE, SCT, SHG, TGA, TIF, WMF, and other files. Additional features include full-screen and fit-in-window display options and image rotation.


Ulead Photo Explorer is a visual file manager for working with images or multimedia clips. Photo Explorer lets you visually organize and share all of your digital photos, audio files, and videos quickly. A digital camera wizard gets your photos downloaded fast, while a preview window lets you view your images, watch your videos, or even listen to your audio files (such as MP3s). Plus, you can scan your favorite Web sites and download images and audio and video files automatically.

With this program you can print your images as thumbnails or multiple photos. You can also create image or video slide shows with music and send them via email. Or, you can publish your own Web page albums and slide shows. A free account at iMira.com allows you to share your images on online albums and send your images in e-cards.

Note: This version is free, but an ESD version can be purchased for $29.95

There is an excellent freeware program called PhotoStudio. It accepts some Photoshop plugins and has many effects of it own

The complete photo-editing tool for your home and office
Customizable tools let you edit, retouch and enhance your photos.
You can instantly stitch together multiple photos to create a single panoramic image.
Before and After preview thumbnails guarantee great results every time.
The powerful Album Manager makes organizing and finding your photos a cinch.
It works with BMP, EPS(write only), TIFF, GIF, JPEG, PCD, PCX and TGA files.
Design and enhance images for multimedia, desktop publishing and the web.

Information Week "1997 Product of the Year"

Here is another called Satori:
Satori PhotoXL 2.29
Get a professional photo-editing program that combines the flexibility of vector graphics and the speed of bitmap image editing
OS: Windows 98/NT License: Free



IrfanView is a fast, simple freeware image viewer and editor that supports all major graphic formats, including BMP, DIB, JPEG, GIF, animated GIF, PNG, PCX, multipage TIFF, TGA, and more. In addition, it features drag-and-drop support, directory viewing, TWAIN support, slide shows, batch conversion, and modifications such as color depth, crop, blur, and sharpen. Version 3.25 features new improvements and enhancements


CoffeeCup Free Viewer Plus
Product Info:
Title: CoffeeCup Free Viewer Plus
Version: 2.5
OS: Windows 95/98/NT/2000
Size: 3.71Mb
Release Date: 3/07/2001

CoffeeCup Free Viewer Plus is a fast, powerful, and easy-to-use image viewer, but it's even more than that. It offers many intuitive features, such as built-in e-mail, FTP support, and compression functions. These features allow you to select a group of images and e-mail them to a friend, upload them to your Web site, or create a ZIP file, all from inside the program. You can also browse images by folder, find images on your computer with the easy search feature, and make HTML thumbnail pages for your Web site from any group of images, all with just one click.

Download Site 1 - Chicago, Illinois ftp://ftp.blackdomino.com/pub/CoffeeView25.exe
Download Site 2 - Napa, California ftp://ftp.htmlsoftware.com/pub/web10412/CoffeeView25.exe

PhotoPlus(requires phone registration and sillyt sales pitch)
Here's free gif animator's also:
Two FREE programs for web page animations:

ULead Gif Animator v2.0 Courtesy UK's "PCFormat" magazine..the ***FULL***l version of Uleads acclaimed Gif Animator...
Make some sizzling animated Gifs for your Website with the fully functional application you can find right Gif Animator. 4Mb



WebPainter v1.0  Courtesy UK's "Net" magazine..WebPainter 1.0 is a superb Web graphics package. You can use it to produce animations for your Web pages, your Windows desktop and any documents that support animated GIFs. You can also export AVI files, if you need to. The painting tools in WebPainter 1.0 are entry level, harking back to a time when anti-aliasing was almost unheard of and everyone had to make do with Freehand or rectangular 'marquee' selection. The tools are effective, though, and you get the 'onion-skinning' feature, where the previous cel in the animation shows through faintly so you can judge the changes to make in the current frame. Creates, produces and optimises bitmapped and vector animation and graphics in a single tool Powerful onion-skinning features modelling traditional cel animation Produces compact GIF animation and graphics in the fewest steps Imports/exports popular file formats such as animated GIF, GIF, JPEG, Photoshop(tm), PICT, PNG, QuickTime movie Includes a concise PDF manual and tutorials Import and export to a variety of formats: Animated GIF, BMP, GIF, PNG, JPEG, Photoshop, PICS, PICT, QuickTime Image, QuickTime Movie. 3.9MB.

PC version:
(No serial number is required for WebPainter for the PC)

LVL 59

Expert Comment

ID: 6347028
Yipes, Reghakr!  If gunck decides to try all those, he's going to be busy for a month!  :o)  Good to see you here again...
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Expert Comment

ID: 6348338
i am very happy with graphics workshop which you can download from http://www.mindworkshop.com/alchemy/alchemy1.html#software
Here is what they say about it :- "The image management package for Windows ? convert, manipulate, batch process, view, print, crop resize, thumbnail and manage graphics in fifty popular formats".
cheers, Pete

Expert Comment

ID: 6348797
I have developed also Image Viewer software and it's called: WildBit Software's Viewer. You can find that at: http://wildbitsoft.cjb.net. I'm currently writing help file, so there is no help file, if you download that setup program. I know there is many, many.... image Viewer's in the net, but i enjoy developing my Viewer. And BTW it's Freeware.

This is from my website:


- Explorer style file handling
- File Finder
- Full Screen View
- Faster and Better Thumbnail Browser. Supports all formats what GraphicEx supports.
- Wallpaper set capability
- Rotate capability in Full Screen View.
- SlideShow Collection...
- Better support for image files(now supports 37 image format's)... thanks to Mike Lischke's GraphicEx library  
and many other feature's and more are coming soon...

BRgrds Marko

Expert Comment

ID: 6348808
So Hopefully you find suitable Image Viewer software for your needs.

BRgrds Marko

Expert Comment

ID: 6350638
Thanks Lee,

I love fooling with graphic programs and plugin filters. I purchashed PhotoImpact a while back, really love it.

I live in the States but subscribe to some British Magazines. They give away full versions of some of the best programs. My favorite is PCPlus (DVD version). The popup that you get is the ONLY one I'd ever recommend for clicking on. Here's the link:

I'd recommend PC Answers also.

The last few DVD's included full versions of Micrografx Picture Publisher 8, ASP Edit 2000, Laplink, Xara3D 2.1, Edit Studio 1.51, HoTMetaL Pro 4.0. Plus full distributions of many flavors of Linux.

A new publication called Digital Photography Made easy:

gave away the full version of PhotoImpact 4.2 and Serif Draw Plus 3.

Check out a local magazine or bookstore to grab an issue.
Yes, I do have large hard drives!


Expert Comment

ID: 6352107
get your hands on a up to date paint programme,all the file formats should be on there

Author Comment

ID: 6352517
Thanks LeeTutor ~

I downloaded IrfanView and it's a fine program, but I guess I should have been more specific about my needs.

The reason I got IxlaExplorer is that it allows you simultaneously to view: 1)on the left of its window, the directory whose image files you want to see;  2)thumbnails on the right side; and 3) in the middle, the full-sized image of whatever thumbnail you click.  

This is, for my purposes, an indespensable way of going through large numbers of image files...I can scroll through hundreds of thumbnails and pick out the ones I want to view, without having to go through a File > Open > choose-a-file-by-its-name-not-what-it-looks-like.

I'd be happy with ExlaExplorer if 1) it didn't frequently turn all the images into little image-icons, requiring closing the program and re-running it to get back the images, and 2) it didn't take 40 seconds to open!

BTW, it's Qunck, none of this 'gunck' gunk.

~ Qunck

LVL 59

Expert Comment

ID: 6352551
Sorry Qunck, it's hard to tell if it's a small g or a small q on the underlined links to your name, and I didn't notice that you had included it in your question...

Anyway, it looks like a couple of the other comments to your question might provide a better choice, closer to what you want.  But here is one more free one that I have downloaded but have not yet tried.  Go to the web page and you will see some screen shots of the program, and a more complete description:

Easy Thumbnails v1.0
Company: Fookes Software
Version: 1.0
Size: 850.48 KB
Requirements: Windows 9x, NT, 2000, or Me
Purchase Information: Free
Easy Thumbnails is a freeware utility for creating accurate thumbnail images and scaled-down copies from a wide range of popular picture formats. The interface is designed to make it easy to find your images and select them for processing individually, in batches, or in whole folders, using a file selector and built-in image viewer. You can use slider controls to rotate images and adjust their contrast, brightness, sharpness, and quality, then preview the results. Thumbnails can be created in any existing folder or a new folder, and you can identify them clearly by adding a prefix or suffix to their titles.

Expert Comment

ID: 6352582
I feel I've been totally ignored for some reason.
Oh well....I tried.

Slowview or ACDSee would be something you're looking for.


Author Comment

ID: 6353552
Hi reghakr ~

Sorry to have seemed to ignore you...just downloaded Slowview + will try today...couldn't find a download site for ACDSee.

~ Qunck

Expert Comment

ID: 6353805

Expert Comment

ID: 6353807
ACDSee Classic is a little cheaper at $34.95:



Expert Comment

ID: 6355383
qunck, the program graphics workshop I listed above shows you the directories and can be set to show you the thumbnails as well.
cheers, Pete

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