FastStone Image Viewer…

When you buy a digital camera it usually ships with some type of digital imaging software. Same goes with scanners. I never install those packages, due they are often cumbersome, want to connect to the internet, and will often slow a system down. Windows XP and Vista, more than often, will automatically recognize those devices without having to install the software. On occasions you may have to install a driver and that is usually available on the same CD that the software is on. So what do I use for my imaging and scanning software? I currently use a FREE software program called FastStone Image Viewer. This program is awesome in the aspect that it does more than just view images (see features below). One really nice option with this software is that there is a portable version available, which can be installed on your flash drive. In my opinion, this is the best FREE full featured image utility out there.


Features (as indicated on the website):

  • Image browser and viewer with a familiar Windows Explorer-like user interface
  • Support of many popular image formats: (BMP, JPEG, JPEG 2000, animated GIF, PNG, PCX, TIFF, WMF, ICO and TGA) and popular digital camera RAW formats (CRW, CR2, NEF, PEF, RAF, MRW, ORF, SRF and DNG). 
  • True Full Screen viewer with image zoom support and unique fly-out menu panels
  • Crystal-clear and customizable one-click image magnifier
  • Superior Red-Eye effect removal/reduction with completely natural looking end result
  • Image modification tools: Resize/resample, rotate/flip, crop, sharpen/blur, brightness/contrast, etc. 
  • Eleven (yes, 11) resampling algorithms to choose from when resizing images
  • Image color effects: gray scale, sepia, negative, Red/Green/Blue adjustment
  • Image special effects: watermark, annotation, drop shadow, framing, bump map, lens, morph, waves
  • Multi-level Undo/Redo capability
  • One-touch best fit/actual size image display support
  • Image management, including tagging capability, with drag-and-drop and Copy To/Move To Folder support
  • Histogram display with color counter feature
  • Compare images side-by-side (up to 4 at a time) to easily cull those forgettable shots
  • Image EXIF metadata support (plus comment editing for JPEGs)
  • Configurable batch processing to convert/rename large or small collections of images
  • Slideshow creation with 150+ transition effects and music support (MP3, WMA, WAV…)
  • Create efficient image attachment(s) for emailing to family and friends
  • Print images with full page-layout control
  • Create fully configurable Contact Sheets – just like the pros (and save $$$ on ink)
  • Create memorable artistic image montages from your family photos for personalized desktop wallpapers (Wallpaper Anywhere)
  • Acquire images from a scanner
  • Versatile screen capture capability
  • Powerful Save As interface to compare image quality and control generated file size
  • Run favorite programs with one keystroke from within Image Viewer
  • Create a no-install fully portable version of the program which can be run from a removable storage device
  • Configurable mouse wheel support
  • Supports multiple program skins
  • Supports dual-monitor configurations
  • And much more… 



For a great review on a terrific alternative image viewer, checkout Irfanview, by my north of the border friend, Bill Mullins, on his site 
Tech Thoughts

6 thoughts on “FastStone Image Viewer…

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  1. I do not want to subtract from either your review, or from FastStone (both are excellent!), but I think your readers who are looking at image editing software should also be aware of the Photoshop clone, Paint.NET– another excellent piece of freeware.

    Each has it’s area of advantage over the other, so on the machine I use for my Webmastering, I have them both. (Though, with my Photoshop background, I tend to favor the Paint.NET)

    I look forward to your next tip!


  2. Down and dirty? Sounds good!
    I often lament having to install HUGE programs just so I can access one tool.

    I haven’t heard of PhotoFiltre, so I’ll be experiencing something new. Thanks!


  3. Wow!! I haven’t heard a reference to PhotoFiltre in a donkey’s age.

    This is a great little application that can do some amazing things without the user having to crack open the books and spend forever learning the program.

    Some of the lesser known apps, such as PhotoFiltre, need broader exposure, and I’m glad to see you have done so here.




  4. Photofiltre has some amazing filters and adjustments. The basic install doesn’t have histogram, levels adjustment, or white balance but with plugins you can extend to this functionality. It also has negative, RGB swap, file explorer and automation. I use it for texting with progressive contour; gaussian, fissured filtera nd so on. For basic adjustments you have no brainer contrast, color, and gamma. The gamma is a magic tool. It does have clone stamping tool but it is ahrd to use.

    I use Paint.NET for layers, curves and levels adjustment and it’s excellent clone stamping tool. You just have to have computer that can handle the rendering which is any P4 and up with 256 MB (minimum).

    For conversion I used Xnview and for icon managment Irfanview. Although I used Irfanview for general resizing and Genuine Fractals for enlargments. For general RAW conversion and adjustment I use Stepok’s RAW Importer, PhotoME is my standalone EXIF/IPTC editor. I use Noise Ninja for noise removal, which is as simple as Photofiltre, to use, from advanced viewing of noise in each color and luminance channel to a 4-click noise removal process.

    I am testing several image viewers: Fastone (simple and effective), Pictomio (eyecandy but practical), FastPictureViewer (really promising), and PicaJet (full fledged photo managment workflow that is solid). I favor PicaJet for an exceptional Adobe Bridge or ACDSee alternative, expecially paired with it’s RoboImport software, an amazing automated photo acquistion.

    I have been playing around with Ai Picture Utility for photo quality comparison; slideshow generation by XnView and Fastone; gallery creation by FlipAlbum, MyPictures3D, and MyPhotoAlbum (personal use). To round out my lab I use hueyPro monitor calibration and JPEGsnoop for recovering photos at the binary level.


  5. Thank you for such a great response and detailed overview of the various image editing packages out there (and their strengths). It appears you have a great deal of expertise in photo imaging and editing.

    In reference to PhotoFiltre, you may want to try their paid version (PhotoFiltre Studio). My guess is, you may already have.

    Again thank you!


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