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 This is Irfan Skiljan, a Bosnian now living in Austria.  He's created, and continues to develop and maintain, what I regard as the BEST picture viewing program anywhere - and - he offers it entirely FREE!

IrfanView   is simple and compact, yet packed with really USEFUL features.  It can not only display GIF, JPG, BMP, and MOST other picture formats, but can also handle movies, audio files, almost anything.
Allows option to simply click thru to display every picture in current folder, each as either original size or fitted to match YOUR screen.
Also very easy to "compress" picture files yourself - an essential for those sending pix via email, or putting them on websites.


CLICK HERE to go an IrfanView download page

Once downloaded (just the basic program, no need for 'plugins' too) install it.  During install you can skip the 'What's New' section, then I'd suggest at the point where it offers 'Associate File Types' ignore that too [just leave all empty and click NEXT].  This can be done easily as part of the setup once it's installed.

SETUP:  (I'll add some suggestions here later, but main essential is to 'associate' IrfanView as your default viewer for just the 'main' picture formats at first:  Click OPTIONS, then PROPERTIES, then EXTENSIONS, and you'll see a long list of file extensions.  Check just BMP/DIB, GIF, and JPG/JPEG/JPE)



How to COMPRESS PICTURE files:
(1) I'd suggest first you create a temporary folder, and start with a COPY of one of your pictures (preferable a large BMP perhaps) in it.  Then you can 'play' within that folder while you experiment, and can not do any harm.

(2) Open your BMP, then click FILE then SAVE AS.

(3) Click OPTIONS at bottom of the Save As window, and ensure it's on the JPEG/GIF tab.

(4) Set the Save Quality to 30 - then click OK

(5) Ensure the 'Save In' points to your temporary folder - and perhaps add '30' to the end of your file name - then 'SAVE'.


You will now find a 'compressed' JPG version alongside your original BMP - compare the file size of each - then carefully view each in turn and compare the visual QUALITY. At a compress rate of 30 the size difference should be quite dramatic, but the picture quality WILL probably suffer noticeably, but generally the tradeoff here is worthwhile.

For broader understanding, repeat steps 2-5 but instead of 30 use 50, then again maybe with 70 - then compare all four pictures, and decide just how much size saving suits you, given the slight decrease in quality.  (Personally I use 30 most of the time, but just in special critical cases may raise this somewhat).

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How to produce SCREEN CAPTURE pictures:
Once you have a simple standard shortcut icon to IrfanView on your desktop, follow these steps:
 
(1) "copy" that shortcut, then "paste" to a free area of desktop.

(2) This will make a duplicate of that basic shortcut - RENAME that duplicate to, say, "ScreenCapture".

(3) Right click your new ScreenCapture icon and bring up Properties, then click the "shortcut" tab on there.

(4) The "target" will show something similar to this:  C:\ProgramFiles\IrfanView\i_view32.exe  -  carefully add at the END of that line, a space, and then " /capture" - then click OK.  (Note that IS a FORWARD slash there, as distinct from all the BACKslashes already in the line).
 
(5) Your "capture" shortcut is now ready to work!!  Double click it - and it should display a PICTURE OF your current desktop.  DON'T get CONFUSED !!  This is NOT "your desktop" - it is an IMAGE of your desktop.  (If you don't believe me, try clicking one of your icons - nothing will happen, BECAUSE it is NOT your desktop, it's just a PHOTO of your desktop <g>)
 
(6) IF you were now to just close the IrfanView, you would lose the Capture pic too [as yet it is only in your "clipboard" area, otherwise known as just "in MEMORY"] so first you need to SAVE it, AS a genuine (picture) FILE. 
   So click FILE then SAVE (or just key letter "S") - then choose a folder to save to (I find just "desktop" is best, personally) then save it.   By default it will be named "clipboard.jpg", and now you can send that pic to someone, or save it, or do whatever you want with it, just exactly the same as the pictures of your friends or any other "picture" files you have on your PC.

(7) Now you have your ScreenCapture shortcut icon, you can run (5) and (6) any time, to easily create a picture of your screen at that time.  Enjoy  :-)
     
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