Posted by : Deepak Vasudevan Saturday, April 21, 2007

Short Review on Irfanview

I would like to have a short review written on Irfanview -- a versatile desktop utility supporting a wide diversified image formats. Besides supporting images, this also has a rich support for wide variety of other media like Audio and Video.

The Focus

Most of us engaged with web development would have had experiences transacting with Web designers. How many times we have had long standing arguments/requests waiting at the designer's desk for the following queries:

  1. Quick Image Resizing.
  2. Quick Image Format change (like from GIF to PNG etc)
  3. Image optimization

While I admit that the designers have the final and commanding powers to create the good images for simple things like creating a FAVICON from the website logo as a .ICO file, we need not queup the load to the web designer. At the same time, we would also be facing shortcomings from the following fronts:

  1. Lack of sophisticated Image Editing Software like Adobe Photoshop etc.
  2. The skillset of image editing.
  3. Cost of maintaining such heavy software.

The Dawn of a Solution

I came across a little software called Irfanview, which seems to be a software written by a college student in Europe (Irfan) and is a freeware. I would like to summarize some of the features of Irfanview, which would be useful to complement the work of developers and reducing the load on web designers.

  1. Install-free. While the installation does a systematic and methodical copying and setting of files and extensions, the actual application depends on a less-than 1 MB EXE file.
  2. Freeware. No cost involved in purchase and maintenance of the software.
  3. Wide variety of images being supported for operations.
  4. Multi-lingual support
  5. Thumbnail/Preview Tool
  6. Screensaver Creation Utility from the images
  7. Capable of discovering and showing EXIF and associated image details on the FullScreen mode.
  8. Rudimentary Image Editing Operations
    1. Cut/Crop
    2. Change Color Depth
    3. Imaging Effects
      1. Sharpen
      2. Blur
  9. Commandline Tool


The other interesting feature of Irfanview is that it also supports related media formats like SWF, MP3, Video and Audio files (Windows Audio and Real Media) via plugins. Besides little features like Email Media, Extracting Icons from Binary files like EXE, DLL etc add feature to the crown of Irfanview.


I would hence like to suggest that Irfanview is a definitive tool for any developer's toolbox in his day-to-day activities. That way the activities go unhindered with more fast-moving developmental efforts.

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