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Best Free NFO Viewer

In a Hurry?

  Go straight to the Quick Selection Guide

  Jump To Dedicated Applications

  Jump To Multifunctional Applications

 
Introduction
An NFO file is basically a text file that has the text width restricted to 80 chars (regardless of how large the window itself is) and the "Terminal" fixed system font used by default.  The Terminal font is used as it has a few ASCII blocks of various patterns that can be strung together like pixels creating ASCII art. It is all possible to re-create the formatting effects in notepad, but it's fiddly, you must have the window size exact and you can't change the foreground or background colors giving the NFO that extra shine.
 

Dedicated Applications

GetDiz is a simple NFO viewer which includes customization options including changing the foreground & background colors, fonts & sizes. There is an option which allows a customizable list of key words then lets set foreground & background colors to associate with the keyworks. The only feature that lets GetDiz down is the extremely large and somewhat cramped options menu item, the features could be housed more comfortly in a pop-up options dialogue box. Upon installation, there is a little option to add a link that creates a shortcut to a proprietary software site but it's easy to uncheck and the link inself doesn't install any actual software. There is multilingual support of 25 different languages and the GIF export allows an easier way to share the files among others who may not have an alternative NFO viewer.

Automatic association with .txt, .diz, .nfo & .ini files can be set.

Official Description

GetDiz is a Notepad replacement that offers a wide range of features while maintaining incredible speed, ease of use, stability, and small size. The user interface is handy, small, specific, and configurable. Do you want to go through a bunch of text files quickly in Explorer? Turn on the "Allow only one GetDiz instance" option and click on every file. GetDiz will display the files one after another in the same window. With GetDiz you also get enhanced functionality with DIZ and NFO files, which are often included in ZIP and RAR archives. GetDiz is able to display ASCII art correctly. You can even save text, nfo and diz files as GIF images! Even if GetDiz offers many features, the user interface is kept clean, so you can concentrate on text reading or editing. An optional USB-Stick installation is also possible. This notepad replacement is available for free.
 

Screenshots:

 

 

NFOPad allows foreground, background color, size & font options with a custom defineable set for both NFO & TXT independently. There is a nice alpha (opacity) setting with customizable blending. As stated even by the author, NFOPad resembles Microsoft Notepad with the extra support for .NFO files. There is also a nice control for URL & email integration allowing link clicking using the single click, double click or a CTRL click. 
 
Automatic association with .txt, .diz & .nfo files. Shell extentions allow for right-click  Edit with NFOPad option.

Official Description

NFOPad is a small, fast and flexible combined nfo viewer and text editor. It is a clone of Microsoft's Notepad but much more customizable and with some additional features. Of course NFOPad also supports nfo files with ASCII art. The file extension is used to determine whether to use an ANSI or ASCII font. NFOPad also fully supports Unicode.

 
Screenshots:
 
  
 

DIZzy is a simple viewer of DIZ, NFO & generic ASCII files that requires no installation, from the look of the website it has been abandoned, even the link from the official application leads to a dead domain. However, the link to the author's site is still active and DIZzy is still available for download. Is provides a simple Drag and Drop system to open the NFO files and has no configurable options. They four bottons present on the menu bar include the non-working website, an about page which opens on a seperate NFO style page, Start which brings the slider to the top of the page, and End which takes you to the bottom of the NFO.

There is no automatic file association avaialable.

 

Official Description

DIZzy displays DIZ, NFO and other confusing, ASCII-extended text files in a pleasing graphic format. It supports drag-and-drop, file associations and command line. DIZzy is an amazingly small, self-contained, flexible and free program.

Screenshots:

Similar to DIZzy, this is a small quick abandoned application that still works. The link on the programs menu leads to another obsolete website and the release build dates back to 2002. The options are limited but contains some level of customizability even with it's relitively small file size. It supports custom text and background, links & even link hover colors. There is no drag & drop file system like all the others, but opening is simple enough from the top menu bar. The text seems to render funny when opening a file from the menu (as opposed to double click) machine making options navigation DAMN impossible.
 
Without promting, DAMN NFO sets itself as the default viewer.

 

Official Description

DAMN NFO Viewer is an utility designed for viewing text files containing ASCII Art (e.g. nfo files), and it proved itself to be handy.So, if you're fed up with starting some DOS-like file manager each time you need to view nfo file, or ain't too happy with the viewer you use, or (worst case) use Notepad - give this little tool a try. 

Screenshots:
 
 
 
 
 
Multifunctional Applications
Check Back Shortly
 
Related Products and Links

You might want to check out these articles too:

 
Quick Selection Guide

Outertech GetDiz
5
 
Gizmo's Freeware award as the best product in its class!

Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Top pick, full of features, supports many languages, flashdrive version available.
Nothing obvious.
http://www.outertech.com/getdiz/
4.8.0.0
1.2 MB
32 bit but 64 bit compatible
Unrestricted freeware
A portable version of this product is available from the developer.
Windows XP / Vista / 7

Option is given to make the product portable during installation.

True Human Design NFOPad
5
 
Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Small file size, supports many file types.
Nothing obvious.
http://truehumandesign.se/
1.66
1.17 MB
32 bit but 64 bit compatible
Unrestricted freeware
A portable version of this product is available from the developer.
Windows 2000 / XP / Vista / 7
DS Software DIZzy
4
 
Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Extremely small file size, very fast.
No extra bells and whistles, website link is broken
1.12
8 KB
32 bit but 64 bit compatible
Unrestricted freeware
This product is portable.
Windows 95 and above.
DAMN NFO Viewer
4
 
Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Small file size, supports multiple languages, lots of features.
No longer being updated.
2.10.0032.RC3
263 KB
Unrestricted freeware
There is no portable version of this product available.
Windows 95 and above.

Developer's homepage not available.

 
Editor

This software category is maintained by volunteer editor m22rdy. Registered members can contact the editor with any comments or questions they might have by clicking here.

 
Tags

nfo viewer, ASCII viewer, ASCII art, DIZ, ASCII extended, text files

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Comments

by machv5 on 11. June 2012 - 21:28  (94703)

Many people search out an NFO viewer because Windows by default does not know how to open the file properly. It tries to open it with "system settings" for some odd reason but if you change it's default program via right click 'open with' windows7 or via control panel windowsXP (can't remember the exact title under programs that you go to do this) Change the default to Notepad or any other text editor that you have and it should open it fine. In addition most NFO's that have ASCII art in them change the default font to terminal. I have found that terminal really shows off the art way better. And if the NFO has been written on one line then select word wrap and adjust the window size to display the file properly. As most NFO creators are also programmers they generally follow the 80 character width for their files. third party texteditors like notepad++ and sublime2 have the ability to show a vertical line at the character limit you set it to. This way you can easily size the windows properly for viewing.

by Pedram (not verified) on 14. April 2012 - 7:44  (92076)

I also agree that iNFekt is the best NFO viewer for Windows. Other ones are inconsistent for showing ASCII art properly.

by paulo3030 (not verified) on 20. June 2011 - 2:11  (74008)

iNFekt is really the best! :D thank you Mark11 for the tip ;)

by J_L on 22. April 2011 - 23:05  (70720)

DIZzy is portable, there is no installer version. The .exe file is standalone.

by Jojo Yee on 22. April 2011 - 23:56  (70723)

Updated and thanks for pointing out, J_L.

by Outertech (not verified) on 7. March 2011 - 22:02  (67610)

We've just released 4.6 with a new installer which works better on 64bit systems. p.s. GetDiz does not contain the Ask Toolbar anymore. Now it's just pure freeware. You can download it at http://www.outertech.com/notepad-replacement/

by MidnightCowboy on 8. March 2011 - 7:13  (67631)

Thanks for confirming this by email. The article has now been updated.

by tweed (not verified) on 1. March 2011 - 11:02  (67230)

i just tried damn nfo viewer and didnt like it so i uninstalled it but for some reason i cant make my nfo's like i usually do.its not the same icon and looks like a notepad or something and i have tried everything.i just make a text and name it"name.nfo and it changes but now it dont,please help.

by Anonyplex (not verified) on 8. March 2011 - 16:35  (67651)

Hey, I think I could be of help. I've never actually used NFO's before but I know what they are. I think your problem lies. [edit: I read your comment again, and you'll most likely need to download a NFO viewer which I've implemented in step 2]

1.OK open My Documents or My Computer.
goto Tools > folder options (if you're not using XP, look for something similar)
select tab "File Types"
scroll down to find extension NFO, select it
try to figure it out from there because I don't know exactly what you're looking for
here's what I would do; - >Advanced >Change Icon
OR look for a "restore" button
OR >Change (choose your preferred NFO viewer)
if that doesn't work: 2

by Mark11 (not verified) on 2. January 2011 - 15:32  (63699)

There's also iNFekt - http://code.google.com/p/infekt/ - it has some nice colors and comes in a native 64 bit version. My favorite.

by kmplsv on 14. March 2014 - 20:30  (115018)

+1 for iNFekt. I've used all of the NFO viewers in the review here. While some are really good, iNFekt definitely blows them out of the water. No sketchy OpenCandy crap hidden in the installer or anything like that. What you see is what you get.

by armlet (not verified) on 9. March 2012 - 18:02  (90145)

Thanks Mark11! I tried iNFkt and really like it.
iNFekt would be the best if only the name is not a random mixture of upper cases and lower cases:)

by Anonymouss (not verified) on 7. February 2011 - 20:31  (65999)

Really cool. Thank you for the tip. I really liked the rendered mode.

by JonathanB on 17. January 2011 - 2:59  (64674)

Sounds cool. Thanks for the tip.

by jane (not verified) on 27. July 2010 - 10:09  (54978)

jane (just another nasty editor) has been good to me.

http://www.kifoth.de/jane/html/about.html

by JonathanB on 27. July 2010 - 14:54  (54991)

Thanks for the suggestion. I'll check it out.

by Bloop (not verified) on 12. July 2010 - 5:37  (54124)

I agree NFOpad is the best one now.

I've been using GetDiz for years, but with Windows 7 it would work great for few weeks/months then it would just hang there in the taskbar. On multiple computers too. I contacted GetDiz and they told me to just reinstall it. I did so and it fixed it but then same problem occurred again after just a few days.

Went over to NFOpad and never went back. It even opens nfo's a bit faster then GetDiz.

by SUPBREH (not verified) on 7. September 2010 - 8:58  (57399)

I've had the same problem with GetDiz on Windows 7 where the program would just hang. So I made the switch to NFOpad and it works great.

by JonathanB on 27. July 2010 - 14:54  (54992)

NFOPad is nice. I'll be adding a short review of it to this page soon.

by Anonymous on 27. April 2010 - 2:41  (48529)

I'm glad the google search turned this article up for me. I like getting opinion's from a wide range of people. I just decided to give NFOPad a whirl. I love it. Simple, yet stylish. I've been using DAMN Nfo Viewer for YEARS now...Back when the developer made it shareware, and if you tried to modify code or crack it, it would do something nasty to yer computer! But that was yeaaarrrsss ago. Sad to see it be abandoned. NFOPad ftw! \o/

by Anonymous on 23. March 2010 - 9:19  (46042)

I HV DWONLOADED NFO VIEWER, FILE IS ALSO WID ME, BT I M NT GETTING, HW TO USE ND GET D INFORMATION FROMJ IT ND HW TO USE NFO VEIWER AFTER RUN.. PLZ TELL ME

by Anonymous on 26. January 2010 - 16:28  (42142)

NFOPad is just perfect.

DIZzy is not usable at all - you need to drag and drop into it.
Obviously those of us who use .nfo files (nfo files themselves are relics from the old good times) we do not drag-n-drop anything.
We use old-DOS-style proper Norton Commander-like software such as Far and command line whenever possible.

Anyway, the search is over - NFOPad is perfect, it opens from Far instantly, and I mean literally - instantly, and closes just as quickly with simple ESCAPE. And it displays nfo files beautifully. Even the default colors are perfect, nothing to change.

All you GetDiz users, just try it!

by Anonymous on 23. March 2010 - 9:28  (46043)

kindly reply hw to use it,

by Anonymous on 27. January 2010 - 17:57  (42221)

You don't have to drag and drop with DIZzy. Put and keep the exe somewhere then right click the file you want to associate DIZzy with and choose "open" or "open with" and "choose default program". Locate and select DIZzy.exe and tick "always use the selected program to open this kind of file.

by Anonymous on 12. January 2010 - 22:45  (40915)

GetDiz sucks if the language setting for non-Unicode programs is not English.

by JonathanB on 19. January 2010 - 1:04  (41492)

Thanks for the tip.

by Anonymous on 7. December 2009 - 4:45  (37993)

Universal viewer works for NFO files and a billion others. Add it to your right click menu and it's ready for any unknown extension.
http://www.uvviewsoft.com/

by Anonymous on 21. January 2010 - 20:17  (41707)

thanks...i've never heard of NFO files but i would like to have something that works when Notepad or Wordpad doesn't work or shows a lot of strange charachters - i hope that "universal viewer" will work...

by choicefresh on 21. November 2009 - 7:46  (37038)

How are ACiDView and NFOlux? NFOlux can create NFOs from templates.

by Anonymous on 20. October 2009 - 18:26  (35073)

Im looking for a NFO-viewer to be able to use a music probram a friend told me about but I can´t find any good ones. Please give me a link or a tip where I can find one.
CJ Eklund