Released 7th November 2012
IrfanView is a favourite Freeware Program of countless users. As the name indicates, it is an image viewer, not a photo-editor (the IrfanPaint plugin can do basic editing), but it can do most common tasks, and many things that you might not expect, like batch-renaming of any files. See the History of Changes for a complete list of the latest new features. I describe a few of them below.
For those new to IrfanView, this page gives an overview of the menu options. Please take a look at the Tutorials Pages for help on common tasks.
If you are an experienced user, I hope you will discover some new features that you overlooked.
Though I have been an enthusiastic user for many years, in putting together this web page, I discovered options I never knew existed.
If you think that you know the program well, have a look at the file called i_options.txt, which is in the program folder. You will find a long list of command-line parameters for IrfanView.
Latest Features (Since 4.33)
Although there are a lot of minor improvements, I don’t see a great deal to get excited about. Nevertheless, there are certainly enough improvements to make it well worth upgrading. The kind of changes I had hoped for, such as being able to assign my own keyboard shortcuts, or support for 32-bit PNG with alpha transparency, are still not available. Don’t you just hate it when you accidentally press Ctrl Shift S instead of Ctrl Shift A (to do some batch scanning), and set the current image as your desktop wallpaper? I frequently do that and don’t notice until I have closed down all of my programs before switching off the PC.
The multipage preview dialogue is useful if you work with multipage images — it makes it much more convenient for finding particular pages.
Some improvements to the insert text dialogue let you preview the text before adding it to the image, and there are some effects for the text such as transparency or partial transparency.
Similarly, there’s an option to preview a watermark before applying it to the image. This two little changes are worthwhile.
Support for DXF images has been added via a plugin. I guess that’s useful if you’re looking for a particular drawing in a folder of images. Converting vector images to bitmaps would not be very high on my list of priorities. Better to open them in DrawPlus where you can edit them before exporting to a bitmap format at the resolution you need. I am sure the results would be much better if Super-sampling was used. Thin lines tend to drop out unless the resolution is very high.
Exif thumbnails can now be updated when saving images. One user thought it was a security risk since someone in a photo that had been cropped would still be visible in the Exif thumbnail. I’m not sure that I agree, but anyway now the thumbnail will be updated to reflect the changes made during editing.
The Resize and Custom Selection dialogues now have an option to add user-defined sizes to the list of Standard Sizes. This could save some time.
The save dialogue also has an option to save profiles, so you could for example have different profiles for saving images for the web, for print, or for making backups of edited images.
Recent Features (Since 4.30)
When performing more than one action during batch operations, the advanced batch dialogue now offers an option to change the order in which the operations are performed, e.g. crop first then resize, or resize first, then crop, etc.
Insert an image with transparency into an image or selected area to add a watermark or overlay to an existing image. Adjust the position relative to the corners of the selection or the image, and adjust the transparency to make the watermark more subtle or to make it stand out more.
Zoom in with the image centred on the mouse pointer when using the scroll wheel.
Estimate JPG Quality
On saving a JPG image, there is now an option to estimate the original compression/quality ratio use to create the original image, and to use that in place of the slider value. If an image was previously compressed at a quality of setting of 50, there is nothing to be gained by increasing the quality to 100 — all that will do is increase the file size. Saving again with the original value will give optimal results.
In Options, Properties, Zoom/Colour Management it is now possible to enter a series of fixed values to zoom to when zooming in and out. Up to 50 values between 3 and 4,000 can be entered in the table.
This plugin will scan a folder full of images and quickly filter out only those images that contain people. Not 100% reliable, but it is quick and finds images with faces in most cases.
This format developed by Google improves compression and reduces artefacts for photographic images. WebP images are significantly smaller but better quality, than an equivalent JPG image. Opera uses WebP format for its Opera Turbo proxy server due to its relatively good quality when using very high compression. Google Chrome and Opera support WebP images, as do most browsers on the Mac.
The author's preference is for function over form, and minimalist commands. Where most programs use Ctrl Key combinations, IrfanView often uses an alphanumeric key alone, or one with shift. Selection is done by dragging a marquee with the mouse in the usual way. The cursor then changes its form and function as you move it across the marquee. Grab the sides with the arrows to resize the mask, or click with the magnifying glass to zoom in. Right click to move the selection.
Enter or double-click will switch to full-screen mode, where the left and right mouse buttons or the cursor keys will browse through all supported files in the current folder. Enter or Escape will return to window mode.
Plus and minus on the Numeric keypad will zoom in or out. Right mouse will show the hand cursor for panning the image or moving a selection.
For specific help with using IrfanView, please join the IrfanView Support Forum.
IrfanView Menus • Thumbnails Menus
Open (shortcut O) The Open dialogue opens at the last used folder — a drop list on the File Open dialogue shows a list of recently used folders. The preview shows the width, height, colours, memory and disk size of the selected image. Tool tips show the file dimensions and type. The files of type drop down list shows all supported file types — select a file type to filter the list of images to show only files of that type.
Reopen (Shift R) Reopens the current file without prompting to save any changes (even if the option to ask on exit or file/image change).
Open with External Editor (Shift E) Open the current image in another program as defined in Properties, Miscellaneous. Shortcut Ctrl N opens the current file in a new instance of IrfanView.
Open as: HEX file, ASCII file, RAW opens any file in the Hexadecimal Viewer. Some graphic images have comments, copyright info etc., embedded in the file. The Hex editor will display this as ASCII text on the right. Any file can be opened as text and displayed as a graphic. Raw images can also be opened.
Thumbnails (T) The thumbnail browser has its own menus, which are described below.
Slideshow (W) Create a stand-alone executable or screen-saver from your favourite pictures. To save space you can save your slideshow as a text file, and use that to run your slideshow from IrfanView or from the command line. Slideshow options include delay, sort order, random, continuous loop, automatic, or after keyboard/mouse input. Left/right buttons scroll back and forth.
Batch Conversion/Rename (B) Batch Conversion can quickly process many files at once: reducing the number of colours, changing colours, brightness, or contrast, resampling proportionally or to fixed dimensions, rotate, flip, converting to different formats, etc. Batch Renaming can rename any files, not only graphic images. Wild-cards permit you to retain part of the original file name.
Search files... (Ctrl F) Find files in the selected folder (and subfolders) by filename pattern, by date, by contained IPTC, EXIF, or Comment data, or containing a text string. Sort by name, extension, date, or size. Remove selected files from search results. Show remaining files in the viewer (the IrfanView window), in Fullscreen, or as thumbnails in the Thumbnail viewer.
Rename File (F2) Rename the current open file. You have to name a file first before you can rename it. An image pasted from the clipboard is named clipboard## until it is saved.
Move File (F7) Moves the current file to any of fourteen favourite folders. New folders will be created automatically if they do not yet exist.
Copy File (F8) Copies the current file to any of fourteen favourite folders.
Delete File (Del) Deletes the current file from disk.
Save (original folder) (Ctrl S) Saves the current file to disk, in the last used (or preferred folder), in its current format.
Save as (S) Saves the current file to disk, in the last used (or preferred folder), and graphic format.
Save for Web… (plugin) Optimise image size using the RIOT plugin.
Print (Shift P) Opens the print dialogue for the default printer
Select TWAIN source Select a scanner or camera
Acquire (Ctrl A) Acquires an image from the selected scanner
Batch Scanning (Ctrl A) Acquires multiple image from the selected scanner, and saves them as sequentially numbered files in the chosen format, or as a single multiple image if the TIF format is used.
Copy Shop Prints multiple images from the selected scanner on the default printer.
Exit (Esc) Closes IrfanView. Alt F4 will also close the program
Undo (Ctrl Z) Undo the last action
Redo (Ctrl J) Redo the last action
Show Paint Dialog (F12) Display or Hide the IrfanPaint Plugin Toolbar. This toolbar can be snapped to either edge of the IrfanView window so that it moves if the window is moved or resized. See the IrfanPaint page for details.
Create Custom Crop Selection (Shift C) Set precise size and position of selection instead of dragging with the mouse. Choose from standard screen sizes, pixels, cms, or inches, or restrain the aspect ratio of the selection. The selection can be moved with the right mouse later. Holding down the control key while resizing the selection with the mouse will maintain the aspect ratio.
Create Maximised Crop Selection (ratio:) Create the largest selection possible using the aspect ratio chosen from the submenu — 3:2 4:3 16:9 16:10 etc.
Maximise and Centre Selection Create the largest selection possible using the aspect ratio of the current selection, and centre it on the image.
Show Selection Grid Show a Golden Ratio or Thirds grid within the selection marquee.
Insert text (Ctrl T) Overlay text on an area of an image. Usually the background of the text is transparent, but this can be changed to a coloured background to make a quick label. Font size, typeface, and colour can all be changed.
Insert Overlay/Watermark Image Insert an image as a watermark or stamp into the current image or selection using transparency.
Cut - selection (Ctrl X) Cut the selection, filling the selection with the background colour for cut set in Properties, Browsing/Editing
Cut - area outside of selection Fill the area around the selection with the background colour for cut.
Crop selection (Ctrl Y) Crop the image to the selection.
Autocrop Borders (Ctrl Shift Y) Crops any border of uniform colour from image. The colour tolerance can be set in Properties, Browsing/Editing.
Capture Visible Window Area Crop to the area currently visible in the window
Copy (Ctrl C) Copy the image inside the selection to the clipboard
Paste (Ctrl V) Paste the clipboard contents into IrfanView replacing the entire image, or paste it into the selected area to add it to the current image.
Paste Special Paste the clipboard contents enlarging the canvas on the Left, Right, Top or Bottom enough to retain the aspect ratio of the clipboard contents.
Delete - clear display (D) Clears the current image from memory without closing IrfanView (this does not delete the file from disk like Del on the File menu).
Clear Clipboard Empty the contents of the Windows clipboard.
Information (I) Lists file information: Filename, folder, compression, resolution, original size, current size, original colours, current colours, number of unique colours, disk size, current memory size, current folder index, file date/time, loaded in (time to load file in milliseconds), and Comments. If there is EXIF or IPTC information in the images, buttons to display this are shown.
Create New image Set the file size, resolution, number of colours, and background colour for a new image.
Create Panorama image Create a montage or panorama image from several images
Rotate Left (L) Rotate 90° anticlockwise
Rotate Right (R) Rotate 90° clockwise
Custom fine rotation (Ctrl U) Rotate image in 0.01° increments and set background colour for canvas border needed by that rotation. The straighten tool in IrfanPaint (F12) can also be used for fine rotation using a visible horizon in the image as a guide.
Vertical Flip (V) Mirror image vertically
Horizontal Flip (H) Mirror image horizontally
Resize/Resample (Ctrl R) Change the number of pixels in the image. Half, double, scale, resize to common screen resolutions. Resampling will make a best guess of the right colour pixels to add or merge when resizing. The listed filters are used only for enlarging. An internal filter is used for downsampling.
Change Canvas Size (Shift V) Add borders to any side of the image. Choose the border colour to add a coloured border to an image.
Add Border/Frame (Ctrl D) Add predefined borders to make picture frames.
Increase Colour Depth Increase the maximum possible number of colours in the image.
Decrease Colour Depth Decrease the maximum possible number of colours in the image
Convert to Grayscale Convert to 256 shades of grey.
Show Channel Show only Red, Green, Blue, or Alpha Channel (if available).
Negative Invert the colours in the image, to make it look like a photographic negative
Colour correction (Shift G) Adjust Red, Green, Blue, contrast, brightness, saturation and gamma values
Histogram (Shift H) Show histogram
Auto adjust colours (Shift U) Automatically adjusts brightness and gamma values. Select an important area of the image first to improve results.
Sharpen (Shift S) Increase the contrast between adjacent pixels
Red eye reduction (Shift Y) Reduce the red values in the selection
Effects (Ctrl E) Use the menu to apply default effects directly, or use Ctrl E to modify the options for each effect:. Further effects are available via plug-Ins.
Swap Colours Exchange one set of colour values for another
Palette View a palette of colours used in the current image and obtain their colour index (for choosing a transparent colour). Edit individual colours in an image, import or export palettes. Options only available for 256 colours or fewer.
Properties (P) Change program options.
Start/Exit Options: Set program start folder, Only 1 instance of IrfanView is active, Start in fullscreen mode, Warning on ESC to exit, Ask to save changes on exit or change image, Close viewer only on ESC if Thumbnail viewer active.
JPG/PCD/GIF: JPG Load Options: Autorotate according to Exif info (if available), Load as greyscale (please REMEMBER if you activate this option), Photo CD Loading Size, Play Animated GIFs, Show transparency in on-animated GIFs too.
Extensions: Associated file extensions, Icons, Load only associated types when browsing, Load custom file types, Shell Options (Windows Explorer context menu).
Viewing: Enable colour management, Show PNG/TIF/TGA/DDS transparency, Show embedded TIF annotations, Dither 24 BPP images on 16-bit displays, Apply Gamma correction (Default 1), Apply Gamma for B&W images, Zoom step (default 10%), Zoom calculation method (Relative, Absolute, Fixed step), Show full file path in Title bar, Use right mouse button for context menu (Default scrolling), Centre window when loading new image, Remember last window size/position, Main window colour, Status bar text (right field)
Zoom/Colour Management: Zoom using Relative or Absolute steps, or a fixed table of zoom values (allows up to 50 ordered values between 3% and 4,000%). Enable Colour Profiles.
Browsing/Editing: View all files in folder, Show hidden files/folders, Loop current folder, Beep on folder loop, Jump to next image if page up/down keys or scroll-wheel used if vertical scroll-bar visible, Multipage images — change page if page up/down keys used. Editing: Use Undo option (need more memory for original image), Import palette (use nearest colour), Paste into selection Fit (default stretch), Paste Special Fit clipboard image to displayed image, Show channels in colour, Tolerance value for Autocrop borders, Background colour for cut, Options for text files paste text.
Fullscreen/Slideshow: Display options, Magnifier, Resample for fit/zoom, Alpha blending between images, Use right mouse button for scrolling large images, Multiple monitor mode: Stretch images over all monitors, Screen colour, Text/font colour, Text position/alignment, Hide mouse cursor, Show text.
Video/Sound: Use external player (plugin required), Use internal player Use DirectShow, Loop, Hide playbar in fullscreen mode, Video window size, Apple QuickTime options (plugin required).
File Handling: Default “copy to” folder, Show Copy Dialogue, Default “move to” folder, Show Move dialogue, Ask me before deleting (if activated in Recycle Bin settings), Delete to recycle bin, Jump to next file after Deleting/Moving, Close IrfanView after file delete, Show Save dialogue for Save, Ask to overwrite file for Save/Save as, Ask to rename if incorrect extension, Don’t change folder index after file renaming.
Language: Default interface language (check www.irfanview.com for available languages), Info about translator, Load Unicode plugin at program start.
Toolbar: Select Toolbar Skin, Select Toolbar Icons, Info about skin creator. (More skins) A toolbar skin consists of a single transparent PNG image of 19 icons for 19 commands in this order — Open, Slideshow, Thumbnails, Save as, Print, Delete, Cut, Copy, Paste, Undo, Info, Zoom in, Zoom out, Previous File, Next File, Previous Page, Next Page, Properties, About — and a plain text file named “<skin filename>.txt” with just four lines:
Plugins: Options for RAW images: Try to load embedded preview image, Try to load CRW/CR2 using canon.dll plugin, Load half-sized image (faster, using Formats plugin), Use Automatic white balance, Use camera white balance (if possible), Default text for TTF files. Postscript Options: Retrieve Ghostscript Locations from system registry (recommended), Custom path for experts (write full DLL path/name), Set paper size, DPI, Enable antialiasing (better quality). MrSID Options: Loading size, JPM Options: Load all layers, Load text, Load image, Load text+image.
Miscellaneous: Open slideshow dialogue in last used slideshow folder, Open Batch dialogue in last used batch folder, Show recent folders in File Open dialogue, Clear recent folders, Create desktop shortcut for IrfanView (Shortcut Ctrl Alt I), Set External Editors, Send short filename to external editor, If several thumbnails selected, send all filenames in one call.
Change Language Choose from English or German for the interface. Download language DLLs for: Czech/Cesky, Bulgarian, French, Chinese, Nederlands, Hungarian, Russian, Ukrainian, Uzbek, Slovak, Portugues-Brasil, Catalan, Italian, Polski
Set file associations Decide which files you want to open with IrfanView
Start Multimedia Player Use a plug-in to play music
Stop Animation (G) Freeze animation at current frame. To restart, choose reopen from the file menu.
Extract all frames Extract each frame in the animation as a separate image
Multipage Images: Create multipage TIF, PDF, or JPM images. Edit Multipage TIF, Append current image to TIF, Print all pages, or Extract all pages.
Send file by E-mail (Shift+M) Use a plug-in to send images by e-mail
JPG Lossless Rotation (Shift J)
JPG Lossless Crop (Ctrl Shift J) Without the plug-in, rotating JPG images usually causes image degradation.
Capture/Screenshot (C) Capture any window as an image using a hot key
Start OCR (plugin) (F9) Convert text in image to real text
Sort directory files: Sort files in current folder by: name, name XP style, date, size, or extension
Set as Wallpaper (Ctrl Shift C,T,S,X,P) Set current image as your desktop wallpaper: Centred (C), Tiled (T), Stretched (S), or Stretched proportional (X). Ctrl Shift P to return to the previous wallpaper.
Minimise (M) Minimise IrfanView to the Windows taskbar.
Always on Top Keep IrfanView on top of other windows, even when not active.
Show/hide Status bar (Alt+Shift+S) Show or hide the status bar at the bottom of the window
Show/hide toolbar (Alt+Shift+T) Show or hide the toolbar at the top of the window
Show/hide menu bar (Alt+Shift+M) Show or hide the menu bar. Unlike in some other programs, you cannot access the hidden menu - you must display it again first with Alt+Shift+M
Show/hide caption (Alt+Shift+C) Show or hide the windows title bar. With this hidden you cannot move the window, but you can still resize it.
Show Toolbar options/skins Select a skin and which toolbar buttons to display
Display Options Toggle between "Fit images to desktop" (F) and "Fit window to image (1:1 recommended)" (Shift O) Submenu offers more options, "Fit only big images to desktop," (Shift F), etc., and options to resample on zoom and/or fit.
Full screen (Enter) Toggles between window and fullscreen mode. Not the same as maximising the window. All the toolbars and menus disappear. One can use this mode for browsing files in the current folder with left/right cursor keys
Show Fullscreen Options Shows fullscreen options dialogue
Next File in folder (Space) Open the next file in the current folder (first if at end)
Previous File in folder (Backspace) Opens the previous file in the current folder (last if beginning)
First File in folder (Ctrl+Home) Open the first file in the current folder
Last File in folder (Ctrl+End) Open the last file in the current folder
Random File in folder (Ctrl+M) Open a random file in the current folder
Refresh (F5) Refresh the currently displayed image
Start/stop automatic viewing (Shift+A) Starts/stops a slideshow of images in the current folder.
Zoom in (+) Zoom in by 10% up to 990%
Zoom out (-) Zoom out by 10% down to 10% (Either numeric or typing keys will work)
Lock Zoom (Shift+L) When display is "Fit to Image" disable the zoom keys
Keep Scroll Position Maintain current scroll position while browsing
Original Size (Ctrl+H) Zoom to 100%
Show HEX View (F3) When viewing in ASCII mode view in hex mode
Multi-page Images: Next, Previous, First, Last, Open page, Show thumbnails, Start/Stop Animation.
IrfanView Help (F1) Open the help file
Frequently Asked Questions Opens the FAQ topic in the help file
Keyboard Shortcuts Opens the Keyboard shortcuts topic in the help file
Installed PlugIns List all the PlugIns currently installed
Thanks Appreciation of all the positive feedback
Credits Acknowledgement of help received from other programmers
Registration IrfanView is entirely free for private, educational, and charity use. For commercial use the fee is just $10 or €10 or about £6.50
Check for Updates Check for updates and view results in browser
Usage Info License and registration info
About IrfanView (A) Copyright and version number
The Thumbnail Browser
When you open the thumbnail browser, the left window shows the folder tree. As soon as you click on a folder, IrfanView starts generating thumbnails for the files in that folder. Thumbnail generation is very fast, but the process can be interrupted if necessary.
Images can be moved or copied with the mouse or opened at full size in IrfanView. They can be sorted by name, type, size, or date, in ascending or descending order. After selecting several thumbnails, you can run a slideshow, combine them in a single image, make an html page that displays the thumbnails and links them to the full images, create a contact sheet, open the batch process dialogue to perform the same changes on them, or print them all as single images.
For sound files it will just generate icons, for TrueType fonts, and Text Files, it will generate a miniature preview. MP3 and WAV files can be played via Plug-Ins, TrueType fonts open with a user defined text sample, text files can be opened too, but are converted to B&W graphics at 96 dpi.
Move selected files (F7)
Copy selected files (F8)
Delete selected files (Del)
Start slideshow with selected files
Save selected files as current slideshow
Append selected files to current slideshow
Start batch dialog with selected files
Transfer selected files by FTP
Save selected filenames as TXT
JPG Lossless Operations: Lossless Rotation (Shift J), Lossless crop, Set comment to selected files (Ctrl Shift M), Set IPTC data to selected files (Ctrl I).
Create contact sheet from selected files: Set the overall dimensions of the contacts sheet, the number of rows and columns, the gaps between rows and columns, and the margins. Add an optional header, footer, and selected file information for each image. Allow enough space to fit the text at the chosen font size.
Start panorama dialogue with selected files
Save selected thumbs as an image
Save selected thumbs as single images
Save selected thumbs as HTML file
Print selected files as single images
Save thumbnails as files
Print selected files as single images (batch print)
Send selected files by Email
Send original files by Email
Open with external editor Open original files with external editor. Choose a suitable program from the Properties, Miscellaneous dialogue.
Start Face Detection with Selected Files:
Start Face Detection with Current Folder:
Save current window layout/position
Select All (Ctrl A)
Set Thumbnail Options: Use resample (better quality), Select thumbnail size from the list, Stretch small images to thumbnail size, Paint thumbnail borders, Border colour, Window colour, Auto-scroll thumbnails during creation, Warning if not true colour display, Use full file path for sorting (if subfolders loaded), Set number of recently used directories, Clear list of MRUD, Show thumbnail info, Show common Shell folders, Warn on ESC to exit.
Sort Thumbnails: Name, XP Name, Date, Exif Date, Size, Extension, Width, Height, DPI, Orientation.
Load File List from TXT File:
Load Thumbs from all subfolders:
Search Files (Ctrl F):
Most Recently Used Directories:
Remove Selected Thumbs from List (Ctrl Del): Removes thumbnails only, does not delete files.
Refresh (F5): Generate thumbnails again starting from the first file.
Stop: Interrupts thumbnail generation.
Exit: Exit thumbnail viewer. (Leaves IrfanView open)