IrfanView is a compact graphic viewer for Windows. It’s small, fast, and offers an incredible amount of features. Best of all, it’s freeware.
Per default, IrfanView comes with some basic features, including multi-language support, a large number of supported file formats, paint options, slideshow capability, batch conversion, and a lot more. The application can be enhanced further by installing a myriad of IranView plugins.
To help you get an idea what is available and make a decision which ones you really need, I’m reviewing some of the coolest IranView plugins.
IrfanView Plugins come in five different packages: a media, a formats, an effects, a misc, and a full plugin collection. In addition, there are plugins that are not yet part of any of the packages.
The packages are .zip archives and each plugin can be installed separately. The installation procedure is described in the included readme text file. The full package is also available as self-installing .exe file.
1. SLIDESHOW: Save Slideshows As An .exe or .scr file
As mentioned above, IrfanView has the capability to show slideshows of your pictures. To set up a slideshow, go to > File > Slideshow and set up your show. Per default, you can save the file names to a .txt file and re-load it to show the same slideshow again. With the slideshow plugin, you can also save your show as .exe or .scr, which will preserve all your settings.
This plugin is part of the media collection. If you would also like to burn your slideshows to a CD, get the BURNING plugin from the same plugins collection.
2. EXIF: View Exif Data From JPGs
Exchangeable Image File Format (Exif) data provide information about the camera settings used to take the respective picture. The EXIF plugin makes this information viewable for JPG images. When the plugin is installed, go to > Image > Information and click the > EXIF info* button.
This plugin is part of the misc collection.
3. FILTERS_UNLIMITED: Use Filters Unlimited plugins From PhotoShop
If you’re using PhotoShop, you can use its Filters Unlimited plugins in IrfanView with the help of this plugin. Naturally, you will need a copy of Filters Unlimited itself. The IrfanView plugin is merely an interface.
When everything was installed correctly, you can go to > Image > Effects > Filters Unlimited to start using the respective filters.
This plugin is part of the effects collection. A similar plugin is FILTER_FACTORY.
4. MPG: Extract Frames From MPEG Files
Using this plugin, you can extract a set of frames from .mpeg movies. The images will be saved as .bmp files.
This plugin is part of the formats collection.
5. FORMATS: Extend Support For Rare Image Formats
Quickly get additional file type support and view all files with these extensions in IrfanView: PSP, G3, RAS, IFF/LBM, BioRAD, Mosaic, XBM, XPM, GEM-IMG, SGI, RLE, WBMP, TTF, FITS, PIC, HDR, MAG, WAD, WAL, DNG, EEF, NEF, ORF, RAF, MRW, DCR, SRF/ARW, PEF, X3F, CAM, SFW, YUV, PVR, SIF.
This plugin is pat of the formats collection.
Some other IranView plugins from that collection should also be noted. There is QUICKTIME which obviously adds support for Quicktime files, then there is another that allows you to play MP3 files in IrfanView, and finally you can also watch Flash movies in IrfanView, if the respective plugin is installed.
6. OCR_KADMOS: Adds OCR Features
OCR_Kadmos is an optical character recognition (OCR) component for IrfanView. It will recognize and extract text from loaded images. Load an image that contains text, then go to > Options > Start OCR… (Plugin). The software window opens. Select the type of text and language, then select the text you wish to see recognized with the mouse. The recognized characters will appear in a window in the bottom left.
This plugin is not yet part of a package mentioned above. For now you have to download and install it separately.
We have previously written about IrfanView:
Which one is your favorite IrfanView plugin?