Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Irfanview, a very good and free photo editor (image or picture editor)

I use Irfanview photo editor extensively. It has lots of useful features and best of all, it is free (creator do accept voluntary donations). If you want to download and install Irfanview, just type or copy-paste "irfanview download" into the search box above, tick the WEB radio button, and you will find lots of sites from which to download the installation file.

With Irfanview, you will be able to open, create and save images in a wide range of formats and convert one file format to another. Formats available are shown in the table below:

Window Bitmap.bmp
Enhanced Compressed Wavelets.ecw
Enhanced Window Metafile.emf
EA Sports Format.fsh
Compuserve GIF.gif
Windows Icon.ico
JPEG2000 Format.jp2
JPEG Files.jpg
JPM Format.jpm
LuraDocument Format.ldf
LuraWave Format.lwf
Zsoft Paintbrush.pcx
Portable Bitmap.pbm
Portable Graymap.pgm
Portable Network Graphics.png
Portable Pixelmap.ppm
RAW Image DataRAW Image Data
Truevision Targa.tga
Tagged Image File Format.tif

If you intend to add a favicon to your blog, the Windows Icon format (.ico) will come in handy.

There are many other things you can do with Irfanview photo editor. From FILE in the menu bar, you can open and save graphic files, create thumbnail images, make slideshow, batch convert files, print, send scanned images to printer, acquire images from TWAIN devices.

From EDIT in the menu bar, you can paste images copied into clipboard (good for doing screenshots). You can drag and drop your mouse in an opened image to make a selection box, crop the selection, insert text into the selection, insert a copyright notice into the image, cut out the selection from the image, etc.

From IMAGE in the menu bar, you can create an empty of a size and background color of your choice, drag and drop your mouse in the empty image to create a selection box, paste images or text into the selection box, rotate or resize images, change color depth or turn into negative, convert color images into grayscale, enhance color, sharpen images, do red eye reduction, create various effects like make a 3D button, blur the image, create sepia image, make raindrops so it appear like you are looking at the image through a raindrop covered window, etc.

From OPTION, you can chose the language option. Available in my version (3.98) is English and German. Available languages for the version 4.00 (you may need to download) include

English (always included)
Italian Server
Russian Server
Chinese Server
Dansk Server
Albanian Server
Uzbek Server

You can also do JPEG lossless operations, caption screenshot which will include the mouse cursor (this also can be done by just clicking the C key), set as wallpaper, etc.

From VIEW in the menu bar, you can zoom in, zoom out, show HEX (hexadecimal) view, etc.

There is one thing you can do with Irfanview, that is to highlight something with a colored ellipse, rectangle, draw lines, erase part of the image, fill an area with color, etc. For that I use Windows Paint (always available from Windows accessories). Thus for my photo editing, I normally use Irfanview, and when there are things I can't do with Irfanview, I save the file, open it in Windows Paint, do whatever necessary, save and if necessary, open the file in Irfanview and start again.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Irfanview for creating thumbnails

I have done tests to put thumbnail in blog post and you can view the result of the tests at Make thumnail with Irfanveiw photo editor: Test

This was how I did the thumbnail. I click FILE > THUMBNAILS from the menu bar at the top of Irfanview. Then I click on the drive and the folder where the images are stored in the computer. I then select the images I want. You can select multiple images by holding down the CTRL key and then clicking on the images. If you select the wrong photo, you can deselect it by clicking on it again. When you are done, click FILE > CREATE CONTACT SHEET FROM SELECTED THUMBS.... in the menu bar again. Then type in or chose your options in the contact sheet. When you are happy with your choice, click CREATE and wait for your thumbnail to be created. If you are happy with the result, click FILE > SAVE or FILE > SAVE AS to save the thumbnail into a folder where you can easily find it again.

Open your post editor, prepare your post, upload the thumbnail. The thumbnail will by default always be posted to the top of your post. Change its position in the post to wherever you want. If you are not familiar with doing that with Blogger, refer to Uploading and manipulating images with Google Blogger. Preview and if satisfied, click PUBLISH POST.

Amzon products for digital cameras

I did the test thumbnail twice. First time with a gray background, font size 10 and height 450 pixels. I wasn't happy with the result. I tried creating the thumbnail again many times, finally settling for a white background, font size 12 and height 200 pixels. You can see a screenshot of the final contact sheet below (click to enlarge):

Irfanview photo editor contact sheet

I had a second look at the thumbnail. Looks like it would have been better if I had chosen a height slightly higher than 200 pixels because part of the copyright notice at the bottom of the thumbnail is covered by an image.

There are other ways to do thumbnails and I will make posts about them later when I am finished with the more urgent tasks.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Resize images with Irfanview

Irfanview can be used to resize image. With the image opened, click on IMAGE (highlighted with red ellipse) in the menu bar at the top of the program, then select RESIZE/RESAMPLE (or ctrl+R). You will get a "Pop-up" where you can enter the new width and/or height of the image. You may chose to keep the aspect ratio constant so that the image remain undistorted by ticking the box next to "Preserve aspect ratio" (highlighted with red ellipse), then typing in the new width (highlighted with red ellipse) and click "OK". See screenshot below:

Irfanview photo editor resize image

The height will automatically change so that the image remain undistorted.

If you want to determine the width of the height of the resized image yourself, untick the box next to "Preserve aspect ratio". In this case, the image may become distorted (different from the original image).