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The Gift from Bosnia that Keeps on Giving

"Gift" is a term commonly used lightly, but not here. The oft-quoted definition of the highest degree of charity is when it is more than enough and when it is offered without being asked. Thatís just what happened in 1996 when a Bosnian software developer, Irfan Skiljan, developed a different type of graphics program, one that would capture, manipulate and organize almost every imaginable type of computer graphics image. Best of all, he made it freeware. . The fan mail hasnít stopped since.

The uses of this program are myriad. Some people use it to save images that you canít find in the form they want by simply using the old DOS Shift PrintScreen key combination, pasting that onto the Ifranview screen and saving it to more than 60 file formats. Irfanview does have it own, very sophisticated screen capture procedure. Others use it simply as a viewer and quick print device that surpasses the capabilities built into most operating systems.

Here are some of the features of this tiny (429Kb) gem. (By the way did I mention itís free?)

1. It can crop, rotate, flip, resize, recolor, sharpen and support filters. Therefore, for many photo tasks, you donít need "heavyweight" commercial programs.

2. It effortlessly changes files types of images so they can be used in many programs. These file conversions can be batched if you need to convert more than a few.

3. It can edit some harder to find files like ICO for screen graphics and unusual types such as Corel Photo Paint, Adobe Photoshop or multi-page Tiffs

4. Perhaps because itís so small and coded so well, itís very fast, allowing browsing to be done as quickly as anyone can need.

5. It keeps getting better as new versions appear. New plug-ins are constantly being written to expand its breath. Currently it supports video files like AVI and MPEG as well as sound files in MP3 and WMA formats

6. It displays every bit of information from digital photos including the EXIF data and allows comments to be added.

7, It supports capture through TWAIN driver devices.

8. It can create panorama images from separate files,

The features go on and on, needing to be discovered as they are used. Generally, if you think you would like to see a command or function, just check the well-written help file. It is probably already included! While this program cannot completely replace a great image painting program like those from Corel or Adobe, it canít be beat as a low-overhead solution to many graphics problems. As of this writing, Google has a free imaging program called Picassa that has a lot of features as well. At these prices, users canít be losers!

A gift indeed, you can download this fabulous freebie at www.download.com or www.tucows.com as well as many other sites.


Last Update:06/26/2007


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