Top 5 tips for FastStone Image Viewer – A Free Image Browser, Converter and Editor

Installable and portable versions : FastStone’s website offers Image Viewer in several versions, including an installable option and a portable one. The portable version does not make any changes to Windows and keeps all its files within its own folder – you could even run it from a USB memory drive.

If you want the software on your PC, put it on your Desktop where it’s easy to access. This also makes the program easier to uninstall because you simply drag the folder to the Recycle Bin and it’s gone.

1. Resize images for email

Digital photos can be very large so, unless your email recipient needs the original images, you should resize them. FastStone Image Viewer is particularly good at this.

If you have email software installed on your PC, there’s an Email tool in Image Viewer’s File menu, which will resize your pictures and automatically load them into a draft message. If you use webmail, you’ll have to do this manually. In Image Viewer, browse to the folder containing the photos you want to email. Click the first image to select it, hold down the Ctrl key and click any other images you want to include.

In Tools, click Batch Convert Selected Images. The list on the left shows all the files in the folder, while the Input List on the right shows the images you want to convert. Choose the file format you require from the drop-down menu next to Output Format. JPEG is a good choice for emailing photos. Click Settings and set the quality to 80 if you want small files of reasonable quality, or 90 for larger, better quality images.

Back in the convert window, click the Browse button next to Output Folder, select Desktop (or another temporary space) and Create Folder. Give it a name (Email or Temp, for example). Tick Use Advanced Options, then click the Advanced Options button. Tick the box on the Resize tab and make sure Preserve Aspect Ratio is ticked and Smart Cropping is unticked. Click ‘Pick a Standard Size’ and select ‘800 x 600’ to email small images or ‘1024 x 768’ to email larger ones. Click OK and Convert.

Now you can attach the photos you’ve converted individually or zip them into a compressed folder from your right-click menu’s ‘Send to’ option.

fastone image viewer

2. Batch-rename files

Suppose you have transferred photos from your camera and they have names like P899202.JPG. You’d probably rather they were called ‘Holiday01.jpg’ and so on. Navigate to the folder containing the photos and press Ctrl+A to select them all. Click Tools, then Batch Rename Selected Images. Click inside the Template box, delete whatever is there and type Holiday##, then click Rename. The hash signs are replaced with numbers, so you get 01, 02 and so on up to 99. Add another hash to go up to 999.

3. Working with thumbnails

When you view a folder of photos as thumbnails, you can click and drag to rearrange the order. You might want to put your favourite photos first, for example.

Because thumbnail images are so small, it can be hard to tell whether they are identical or not. To properly compare them, select the two photos and press ‘P’.

4. Set the print resolution

Digital photos are composed of thousands of pixels (dots of colour). If a photo 1,000 pixels wide is printed at 100 dots per inch (DPI) it would be 10 inches wide because 10 x 100 is 1,000. At 200 dots per inch it would be five inches wide (200 x 5) and so on. So by changing the DPI setting of a photo, you can change the size of a print without having to stretch or compress it. Select a photo and click Edit, Resize/Resample. Select Print size and choose a resolution from the list. Higher numbers result in images that are sharper but smaller in size. A setting of 300 DPI is best for printing.

5. Fixing problems

Image Viewer creates databases to store information, which are updated as you use the program. If you are having problems with the software, these databases may have become corrupted. The easiest way to fix them is to delete them, so the databases can be rebuilt from scratch.

Click Start, type %appdata% and delete the files in AppData/Roaming/FastStone/FSIV. If that doesn’t work, uninstall and reinstall the software. Image Viewer’s own uninstaller removes almost everything. Just go into AppData/Roaming afterwards and delete the FastStone folder. Reinstall the software and it should fix any problems you were having.


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