We’ve handpicked four of the best free image viewers you can download today.
If you’re a photographer, or simply have a lot of pictures stored on your computer, one thing you might like to download for free is a decent image viewer.
An image viewer or photo viewer is a software application which enables you to display digital images from your computer system, mobile phone, or digital camera. Most image viewers support a range of graphics file formats, associated with various types of photographic hardware, operating systems, or imaging devices.
These days, many image viewers combine several functions besides viewing, allowing the software to be used for cataloguing graphics files, annotating them, creating slide-shows, and even editing your pictures. Perhaps not as intricately as you could with a full-blown image editing suite, but certainly well enough for sharing purposes.
We’ve assembled four of the best image viewers for you to consider. And you can download them all from FileHippo for free.
FastStone Image Viewer
FastStone Image Viewer is an image viewer and organiser for Microsoft Windows, which also includes some basic tools for image editing. Initially released by FastStone Soft in 2004, the software has been designed for all flavours of Microsoft’s operating system, from Windows 98 (Remember that? Your dad probably does), through to Windows 10.
FastStone Image Viewer uses a familiar Windows Explorer-style interface and is a user-friendly image browser, converter and editor. It incorporates a full screen viewer with image zoom support and a unique set of fly-out menu panels. This provides quick access to EXIF information, a thumbnail browser, and major functions which appear via hidden tool-bars which pop up whenever your mouse touches one of the four edges of the screen. And for close quarters work, there’s a one-click image magnifier, which can be customised.
Features of the software include image viewing, editing, image management, comparison, red-eye removal, resizing, cropping, retouching, colour adjustments, and an email function. The image editing suite is quite powerful, with tools for geometrical transformations (rotate, flip, etc.), cloning portions of an image, text creation, and a modest set of special effects, such as sepia, drop shadows, oil painting, and lens distortion.
There’s support for a number of standard image formats, including BMP, JPEG, JPEG 2000, animated GIF, PNG, PCX, PSD, EPS, TIFF, WMF, ICO and TGA.
For digital camera images, FastStone Image Viewer supports the CRW, CR2, NEF, PEF, RAF, MRW, ORF, SRF, ARW, SR2, RW2 and DNG variations of the standard RAW format.
The software features plug and play support for a range of scanners, and includes a musical slide-show function with over 150 transition effects.
FastPictureViewer bills itself as a freemium image viewer for Windows XP, as well as later versions of the Microsoft operating system. Its primary goal is to act as a tool for the rapid review, rating, and annotation of large numbers of digital images.
Designed for photographers, FastPictureViewer boasts of the rate at which it processes RAW picture files. But there’s also support for several alternative graphics file formats, including Adobe DNG. Specialist formats like OpenEXR, DDS, and PNM are supported via separately installable image codecs.
FastPictureViewer includes powerful workflow tools to help automate picture file management duties like copy, move, delete, and save-for-web. Its display features instant zooming to a 100% view, allowing quick checks on image sharpness. And – depending on your system memory and processing power – there’s instantaneous or near-instantaneous display of the next image in each sequence.
The software has a simple user interface from which it does a few things very well – most notably, handling large digital images, thousands at a time, at a brisk pace. Its rule-based batch file management resembles the message handling rules in Microsoft Outlook, allowing users to perform copy, move, or export jobs with just a few clicks.
FastPictureViewer numbers Sony Online Entertainment, Electronic Arts, and Blizzard Entertainment among its active user base.
Apowersoft HEIC Photo Viewer
When it released iOS 11, Apple introduced HEIF (High Efficiency Image Format), a proprietary graphics file format which replaced the more familiar JPEG files, on Apple’s mobile platform.
As its name suggests, Apowersoft HEIC Photo Viewer supports the HEIC (the extension which holds HEIF images) format, along with other professional imaging formats such as RAW, PSD, CDR, and the more mainstream PNG, JPG, BMP, and TIFF. It also acts as a viewer and reader for PDF files.
Specialised formats in PhotoShop, CorelDraw, Ai and other mainstream photo editors are supported, and Apowersoft HEIC Photo Viewer is also capable of opening and viewing photographic files taken by Canon, Sony, Nikon, Olympus, Matsushita, and other popular digital cameras.
Billing itself as “absolutely the best alternative to Windows Photo Viewer”, Apowersoft HEIC Photo Viewer has been designed with lower specification computer systems in mind and consumes little memory or processing power.
You can scroll across long pictures with your mouse wheel, and the software includes an enhanced screen-shot function allowing you to capture portions of the screen or entire windows, complete with annotation tools, including text, lines, arrows, and symbols. Apowersoft HEIC Photo Viewer also includes tools for processing images in batches. You can resize, rename, or convert image file formats with just a few clicks.
For image sharing, Apowersoft HEIC Photo Viewer offers EmailCloudSocial, a function which allows users the ability to configure which social media sites they most often use for sharing photos. There’s also a free cloud service for uploading and sharing images to blogs, online forums, and more.
XnView is an image organiser and general-purpose file manager used for viewing, converting, organising and editing raster/bitmap graphics.
Compatible with the Microsoft Windows, Windows Mobile, Linux, and macOS operating systems, XnView can read over 400 different image file formats, making it a powerful tool for software developers, who need to ensure that various kinds of image files will look good and port well to different operating platforms. XnView also has export capabilities for around 50 graphic file formats.
In its latest version, XnView incorporates performance enhancements for speed-optimised image loading, improved caching, and multi-core processing, and its multi-platform version has a new modular interface that offers Unicode support with enhanced translations for many languages.
Download Free at FileHippo
If you’re looking for graphics applications, there’s a selection of image viewers, image editors, image managers, and more available at FileHippo, to download for free.
Head over and browse our selection of fantastic and 100% vetted software today.