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Windows 7 alternative to Windows Picture & Fax Viewer?

Posted on 2009-12-19
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I just bought a new computer running Windows 7 and MS Office 2007.  I have a bunch (over 100,000) images that I could open on my old computer running XP and MS Office 2003 with Windows Picture and Fax Viewer.  

Unfortunately, I can no longer readily open these files since my new computer apparently doesn't have the old Windows Picture and Fax Viewer.  Who would have thought that I would come to miss such a crappy little program?

At any rate, the twist is that my files do not have a legitimate file type extension.  Unfortunately, when I get the files, the entity that provides them to me changes the extension to a number (for some unknown reason and they say that's the only way I can get them). My old computer dealt with that issue with no problem by simply opening the file with Windows Picture and Fax Viewer.  My new computer just chokes with an error message saying it can't find the application.  

I tried to find a Windows 7 version of Windows Picture and Fax Viewer but had no luck.  Can you recommend a shareware application that would open these files or a way to make my new computer open them with some other software?  See attached file as an example.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Darin
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Question by:DarinOBrien
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by:John Hurst
ID: 26088964
I routinely use Lview for this. It is not free, but not expensive. Since I have it, I will be using it on my Windows 7 Computer. You could take a look at this in the absence of anything else.
... Thinkpads_User
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by:LeeTutor
ID: 26088971
Windows 7 has been pared down quite a bit from XP and Vista; it no longer has a built-in Picture and Fax Viewer, nor a Windows Movie Maker, nor an email client, ...    These formerly built-in tools have been replaced by free downloads from the Windows Live Essentials pack from Microsoft.  To view photos, you can try the Windows Live Photo Gallery application, as described on my website on this page:

http://www.exploringwindows.com/7thSon/MediaEntertainment/WindowsLivePhotoGallery.htm
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by:centerv
ID: 26089153
Attached file?
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 [eBook] Windows Nano Server

Download this FREE eBook and learn all you need to get started with Windows Nano Server, including deployment options, remote management
and troubleshooting tips and tricks

 
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by:lamaslany
ID: 26090254
Would IrfanView be suitable?

 http://www.irfanview.com/
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Author Comment

by:DarinOBrien
ID: 26090958
I just realized that the file attachment didn't work because of the screwed up file type extension.  I've converted the file to jpg extension so that I can upload the file (please find attached "00000880.jpg").

Please change the file name back to 00000880.003 with 003 file type extension so that you can observe the same problem I'm seeing.  Can you tell me if the file with extension .003 will open with IfranView or Windows Live Photo Gallery or LView?

Thanks,
Darin
00000880.jpg
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by:LeeTutor
ID: 26091012
I have both IrfanView and Windows Live Photo Gallery on my Win7 pc. I downloaded your file, renamed it with a file extension of .003, and both programs opened the file. IrfanView gives a message about it being a .jpg file and asking if you want to rename it with that extension; I replied "No", and it opened fine. When I right clicked the file and selected "Open" from the context menu, I had to select Windows Live Photo Gallery from the list of installed programs, and after that the file opened...
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by:centerv
ID: 26091208
Fast Picture Viewer

http://www.fastpictureviewer.com/

Full 30 day trial, reduced free after
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by:McKnife
ID: 26092867
It's not quite right that there is no viewer built into Win7. There is "windows photo viewer" which looks just like vista photo gallery. You can rename the pictures to .jpg and associtate .jpg to that extension if it is not already the default handler for .jpg.
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by:John Hurst
ID: 26093043
Hi McKnife - Where is that?  I have Windows 7 Pro and there is no sign of Windows Photo Viewer. I looked at Windows Features in Programs and Features as well. I google for it and a page came up but it was a program to download and was not a Microsoft program.

I have Lview Pro running in Windows 7 (because I already own it) but I would be interested to try Microsoft's offering as well. ... Thinkpads_User
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by:McKnife
ID: 26093068
I have ultimate here and it is simply the default viewing application for .jpg, .png and others. At wikipedia, you can find (section replacements) that this is a renamed photo gallery: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Picture_and_Fax_Viewer
The executable is system32\dllhost.exe
Capture.GIF
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by:John Hurst
ID: 26093097
Thanks. I cannot do it right now but I made a note of this and will try to get to it tomorrow. Cheers.
... Thinkpads_User
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by:John Hurst
ID: 26093303
Thanks. I found it. It has been implemented ONLY as context feauture. Find your picture, right click on it and select Open With -> Windows Photo Viewer.

It is not always faster to use Context, so I expect by Windows 8 or 9 it will be faster to chip documents out of stone. ... Thinkpads_User
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by:McKnife
ID: 26094162
Context menu only is correct, but if you set it to be the default handler for pictures, double clicking does it.
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by:LeeTutor
ID: 26105135
DarinOBrien, how about some feedback?
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by:DarinOBrien
ID: 26116303
My apologies for the slow response!  

I found that Irfanview can open the files just fine but, strangely, I also found that they can NOW be opened with Windows Photo Viewer and Windows Live Photo Gallery.  However, to open the file I have to right-click and select "open with..." and then select the application.   Is there a way to make Irfanview or the Windows applications recognize the name.003 (and other files with screwed up file extension) as a legitimate file extension so that I can simply double-click to open?  

Thanks much!
Darin
 
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by:LeeTutor
ID: 26116341
Did you try McKnife's comment at ID:26094162 ?
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by:McKnife
ID: 26116358
I would use a renaming tool to add .jpg or whatever the correct type is.
You can associate .003 files to irfan or whatever is your favorite. Double click it and select your default viewer.
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Author Comment

by:DarinOBrien
ID: 26119304
I did not try McKnife's comment at ID: 26094162 because I couldn't figure out how to make Windows Photo Viewer (or any other app) the default handler for pictures.  How do you do that?  That sounds like the easiest solution.  I would rather do that than try to rename over 100,000 docs with a renaming tool!

However, I tried to simply select the file and then from the "Preview" drop-down menu I selected "Choose Default Program".  I was able to choose Windows Photo Viewer at that point the document opened.  HOWEVER, if I then close the document and then double-click to open it, nothing happens.  I expected it to at least know the default for that particular document and open it with Windows Photo Viewer.   Or maybe at least ask me to choose an application.
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LeeTutor earned 1000 total points
ID: 26119364
I think what McKnife is talking about is this:  Control Panel -> All Control Panel Items -> Default Programs -> Set your default programs -> click on Windows Photo Viewer -> click on Set this program as default.
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by:DarinOBrien
ID: 26119594
I just tried that and found that many of the "file types" were already set to "Windows Photo Viewer" (e.g. .002, .003, etc...).  The ones that weren't, I did change to Windows Photo Viewer.

I then tried double-clicking to open and nothing happened.  The files will open with Windows Photo Viewer still but only after right-clicking, selecting open with, selecting program.

thanks,
Darin
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Assisted Solution

by:McKnife
McKnife earned 1000 total points
ID: 26120017
Well. This is all you can do using the menus. It "should" work.
If it doesn't, you can only use the commandline tools ftype.exe and assoc.exe, to adjust it.
Maybe I'll be able to guide you after Christmas. By the way: renamers are made to rename thousands of files...
Merry Christmas!
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by:McKnife
ID: 26138657
Did you rename the whole lot or how did you settle it?
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by:DarinOBrien
ID: 26138729
I'm just using right-click and then selecting the application (Windows Photo Viewer).  Double-click just doesn't work for some reason.

Thanks,
Darin
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by:McKnife
ID: 26139572
Ok, now for a solution... :)
Solution A: mass rename
If you have a folder with subfolders with .003 files which you would like to rename to .jpg, start irfan view and use the built-in renaming feature. You find it in the menu "file".
Solution B: leave the screwed up extensions and use assoc/ftype
1) Start cmd as administrator. Therefore, hit the starte button, type cmd and press ctrl-shift-enter together.
2)type the following command: assoc .003=picture
3)type: picture=%SystemRoot%\System32\rundll32.exe "%ProgramFiles%\Windows Photo Viewer\PhotoViewer.dll", ImageView_Fullscreen %1

After firing 2) and 3), it should work immediately, double clicking .003 should open it in picture and fax viewer in fullscreen.
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by:DarinOBrien
ID: 26151970
I opted for Solution B.  I get the following error message:
'picture' is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file

I could try Solution A but I would have to ask my staff to run the fix every time they received a new batch of files.  For that reason, Solution B is much preferable for me.

Thoughts?
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by:McKnife
ID: 26153254
oops.
This was a typo.
3) ftype picture=%SystemRoot%\System32\rundll32.exe "%ProgramFiles%\Windows Photo Viewer\PhotoViewer.dll", ImageView_Fullscreen %1

Please note that ftype is an executable and not another typo.
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Author Comment

by:DarinOBrien
ID: 26159842
I tried that and I now get the following error message:  File type 'picture' not found or no open command associated with it.

Thoughts?
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Expert Comment

by:McKnife
ID: 26159865
Could it be, you forgot step 2?
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by:DarinOBrien
ID: 26160043
Oops...I did forget Step 2.  I completed Step 2 & 3 successfully!  Unfortunately, double-clicking still doesn't do anything.  I can still open the file by right-clicking the file and then selecting preview or by selecting the application.  

Also, a new problem that I just realized.  I tried to print the file once opened in Windows Photo Viewer.  I get an error that states:  "Windows can't find this picture.  Check the location, and then try again."  I don't know if this is related to the inability to open the file by simply double-clicking on it but this is a big problem for me.

Any suggestions would be much appreciated!

thanks.
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by:McKnife
ID: 26161080
OK ok.
Print is another command to be defined.
But back to the original problem first.
This works for me - I tested it.
Please repeat all steps for filetype .004 and rename a random file (a text file) to test.004 and try.
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Author Comment

by:DarinOBrien
ID: 26161521
I repeated steps 1 through 4 for file type .004.  I then created a test document in MS Word.  I then renamed the Word file with file type extension .004.  I then double-clicked on the file and it immediately tried to open in Windows Photo Viewer (a very good sign that this approach is working).  I do get an error message that says: "Windows Photo Viewer can't open this picture because either Photo Viewer doesn't support this file format, or you don't have the latest updates to Photo Viewer."  Main thing is that double-clicking on it actually  results in Windows Photo Viewer trying to open the doc.

I then tried to open one of my image files with extension .004.  Unfortunately, double-clicking still doesn't do anything :-(.  It may be worth noting that the file icon(s) is that of Windows Photo Viewer (suggesting that it at least recognizes .004 and all of the .00x files as Windows Photo Viewer docs).
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by:McKnife
ID: 26161999
OK, here my knowledge ends :(
I don't know what's wrong with your files because it works for me, I renamed som jpegs to .003 and double clicking opens those alright. Sorry.
Maybe the header of the file is non standard? But I can't help any further.
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Author Comment

by:DarinOBrien
ID: 26162086
I very much appreciate your help!  It wasn't for lack of effort that we couldn't get it to work!  Thanks for sticking with me on this problem.  

All the Best,
Darin
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