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Time posted Article title Poster Comment Link
4 years 27 weeks ago Best Free Digital Image Viewer marcdarkin

I'm no tech guy at all and unfortunately I can't help you with your problem. Anyway, I'll post your message in the forums and see if someone can. Sorry.

Meanwhile, I suggest that you download and install any of the programs reviewed here and probably you'll be able to see your pictures again.

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4 years 27 weeks ago Best Free Digital Image Viewer Jojoyee

There're a few questions raised. Please check back the forum thread here.

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4 years 27 weeks ago Best Free Digital Image Viewer marcdarkin

Two answers were given in the forums (thanks Jojoyee and J.L.):

"Windows Photo Gallery supports these file types: BMP, JPG, JFIF, TIFF, PNG, WDP. If Windows Movie Maker is installed, it can also play videos in these formats: ASF, AVI, MPEG, WMV.
It would be helpful to know:
What is the format of your saved pictures?
Can the picture files be viewed by other viewers?"

"Do they open fine with Paint?
Tell the reader that K-Lite Codec Pack is for audio and video only, not pictures.
Lastly, the file associations seems to be corrupt in the registry. Check them (XP: Tools>Folder Options>File Types, Vista/7: Start>Default Programs>Associate a file type or protocol with a program)."

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4 years 27 weeks ago Best Free Digital Image Viewer Anonymous

My pictures do not open with other programs. I tried several. Windows Photo Gallery says only JPEG, GIF, BMP, and ART images can be displayed. It seems most photos are "jpg" which is not supported. I have the latest version of WPG. I downloaded an update just to make sure. Strange, I never had any problem saving pictures from the Net and viewing them with my Windows XP Pro desktop.

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4 years 27 weeks ago Best Free Digital Image Viewer Anonymous

To continue: I just realized that my "save picture" function only saves pictures as either ART (*.art) or bitmap (*.bmp) though the picture shows it as an "http://....jpg" extension. When I try to view the picture, it clearly says that it is indeed a JPEG image, yet it was saved as .art or .bmp. Could this be the problem?

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4 years 27 weeks ago Best Free Digital Image Viewer Jojoyee

You might want to try IrfanView which is able to detect the correct picture type upon opening a file saved as other file type than the correct one.

Some other programs do not auto-detect the file type and it would just fail to open the file.

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4 years 27 weeks ago Best Free Digital Image Viewer marcdarkin

JPEG (Joint Picture Experts Group) is the generic name for that format, but the usual file extension you'll find is .jpg or .JPG, so there shouldn't be any problem with that. The same applies to TIFF (Tagged Image Format File), which you'll find as a .tif or .TIF extension.

I don't really know what's happening in your case and am sorry I can't help, but it probably doesn't have anything to do with file extensions.

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4 years 26 weeks ago Best Free Digital Image Viewer Anonymous

Tried Irfanview and it didn't help.

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4 years 25 weeks ago Best Free Digital Image Viewer marcdarkin

Due to our server problems during last weekend, a few of the latest comments have been lost and unfortunately can't be recovered. Our apologies.

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4 years 25 weeks ago Best Free Digital Image Viewer Anonymous

If you want to view your RAW files from your DSLR in a 32 or 64 bit Windows environment then this free codec pack is what you probably need:

http://www.fastpictureviewer.com/codecs/

Info from the website:
Windows Vista introduced a modern and extensible imaging framework called Windows Imaging Component (WIC). The operating system comes with built-in support for several common image formats including jpeg, bmp, png, gif, tiff and HD Photo. WIC makes it possible for 3rd parties to add first-class support for image formats to Windows, complete with thumbnails in Explorer, preview and slideshow support in Photo Gallery / Photo Viewer and metadata search integration.

The FastPictureViewer WIC RAW Codec Pack provides such platform support for additional formats through read-only image decoders, simultaneously available in both 32 and 64-bit flavor.

WIC-enabled image viewers such as Windows Live™ Photo Gallery, Windows 7's Media Center and our own FastPictureViewer Professional "automagically" gain the ability to open and view new image formats, play slideshows etc, so does all .NET 3.x and WPF-based applications.

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4 years 25 weeks ago Best Free Digital Image Viewer marcdarkin

Thanks for the info. As you can see, Fast Picture Viewer is mentioned in my article, but this is a nice standalone package that many users will welcome. I'll add this to my review.

Thanks again

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4 years 22 weeks ago Best Free Digital Image Viewer Anupam

FastStone Image Viewer 4.0 has been released.

Anupam

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4 years 22 weeks ago Best Free Digital Image Viewer Anonymous

http://www.majorgeeks.com/FastStone_Image_Viewer_d4691.html

I think they made a mistake though ...

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4 years 22 weeks ago Best Free Digital Image Viewer marcdarkin

Thanks for letting me know, Anupam. Oddly enough I downloaded and installed version 3.9 on a PC just yesterday. So, I wouldn't have checked for a new one in a while! Anyway the new version doesn't appear on their official site yet???

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4 years 22 weeks ago Best Free Digital Image Viewer marcdarkin

What do you mean, a mistake?

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4 years 22 weeks ago Best Free Digital Image Viewer Anupam

Yeah, the new version was released on 19th, and the download sites are showing the release now.

The official site do have the new version. I confirmed it, and then downloaded. Here is the download link on the official site. It clearly says 4.0 with the release date of 19th Nov in red.

http://www.faststone.org/FSViewerDownload.htm

Anupam

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4 years 22 weeks ago Best Free Digital Image Viewer Anonymous

Well...
I don't saw any word about FuturixImager (http://fximage.com/imager/)
I think that you can try to write if this program is a good alternative or not...
I use XnView, but I find on the net FuturixImager and I am curious to read about your opinions...
Greetz!

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4 years 22 weeks ago Best Free Digital Image Viewer marcdarkin

Futurix has already been suggested here before and I reviewed it in a comment this year (06/22/2009):

I've reviewed FuturixImager and these are my opinions:

I said I had tried older versions but I still see the same drawbacks. There are several of these.

First, I believe browsing capabilities are fundamental in a viewer and this program offers no folder tree view, so you can't really browse your directories in a convenient way, as you always have to access them through the 'open' tab or the 'file' menu. This reason alone makes it unsuitable for my personal workflow, though I guess others can live without it. But that's not all.

Similarly, there's no thumbnail window, which leads us to the previous point. I don't see much functionality with this kind of approach. Just imagine browsing through folders with hundreds of pics when you're looking for one whose name you don't remember, only by clicking on the 'previous - next' arrows. How long will it take to identify it in Futurix?

If the program were fast, this problem could be alleviated, but then there's the speed issue too. I find it to be significantly slower than most of the programs I review in my article. Average images(2-5mpx) load with almost no delay, but 10-megapixel JPGs report a different story already. Either larger images or LZW-compressed TIFs or RAW files can make you wait beyond your patience. And there's no support for animated GIFs.

Of course, having no possibility to select several files at a time means there are no batch processing options, which is something I'm beginning to appreciate as a fundamental feature in a viewer.

These personal inconveniences won't be a concern for many users, and Futurix does have some good points as well. For example, although there's no kind of control over the process, the rendering of RAW files (at least Canon's CR2) is top quality, but at the expense of time, as I said above. That lack of options will need further postprocessing, which can be done inside the program because the filters and adjustments are good enough. However, there's multilevel undo but no redo at all.

Having said this, I'm sure you can understand it if Futurix isn't listed among the other products in my article. But thanks for the tip anyway.

Marc

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4 years 22 weeks ago Best Free Digital Image Viewer Jojoyee

Good points Marc. User interface is a concern to me for a good program.

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4 years 21 weeks ago Best Free Digital Image Viewer Anonymous

Dear Marc,

I must say I have used most of the programs you have mentioned but nothing has agreed with me more than cam2pc which I have used for several years now.

Cam2PC implementation of resizing is the best I have seen.
1. It lets you resize several files easily (xnview does not..at least not by a single click).
2. You can automatically rename files being resized so that you wont overwrite your original files.
3. It provides a maximum size option. For example: your digi cam takes pics of 800x600 resolution. You need to resize them to 640*480 for email. However you have taken pics both in landscape and portrait mode so if you use the standard way you will have to resize them separately; select 640 as width for landscape pics and select 640 as height for portrait pics to accomplish the above task. However Cam2pc will let you do this with a single click with this option.

Only problem I have with cam2pc is the batch renaming. Although it is very good, xnview lets you click on one of the files to use it as the template. in cam 2 pc you have to manually type in the template.

Have you come across any program that combines the two features - cam2pc's resizing and xnviews renaming?

Atleast I hope Marco would pick this up and incorporates both into his Wildbits atleast.

Thanks
- Uditha

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4 years 21 weeks ago Best Free Digital Image Viewer Anonymous

They are already ahead of schedule. They already have version 4.1. ;))))))

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4 years 21 weeks ago Best Free Digital Image Viewer marcdarkin

Thanks for your comments, Uditha. I can see you've followed this section for a while, as you rely on Marko for a solution! ;) Your question has an easy answer, which I hope is what you're asking for.

FastStone's excellent batch processing options allow you to resize an image basing on one side and you can specify it to be one of four settings: width, height, long side or short side.

The task is easy. After selecting the files you want to process, click on 'Tools' in the menu and select the appropriate batch function, or just press F3 as a shortcut. Select the output format and folder. Tick the 'rename' box and set a template. Then tick the 'use advanced options' box. A lot of tabs appear when you go there but the first one you'll see is 'resize', with three options. The one you need is 'resize based on one side' and you can find some other settings to tweak, including the ones I mentioned above and a dozen interpolation methods for the output file.

You say Cam2pc's implementation of resizing is the best you've seen. It's very good actually, but there's that little touch missing. Exactly the one you demand, which FastStone offers along with the best (or at least most useful) batch options I've seen in a free program, though it's not the top pick in my review. Anyway, C2PC is the best when downloading pictures from a memory card, with all those saving options to choose from. But remember you can use both!

Thanks again. Sure Marko will be reading this. And hopefully he'll be as responsive as he has always been.

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4 years 21 weeks ago Best Free Digital Image Viewer Anupam

LOL yes, they are showing the version 4.1 !! Funny :D. I have often seen MajorGeeks making mistakes though... not a new thing :D.

Anupam

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4 years 21 weeks ago Best Free Digital Image Viewer Anonymous

Hi Uditha,

There is few solutions for your need:
- what Marc suggested already.
- Request cam2pc to make changes so you can continue using it.
- Create another program what has best features combined (cam2pc resize and xnview's rename).
- Use cam2pc for resizing and xnview for renaming.
- ...

From the point of view of WildBit Viewer. Editor has batch resize option and Viewer has batch rename. Both features can be enhanced. I will try to enhance both features in future versions. Anyway I will put your request under "thinking hat". :)

- Marko

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4 years 21 weeks ago Best Free Digital Image Viewer Anonymous

Thanks for the information. However before installing FastStone I would like to know whether the file renaming is similar to xnview? That is can I set the template by clicking on one file?
Thanks

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4 years 21 weeks ago Best Free Digital Image Viewer marcdarkin

Xn has more options for renaming than most others. FastStone is more simple, and I'm afraid you can't do what you're asking for. Anyway, I think the templates are good enough, and of course you can write your own.

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4 years 21 weeks ago Best Free Digital Image Viewer Anonymous

I use ArtSsee as my default app for opening image files. The program is 90KB small and doesn't need installation. The default settings have a slideshow feature with annoying transitions enabled but once you turn those off it's a really nifty tool. It supports Unicode characters in filepaths, something I always missed in Irfanview.

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4 years 20 weeks ago Best Free Digital Image Viewer Anonymous

How about MS Office Picture Manager? It is fairly basic but practical. Takes about 2.6 MB with window closed, about 14 MB with picture shown. It is not a file type miracle, but takes the most used.

I like that it make shortcuts of pics on your computer. No slideshow. It does exports to Office with pre-set resizing.

Another good free alternative is the Picasa Viewer.

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4 years 20 weeks ago Best Free Digital Image Viewer VII

For me "IrfanView" is the best option, but I don't use it like this:

http://www.techsupportalert.com/files/images/IrfanView-thumbnailmodule_c...

Don't even think it was intended like that... I use it paired with Windows Explorer, cause I have my own Pictures Folder nicely arranged... don't like the idea of predefined ones. And yes, you might have the option to chose the predefined folders, but I'm and old school user which goes for "stability/fast open" instead of loading a huge library with all pictures and brows for the right ones. But that's just me. I select the desired folder and brows in full screen. :)

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4 years 18 weeks ago Best Free Digital Image Viewer Anonymous

Great Work. Unfortunately there's no worthwhile freeware option for any user who works in a company (and his boss is not willing to pay for such a program). FuturixImager is quite good but not too practical when it comes down to much printing and image viewing. The same applies to Picasa who is more an image viewer than a straightforward business tool for opening image attachments in emails and printing.

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4 years 14 weeks ago Best Free Digital Image Viewer Anonymous

Hi --thanks for such a thorough article!
I have to say that I disagree with the poor rating given to the FastPictureViewer. I think it actually should be the #1 (or at least be in the main section of your article). I tried absolutely all the image viewers in your article and I didn't like any of them - they are all too complicated, they try to do too many things, and are waaaay too slow, especially for large files. I am a photography hobbyist and need a way to quickly browse through a gazillion pictures, pick up the ones that I like, delete the ones that I don't like, and always keep an eye at the exif data to see if I could have done a better job and prevented a technically bad image.

Here's what all "image viewers" do which I don't need:
- Busy UI (I want to see the picture, not the tool's chrome)
- Image/Thumbnail preview (Windows has that already)
- Photo editing tools (this is where you use Photoshop)
- I don't need batch processing, I don't need format conversion, and no - I don't need a webpage album creator. Since when did these become requirements for an "image viewer" ?!?

Here's what they didn't have, which I do need:
- Easy, friendly EXIF data (most viewers would not let you keep the exif/histogram data while browsing through images. Or worse yet - would require you to press 4-5 shortcut buttons to just show you the exif, and then when you move to the next image it disappears and you have to look it up again.)
- FAST image display (going forward as well as back - I have no idea why most viewers cache the next upcoming image, but don't keep in cache the one that you just saw in case you want to go back? silly)
- Easy zoom in/out and navigating around the image to judge sharpness, focus, etc.
- Full-screen image viewing so you can see the image in its best possible light, while keeping a minimal exif info box

I have to say that in terms giving me everything that I need and nothing of what I don't need/like, FastImageViewer just completely blows the competition away. It's just that - a fast and super user friendly image viewer and that's exactly what I need. I think a lot of photographers out there feel exactly the same way.

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4 years 14 weeks ago Best Free Digital Image Viewer marcdarkin

Thanks for your comments. A similar debate arised here when Fast Picture Viewer was first suggested for review (current page 3 of the comments, submitted by Anonymous on Wed, 10/01/2008 - 02:06). I won't go into it all over again. I agree with some of the things you say and sure my top programs can still improve a lot in many areas, and of course you're right about speed and FPV is there especially because of that. I understand it meets your needs perfectly... But not mine.

I usually work with a lot of formats, I do convert from one to another, I do use batch processing a lot (especially resizing and renaming), I nearly always need to have a folder tree to quickly jump between them, and a thumbnail overview of a huge folder to go straight to the image I want without calling the limp Windows built-in viewers, I sometimes need some quick adjustments in the pics without having to call the monster (Photoshop and the demanding extra load on the system), I like to call the monster and not worry about memory overloads while having my viewer open, I usually like to view images in TRUE fullscreen with NO histogram and NO exif info stuck around if that's what I really want, I like to transfer photos from the camera to the computer right inside the viewer after viewing them...

Well, this is just my workflow anyway, and many users like yourself won't have the same needs. I usually have an eye on exif info as well, and zoom in and out quickly. And I can do all that not so painfully with freeware programs, though you can't have the perfect app. I'm not biased against FPV, believe me. Actually, I own the commercial version because I think it's a good product that deserves paying for the ability to view extra formats at the same blazing speed than the JPGs allowed with the freeware version. But this is also my main drawback, apart from my own workflow, the occasional memory insufficiency with big files on an average dual core machine, and the lack of Photoshop PSD support even in the paid version.

Though JPG is the usual format around, with FPV you have to pay for what many others offer for free. Speed is an essential factor but not the only one. In this respect, the program is unrivalled and it's the best for fast culling and rating, which is what I use it for. Once I have done this, I prefer some other way to work with my files, as browsing speed isn't that important then and I can perfectly assume the decrease if I have many more options to work with. But again, this is just me. And sure I understand your complaints. Several I make them mine too. Thanks.

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4 years 13 weeks ago Best Free Digital Image Viewer Anonymous

Thanks for the response! I scrolled down to read the Fast Picture Viewer mini-thread. Lol - I can see that other people are as passionate (or more) about this program. Personally, I'm so glad I found it, since it does 99% of what I want it to do, and it does it so damn well. Maybe my workflow is quirky, but all the other programs on your list don't cut it for me at all (to an extent that I'd almost prefer the default windows image viewer to them...) For me, quickly browsing through a few thousand LARGE pictures (DSLR burst modes) and picking up the few that are truly awesome from the rest is absolutely essential. After I've separated the gems from the garbabe, I can move on to the "monster" image processors and do the editing there.
I understand that different people have different views, but still -obviously there are people there that like this program and would like to see it higher up in your rankings. I, for one found it through a different website and came back here to submit it as a suggestion. Only then did I find it in your article, buried all they way down there... It's funny, because I thought I've read it thoroughly and tried all the programs that you suggested. Somehow I must have missed it the first time...
Having said that, I admit, this program is not perfect. I wish it supported fast image rotation (this would be the last 1% :)) But hey - that's why programs release new versions :) The fact that it's jpeg-only is irrelevant to me, since I only work in this format.

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4 years 11 weeks ago Best Free Digital Image Viewer Anonymous

Unfortunately none of the programs reviewed here offer a feature that I would be willing to pay for to have. What I need is a viewer that keeps separate view settings for each folder, like "browse this folder by date", "browse this one by name", "for this folder, view as details", "for this other one, view as thumbnails" etc.
Does anyone know if such a program exists, whether it's free or not?

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4 years 7 weeks ago Best Free Digital Image Viewer Anonymous

XnView ia amazing, it is even better than the free trial acd see i had , and much better than infranview. Cool, ty.

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4 years 6 weeks ago Best Free Digital Image Viewer Anonymous

I think FastStone Image Viewer is the best choice for the average user.

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4 years 3 weeks ago Best Free Digital Image Viewer Anonymous

i use Imagine (graphics software). its very lightweight and fast. its got great features too.
info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imagine_%28Image_organizer_software%29
download: http://www.nyam.pe.kr/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=14

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4 years 1 week ago Best Free Digital Image Viewer Anonymous

XnView is my personal fave, although it is good that there are so many strong options.

For basic editing pretty much the only feature that I need to open photoshop for is arbitrarily rotating an image along a line using the measure tool. If there is a lightweight viewer that can do this I may consider switching elegances.

Any ideas?

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4 years 1 week ago Best Free Digital Image Viewer Anonymous

FastStone Image Viewer has a problem of displaying a worse quality of picture than other picture viewers, and the quality should not be that bad. That is the major problem I don't use it.

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4 years 6 days ago Best Free Digital Image Viewer marcdarkin

I guess I know what you mean, but in my opinion FS's displaying quality is fair enough for acceptable standards and at least just as good as most other viewers.

Size is a critical factor in the way an image is displayed in every program, not only because of loading speed but of appearance too. It can vary with your settings, but everything goes fine if the dimensions in pixels don't exceed the resolution points of your screen. Usually in this case each pixel is mapped to one single point, so showing the image at 100%. You can test it yourself easily, but image quality at this level shows no perceptible variation between programs, as it's more dependant on the monitor, setup, color management policy, etc.

The problem is that, except when they are intended for web or don't need good prints, the pictures we keep in our drives nowadays are usually much bigger than our screens. So everytime you want to view them at any zoom level other than 100% their appearance is going to suffer. This is noticeable in the edges of objects in the picture, especially if you try to fit a big one to fullscreen or less. There's no issue with vertical or horizontal straight lines, as they follow the grid array of screen points, but slanting and round lines appear jagged and uneven.

Some programs have their propietary code written for the matter; others borrow, simulate or hack their algorithms. I don't know about FastStone, though I'm almost certain it's propietary. And it may be a bit slower than others, but the rendering isn't that bad. Actually, the program even gives an option to improve it, which is not available in most others. There's a tick box in the toolbar which enables smooth viewing so that edges don't appear jagged when the size of the picture is bigger than the screen. But having it checked increases loading time and slows zooming and panning with bigger files.

I understand users like you prefer other viewers because of their better performance in this area. But image quality is not the issue here, it's just a matter of speed.

Thanks for your comment.

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3 years 51 weeks ago Best Free Digital Image Viewer Anonymous

I've used FastStone for years and was very satisfied until I got a camera that also shoots video. FastStone does not support video. So now I am looking for a viewer that supports both video and photos; can crop, resize and sharpen, but with me deciding how much to sharpen; and allow me to quickly and easily compare photos side by side like I can on FastStone.

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3 years 51 weeks ago Best Free Digital Image Viewer Anonymous

Am trying now Xnview. So far, looks to be just what I need. FastStone has been removed from my computer.

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3 years 51 weeks ago Best Free Digital Image Viewer Anonymous

I am really impressed! This opens and manipulates raw Hasselblad images that even Photoshop CS4 cant do and even for the ones that PS can handle Wildbit is quicker.

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3 years 51 weeks ago Best Free Digital Image Viewer marcdarkin

XnView is a good pick (it's my top pick!) but FastStone DOES support video, although it hasn't got a built-in player.

Obviously you have overlooked a feature in the program's toolbar that lets you select the option to show 'images' only, 'videos' only or 'both'.

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3 years 51 weeks ago Best Free Digital Image Viewer marcdarkin

You may have a look at Imagina, my latest addition in the review. It can do what you're looking for and has some other quality tools.

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3 years 51 weeks ago Best Free Digital Image Viewer Anonymous

Would you compare with the Windows Live Photo Gallery for Windows users? I like that program, because the stability working with Windows :)

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3 years 51 weeks ago Best Free Digital Image Viewer Anonymous

I miss Picasa

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3 years 51 weeks ago Best Free Digital Image Viewer marcdarkin

All the products reviewed here are intended for Windows users and I've forgotten about the last time I had a crash with any of the ones I use more often. So stability isn't an issue, as most of them have a solid development history and bugs are scarce.

As for WL Photo Gallery, I tried it quite a long time ago but unfortunately I've mislaid my notes about it and now I don't remember exactly the data I collected. But I remember my conclusion wasn't very positive in terms of speed, usability and customization. This aside from the concerns about whether image rotation within the program is really lossless, the delayed data writing (for example, if you rotate a picture, the new one overwrites the old one WHEN YOU QUIT the program and with no prompting) and other technical issues. So I decided I didn't need it anymore and went to uninstall it. And guess what. I remember this perfectly: there's no straight way to remove it from the machine! No uninstall command or whatever. You must delete some .dll's and other junk yourself. To top the pie, some of its tools aren't supported in Windows XP!

We are used to Microsoft's odd procedures and they probably think the program is so good nobody would ever want to remove it, but clearly this isn't a fair way to work. Photo Gallery may be a good product for Windows Live users because of its straight integration, but I'm not one of them.

It's been a while since I tried it, but of course I don't want to see if it's still like that installing it on my computer, nor use a virtual machine to try it again. At least until somebody assures me there's an uninstaller included. Sorry.

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3 years 51 weeks ago Best Free Digital Image Viewer marcdarkin

There's an old thread about Picasa in these comments. And it's also reviewed in the Best Free Digital Photo Organizer section:

http://www.techsupportalert.com/best-free-digital-photo-organizer.htm

For an explanation of why I don't include it in my review see this comment:

http://www.techsupportalert.com/best-free-digital-image-viewer.htm?page=...

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3 years 51 weeks ago Best Free Digital Image Viewer Anonymous

XnView is really good.
The reason I like it compared to other image browsers is that I can disable file header scanning. This is very important feature for me.
I shoot digital, mostly in RAW.

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3 years 50 weeks ago Best Free Digital Image Viewer Anonymous

Under "Settings", you have to choose Lanczos3 filter to get good quality rendering. But, it's slow on that setting. Drives me batty!

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3 years 49 weeks ago Best Free Digital Image Viewer Anonymous

I'm surprised still nobody has mentioned XnViewMP.

From wikipedia:

"XnView MP (XnView Multi Platform) will eventually replace all other versions of XnView (*nix and Mac OS X and Windows) using the same source code for all platforms and is intended to have a unified look and feel. It will have native unicode support and be able to load full bit depth pictures (8/16/32 bits per component), easier handling of native language support (text based files) and a better database. Currently the newest version is 0.26."

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3 years 49 weeks ago Best Free Digital Image Viewer marcdarkin

XnView MP is still a beta version. I'll wait for a final release before including it in my review if it deserves so. (It will, AFAIK.)

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3 years 48 weeks ago Best Free Digital Image Viewer Gecko

I operate on a cross-platform basis between Win XP, Win 7 and Mac OS X.

Is there a utility that allows me to view both RAW (esp. CR2, NEF and DNG) and JPEG files, and which share the same star-rating system?

On the Mac, I use
- Bridge CS3 that came with Photoshop Elements 6.
- Canon Image Browser
- Nikon ViewNX

On the PC, I use
- Nikon ViewNX
- Canon Zoom Browser

My problem with FastStone ImageViewer, XnView, Canon software, iPhoto, Picasa, etc., is that pictures that I tag / rate / export from them don't seem to be able to bring my star ratings over to the next programme.

So far, I have found that Bridge and ViewNX share the same 5-star rating system, but that's about it. I'm not even sure that I can get LightRoom to share the same rating system.

The rating system appears to be based on XMP data written into the file or via a sidecar.

Does anyone have a recommendation?

Cheers,
Gecko

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3 years 48 weeks ago Best Free Digital Image Viewer marcdarkin

I'm afraid I can't help you much with this, Gecko. I don't know about Mac because I'm just a Windows user. But as you note, "The rating system appears to be based on XMP data written into the file or via a sidecar". Obviously, not all image apps can read XMP, let alone sidecars. And only a few of them can attach these files automatically along with the original images in the event you want to move or copy them to another folder.

I gave up using ratings a long time ago, except in Lightroom, Camera Raw and Bridge. But the free image viewers in my review that allow some kind of tagging or rating don't seem to handle each other's system. The exception is Pictomio, which usually reads the ratings from LR, CR and Br, but not in every case and it runs only in Windows.

So I can't give a solution :( Let's see if someone knows more about this and posts something here.

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3 years 45 weeks ago Best Free Digital Image Viewer Anonymous

Been using Irf for a long time now...
For general viewing, image format conversions, speed, light resource usage,nice command line options, contact sheet maker and so forth, there's IrfanView... Oh yeah did I mention it has nice command line support...hehe. For everything else there's $$$Photoshop$$$.

binaryweasel

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3 years 45 weeks ago Best Free Digital Image Viewer Anonymous

We are so immersed in the nitty gritty, we overlook one glaring omission/ deficiency in most if not all of the programs: when cropping a picture, the embedded thubnail (EXIF?) is not updated. Whenever we crop a picture, it means we do NOT want to show the rest of the picture, but the thumbnail betrays us. Imagine the potentially embarassing situation!

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3 years 45 weeks ago Best Free Digital Image Viewer Anonymous

Marc - can't find comment (#4220) by date or # in the referenced page.

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3 years 45 weeks ago Best Free Digital Image Viewer davy

Been using zoner free for a few weeks now and it is the best of its type.Comes into the category of i cant belive it is free.editing tools are great for a free program,the iron tool that smooths the skin to take out wrinkles and crows feet is a godsend when retouching the family snaps.Overall a great freebie.

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3 years 45 weeks ago Best Free Digital Image Viewer Anonymous

Zoner Photo Studio Free:
> "batch processing options are completely missing except for renaming..."
Actually you CAN apply most of the adjustments and effects on more files at once. Just select more files in the Manager module and select e.g. Edit | Resize... Just set your parameters and press Apply to All.
Clicking on the images in the thumbnail panel shows preview of the selected adjustment on the selected file.

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3 years 45 weeks ago Best Free Digital Image Viewer torresmagnifico

Marc,

Many thanks for the Zoner Photo review and link, I have been meaning to look for a free equivalent for ACDSee for some time and this software is par excellence!

Top work in your chosen category. ;-)

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3 years 45 weeks ago Best Free Digital Image Viewer marcdarkin

Thanks for pointing this out. I was misled by the pro version, which has advanced batch options, and I didn't realize this possibility. My article has been corrected accordingly. Thanks again.

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3 years 45 weeks ago Best Free Digital Image Viewer George

Zoner Photo Studio Free is amazing - rightfully the Top Pick here. Does anybody know whether it is available in other languages as well like its big brother?

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3 years 45 weeks ago Best Free Digital Image Viewer marcdarkin

I'm afraid it isn't, George. This page on their site under 'system requirements' clearly states "Zoner Photo Studio Free is available in the English language only." An inconvenience I mention in the quick selection guide.

http://free.zoner.com/support.asp

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3 years 45 weeks ago Best Free Digital Image Viewer Anonymous

This is the best reweiv i ever read!
Jan

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3 years 44 weeks ago Best Free Digital Image Viewer Anonymous

Post #4220 exists, click the last page of comments, scroll up, it is between #4316 and #4392, the date is 07/14/2008.

I tried to post the link but a 'spam' warning apparently blocked it.

Mike

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3 years 44 weeks ago Best Free Digital Image Viewer marcdarkin

Thanks. I've provided a link to that comment above and here it is again:

http://www.techsupportalert.com/best-free-digital-image-viewer.htm?page=...

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3 years 44 weeks ago Best Free Digital Image Viewer Cide

Zoner Photo Studio Free would be perfect for me if it didn't display animated gifs at half the speed of what they should be.

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3 years 44 weeks ago Best Free Digital Image Viewer Anonymous

this is true for me as well

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3 years 44 weeks ago Best Free Digital Image Viewer George

Question to Zoner:
Do you have any plans to make it portable?

Answer by Zoner:
You can make a copy of an installed Zoner Photo Studio and run it from an USB stick, but it won't be able to run without affecting the target machine - it saves its settings to registry and creates some folders and temporary files in user's directory. We do not plan a fully portable version, but we might consider some enhancements that would make it a bit easier.

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3 years 44 weeks ago Best Free Digital Image Viewer George

Same here.
I have placed a post about that in the Zoner forum.

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3 years 44 weeks ago Best Free Digital Image Viewer marcdarkin

Thanks for the info, George.

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3 years 44 weeks ago Best Free Digital Image Viewer Anonymous

I've been using XnView for years
Love this free software.
Fast image browser, light, and support various image formats.
Some other nice features I like :
- watermark (supports transparent psd!)
- cleaning up metadata, whole or partially. I use it for deleting Adobe Lightroom XMP metadata
- an option to whether or not scan file headers (great for old PC or laptop)
- batch renaming with data from photo EXIF

Thanks to the developer who keep developing and improving this software.
Just downloaded the newest version : 1.97.6
TIFF can write EXIF ... great!

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3 years 43 weeks ago Best Free Digital Image Viewer George

I heard back from Zoner:

"Zoner Photo Studio doesn't display animated GIFs with exact timing (it is for preview purposes only as ZPS's primary target is digital photography), but there shouldn't be that big difference. Can you upload such picture please?"

I replied that I feel the difference is considerable and I have uploaded a sample so they can check it out.

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3 years 43 weeks ago Best Free Digital Image Viewer Anonymous

XnView does that. Right click in the image browser and set your sort and view preferences.

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3 years 42 weeks ago Best Free Digital Image Viewer entropy96 (not verified)

My only gripes with Zoner Studio Free is it is incredibly slow in loading even JPG files, especially in folders with more than a thousand picture files.

It analyzes the total number of readable files in the folder before opening a picture file.

I'm more focused on performance and speed, so I ultimately decided to keep IrfanView as my primary image viewer.
Sure, it doesn't have as many bells-and-whistles as Zoner Studio Free, but for regular picture browsing, it gets the job done.

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3 years 39 weeks ago Best Free Digital Image Viewer Kaihekoa (not verified)

I came here to find a light Windows Live Photo Gallery with fairly advanced batch processing options. Zoner and Irfanview did not have many advanced batch processing options. I neglected to try Wildbit because it was reported as being slower than the rest. That leaves Xnview and FastStone which I thought were equal in features and functionality with Xnview having a speed advantage and FastStone having a cleaner UI. So I ran a batch processing test on 120 JPEG images that required resizing, rotating, and a watermark.

It was during this test that Xnview repeatedly failed to display any output format options and then crashed as I was going through the format options. I can't say how much faster it was compared to FastStone and did not want to spend time troubleshooting when there's an equal alternative. FastStone took 26 seconds to complete the operation which is fast enough for me. In conclusion, based on my limited experience FastStone is the best choice here if you're looking for a combination viewer with many features and fast, advanced batch processing.

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3 years 39 weeks ago Best Free Digital Image Viewer marcdarkin

Thanks for sharing. Although I haven't had those problems with XnView even under heavy testing, your experience confirms my own thoughts about FastStone being the best in batch processing. Simple and effective, especially in the latest versions.

Just a clarification: Wildbit isn't that much slower. If you have a modern machine, the difference is hardly noticed. And its batch options are just fine.

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3 years 39 weeks ago Best Free Digital Image Viewer Kaihekoa (not verified)

I see; my PC has plenty of "horsepower" so I will give Wildbit a try. Thanks for clarifying.

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3 years 38 weeks ago Best Free Digital Image Viewer Scottie33 (not verified)

Zoner has a very nice interface and a lots of features, but I hate any application which requires installation (no portable or zip version). For the same reason I do not use Picasa. In sum, the best ratio of features to portables has FastStone Image Viewer!!

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3 years 35 weeks ago Best Free Digital Image Viewer Shubhendu Pal (not verified)

Shutterfly Studio is a good one - [Commercial software reference removed]

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3 years 34 weeks ago Best Free Digital Image Viewer DestinyJW (not verified)

Nice! I was beginning to despair of never finding a simple image viewer like the default XP one when I had to use a Windows 7 laptop for work. ArtSage (as it is now called) is lightning fast at displaying the images and lets me cycle through the images in a directory, which is all I really want from an image viewer, hence speed is everything--Windows Photo Gallery drove me NUTS because of how long it took to load the pictures (I didn't want a gallery!). (I'll edit it in a serious image editor if I want to tweak it in some way.)

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3 years 33 weeks ago Best Free Digital Image Viewer matt sullivan (not verified)

which program is best for publishing to web?

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3 years 32 weeks ago Best Free Digital Image Viewer marcdarkin

I can't answer this question properly, as I don't use any of the programs reviewed here for publishing. Some of them can generate HTML code and build slideshows or the like. At Zoner they even emphasize sharing capabilities as a strong point of their product.

But I couldn't really tell because my publishing needs go beyond uploading to Flickr or Facebook. Many image sharing sites force you to use their built-in uploaders and apps. For HTML I use a specific editor.

Maybe in our forums somebody can give a better answer.

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3 years 32 weeks ago Best Free Digital Image Viewer MaxTech (not verified)

I always used Fast Stone, until i tried Zoner Photo Studio, its so fast on start-up, it does everything i want, excellent.

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3 years 31 weeks ago Best Free Digital Image Viewer Panzer (not verified)

Fast Stone Capture (last free version) macro extension. Works like a charm.

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3 years 25 weeks ago Best Free Digital Image Viewer PCman (not verified)

Zoner - generally good, but curiously lacks dual monitor capabilities. In this age of muti-everything (some good, lots not), why would the potential of multi (or even dual) monitor setups be overlooked? I find it strange for an otherwise quite competent image manipulation package to overlook this obvious route to stardom. If Faststone & XnView can do it, then I am sure Zoner will step up to the plate & not miss this oportunity. I realise that not everyone needs or wants every bell & whistle that a software developer throws at them, but I'm all for taking advantage of the trend towards larger monitors & more of them at the low prices that were unheard of in years past! New computer systems are often multi-monitor capable out-of-the-box, & anyone that uses 'prosumer' (ugly word) camera equipment or better will be well served by software that takes advantage of equal quality hardware setups. Just get the software developers to catch up!

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3 years 24 weeks ago Best Free Digital Image Viewer syd (not verified)

Great article thanks, been looking for something like this for days! So much easier to make a choice now... I think I'll go with Zoner Photo Studio Free ;) cheers!

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3 years 23 weeks ago Best Free Digital Image Viewer AnonymousII (not verified)

Just found this one. Just fantastic! Simple, fast and lightweight.

http://sourceforge.net/projects/jpegview/

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3 years 23 weeks ago Best Free Digital Image Viewer marcdarkin

JPEGView was already in the long list of products I've tried during these years of testing for Gizmo's Freeware. I've found it's a good program in several ways: small build, light footprint, fast with average files, excellent image quality, useful basic editing tools and support for multiple CPU cores to speed up processing.

But I've come across a lot of other viewers that offer very similar features in terms of functionality; they are functional enough to satisfy users that just want a simple tool to open a folder and view its pictures in a linear flow. Of course it's a matter of personal taste and need, but I'm used to the more flexible approach that a built-in thumbnail view with a folder tree provides when inspecting multiple folders and selecting images. Batch processing options in this program are limited to rename/copy. The editor has no undo function. It supports just 5 file formats. Some degree of customization is possible via the .INI file, but this isn't very user-friendly.

As for speed, I was expecting a higher performance from the multiple-core support in the latest version and downloaded it for a test on a modern 6-core machine, 6GB RAM, 1GB graphics card, running Windows7 Ultimate 64bit. Yes, any changes to an image are processed almost instantaneously, which is excellent, and loading times are outstanding if you work with JPG or the usually small files contained in PNG or GIF (non-animated only). But most of the products reviewed above can handle TIF just as well, if not better, and even show no significant difference when dealing with the other formats under the same conditions.

So, I'm afraid I can't include JPEGView in my article. This doesn't mean I don't recommend using it. Judging by the opinions in the Source Forge site, many users find it excellent, but I'd have to endorse at least a dozen other similar apps that offer something quite as good. None of them play among the best, in my opinion.

Thanks for your suggestion anyway!

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3 years 22 weeks ago Best Free Digital Image Viewer PixelProdder (not verified)

Thanks for a rippingly good article. I've learnt much from it about all the other contenders and will be checking out some of them.

I'm a rare unhappy Zoner owner.... yes, I have the payware version. Despite many attempts to endure it I've always ended up frustrated by its UI. On my screen, even when I've closed all the toolbars allowable, it's still top-heavy, leaving me with inadequate space to comfortably edit the image. I keep wishing there was a double-headed arrow with which I could slide that top area upwards, to just leave the Menu bar.

As someone with impaired sight, I have to run my screen resolution fairly low, and my font size (which affects the menu bar) larger than normal. So these factors may also be affecting my experience of the UI.

One other thing I'd like is for the text on buttons to be either enlarged a little or made darker, or both. I'm struggling to see them easily. The tiny fonts used in the Settings dialogs are also, well.... hell.

As a result of all this UI discomfort I find Zoner too stressful to work with as it is, and would like for the developer to pay more attention to accessibility issues in the design of his windows. It looks beautiful but if a lot of folk who are visually impaired yet love to work with images, find it a strain, then there goes a portion of the customer base.

I don't want to move on to other apps, as Zoner has so much power under the hood and the developer has clearly invested a huge amount of thought and effort and love into this program and I very much want to continue to use it. Maybe in some future version?

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3 years 21 weeks ago Best Free Digital Image Viewer tatsuya (not verified)

hey can i stop zoner viewer from auto update ?

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3 years 21 weeks ago Best Free Digital Image Viewer marcdarkin

Sorry for the delay to answer.

Your comments remark an aspect that is almost completely overlooked by developers, not only in viewers but in most of the programs you can think of. I guess it has something to do with cost-efficiency, but who can convince them to include any options for people like you?

Things get even a little worse in Zoner, as it supports just single-monitor configurations, like someone has already pointed out in this page. A real inconvenience in an app like that.

I don't know whether this is a good idea, but perhaps if you manage to gather a group of people in a similar condition and then write to Zoner, they'll be willing to adapt their program to your demands or at least offer multi-monitor support. You lose nothing by trying. You could even pose it as a matter of the added business opportunity they could have by building a especial version for people with impaired sight. Surely you and people like you would be glad to pay for it, wouldn't you?

Anyway, you can count on whatever help I can give to make your situation better. In the meantime, I'm afraid you'll have to grab the biggest screen you can afford! ;)

Best regards

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3 years 21 weeks ago Best Free Digital Image Viewer marcdarkin

Unfortunately, there's no option in the program to turn off automatic updates.

The only thing you can do is disable notifications for each update when you're prompted to install them the first time by clicking on 'Do Not Install Update'. But you'll be prompted again when another update appears...

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3 years 21 weeks ago Best Free Digital Image Viewer garth

Possibly you could configure your firewall to deny it internet access?

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3 years 21 weeks ago Best Free Digital Image Viewer marcdarkin

This is a good suggestion, garth. Thanks.

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3 years 21 weeks ago Best Free Digital Image Viewer MidnightCowboy

Depending on the capabilities of the installed firewall, you could also use PeerBlock to block the IP address(s) this thing tries to connect to. These will be shown in the PeerBlock GUI log and the rule can be set by clicking on the entry(s)

http://www.peerblock.com/

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3 years 20 weeks ago Best Free Digital Image Viewer marcdarkin

Thanks, MC

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3 years 19 weeks ago Best Free Digital Image Viewer Anonymous46 (not verified)

Hello!
I have a question: Because of my work, I have to protect my images from others (copyright images).
The problem is that, many times is required to handle them from different computers (presentations etc) and I was wondering if there is a software - pictures viewer that is secure? I men a simple picture viewer that locks my files and when I access them not make temp files and other things like that. When i access them from let's say a flash drive nothing to be written on hdd (open them in RAM).
Thank you very much.

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3 years 18 weeks ago Best Free Digital Image Viewer marcdarkin

You can do what you need with a portable viewer. Portable applications are designed to minimize or avoid completely the traces left on the host OS. You may want to read these excellent articles to learn more about them:

http://www.techsupportalert.com/guide-to-portable-applications.htm
http://www.techsupportalert.com/best-free-portable-programs.htm

In my case, I use FastStone portable version for the matter because it is TruPortable. I just carry it in my flash drive along with the pictures I need to display and open it from there. As for the traces left on the host system, you can tell the app either not to use a database or set a folder for that in your flash drive: menu Settings > Thumbnail > uncheck 'Use Thumbnail Database' or specify a folder in 'Location'. Your pics are perfectly safe within your flash drive.

Of course you could use IrfanView or XnView portable versions just as well, but they aren't TruePortable apps and some traces are left on the host machine. Anyway, your pictures will always stay in your flash drive and nobody will be able to see them if you don't want to.

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