How good is IrfanView!?

For those not in the know, IrfranView is a massively lightweight and powerful image viewer / manipulation program that has been around for decades. I first used it in the early 2000’s on Windows XP. It does only natively support Windows but can be ran on Linux and MacOS under Wine. It’s such a fantastic tool that I keep going back to it. It has an installer or a zip package making it handy to keep on a USB key or for systems where you can’t install software. It’s so lightweight and fast that it is a joy to use, especially when compared to the bloated modern software that we have to put up with nowadays.

My absolute favourite feature of IrfanView is the batch image processor. It has many options making it super easy to convert batches of images. Any time I’m doing documentation, I pull out IrfanView to resize my in-line images to be small and web friendly before I upload them. The batch processing window, with the keyboard shortcut of the letter ‘b’ (love it), just opens up instantly and shows its magnificence. The simplicity of the file browser, image manipulation options and output configuration in the same window is brilliant and it makes it so user friendly to use.

To demonstrate how flexible and feature rich IfranView is, I took some creative-commons free to use images and adjusted the quality, resized then renamed them. For this demo, I am using a purple image with water droplets on a leaf to show the before and after. Here is the image in its original form with the following properties:

To get into the batch processing mode, open IrfanView and press the ‘b’ key which will open the window below. The first thing to do is select if you are converting, renaming or doing both. For me, it is usually Batch conversion – rename result files. After that is selected, use the file browser on the right hand side to find the folder containing your images.

Once the images are selected, click add to add them to the input files window. Next we will go through the output and rename settings.

In this example we are using JPG, but you could output to 22 other image formats including common formats like BMP, GIF, PDF, PNG, RAW and TIF. For each out put type, there are unique compression, encoding and colour settings dependent on the standard. Some output types like RAW need a plugin to be installed before you can use them. To demonstrate compressing the images, from the options window I set the file size to 1MB. This greys out the quality slider since you are compressing to a fixed file size.

Under advanced, you can choose from many different options including cropping, resizing, colour depth, rotation, brightness, contrast etc. The options are extensive and you can easily make complicated adjustments to your resulting image files. For this test I have chosen just to reduce the size by 50% of its original width and height and leave everything else default.

When you go into the batch rename settings, you can specify a name and number pattern as well as an increment and start point for your number, as well as some other advanced options.

Once you are happy with the settings you have chosen, from the main window select ‘Start Batch’ and the processing will begin.

Here is our test image 50% of its original size, compressed to 1MB with the following properties:

As you can see, IrfanView is extremely flexible and makes batch image processing fun!

You could also achieve the same with ImageMagick’s convert command, eg.

convert pexels-pixabay-459301.jpg -resize 50% -define jpeg:extent=1M image120.jpg

But that’s a blog for another day!

Thanks for reading – Jesse