FastStone Image Viewer is an image browser, viewer, converter and editor with an easy to use interface and a nice array of features that include resizing, renaming, cropping, color adjustments, watermarks and more. It also includes an intuitive full-screen mode that provides quick access to EXIF information and thumbnail browser via hidden toolbars that emerge when you touch the edge of your screen with the mouse. Other features include a high quality magnifier and built-in slideshow with 60+ transitional effects, as well as lossless JPEG transitions, drop shadow effects, image frames, scanner support, histogram and much more. It supports all major graphic formats including BMP, JPEG, JPEG 2000, GIF, PNG, PCX, TIFF, WMF, ICO and TGA.
- Added option "Crop to Fit Full Screen" to the Slide Show tool
- Added larger thumbnail size (260 x 195 pixels) to the "Thumbnail" tab in the Settings (press F12)
- Added shortcut (Ctrl+Alt+A) for "Auto-Rotate based on EXIF Orientation Tag"
- Now it is possible to use the option "Do not resize if image is already smaller than requested size" when batch-resizing images based on one side
- Now you can tag or untag images even when the magnifier is activated
- Other small improvements and bug fixes
Reviewing 5.0 (Mar 3, 2014)
I totally agree with uberfly.
Reviewing 5.0 (Mar 3, 2014)
Insanely great, especially for free. Glad it's still being improved.
Reviewing 4.9 (Nov 14, 2013)
I rather like FastStone Image Viewer, it progressively gets better every time I come to review it. It has many useful features such as histograms, an excellent tree / file view with images, thumbnails or details mode and such which are quite on par with XnView.
Furthermore, it has basic image editing which is fine for quick touch-ups. It even has a scaled-down version of my very favorite Photoshop adjustment tool: Shadow/Highlight but unfortunately which doesn't stretch to having tonal width, radius and midtone contrast adjustments a la PS.
However, unfortunately, I don't use FastStone Image Viewer for one very simple reason, that being the clumsy awkward way it scales images to view, essentially you cannot select a portion of an image to view as an enlargement.
The 'Rolls Royce' viewer in that regard was always Hamrick's now-defunct VuePrint Pro*. With the mouse, you'd just map out/make a square of the section of the image you want enlarged then release the mouse key and voilà that area would fill the screen--a most invaluable feature for highly detailed/hi-res images.
The next in line for the throne is IrfanView, its difference from VuePrint is that after you map out the square you have to click on the square for it to enlarge/fill the screen--essentially it's an extra step, albeit a small one.
Why FastStone doesn't have this feature is truly perplexing. Instead, when one clicks on the image it simply fills the screen but without providing some way of zooming into a section of special interest. Frankly, it's most annoying.
When one sees an obviously good program but with such a glaring defect as FastStone Image Viewer has, the first question that comes to mind is how does the author/programmer use the program. Does he use it in a heavy-duty extensive way or does he just tinker with it. One can't help that FastStone's programmer just tinkers.
Pity really, this limitation kills FastStone Image Viewer for many, (and it's a key reason why IrfanView is so very popular).
* Since I started writing this I thought I'd check to see if VuePrint was still available and it is, what's more Hamrick (of VueScan fame) has made it free (although he not updating it):
Note: this isn't a replacement for FastStone or IrfanView, it is however about the fastest viewer out there, complete with the best viewer feature available.
Reviewing 4.9 (Nov 13, 2013)
This is a wonderful windows app with great continued development that should be included with every windows computer. Comes with loads and loads of features that will not disappoint. Wish that would be developed for Mac. I have emailed the developer and he has not replied. It there a Mac application that can do these types tasks? I love the skin changer, very nice
Reviewing 4.8 (Apr 6, 2013)
This continues to be the best freeware picture viewer available. IrfanView is very capable, but the interface of FastStone is much better, easier to navigate with a mouse only, and more intuitive.
With each update, more small annoyances of what I wished the program would do are removed, as the author[s] seems to have my thoughts in mind with the changes.
I have used several paid applications [for viewing alone], and none worked any better.
Multiple Instances: From my time as a windows-programming professional it was quite easy to allow multiple instances, does anyone know why FS is without support for multiple instances ?
Or did it get really complicated with the modern Windows-Versions?
I definitely hope to see this feature to start more than one instance.