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Author Topic: Xnview vs. Irfan View  (Read 39741 times)
mouser
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« on: July 06, 2005, 06:33:15 AM »

I thought it might be good to start a thread comparing these two - i have a hard time deciding between them.

I have been using irfanview daily for many years, and have gotten used to its idiosyncrasies.

Using xnview again lately, its a more calming experience - it has an excellent file browser.  the irfanview "thumbnail view" is one of the worst looking things even to be seen on a computer screen.  very win 3.1.

And the options tabs in xnview are easier to navigate and clearer.

But both of them have their pros and cons from my standpoint, in terms of use as quick image viewers.

One of my longstanding real pet peeves with irfanview is its absolute insistence on Save As starting in the last directory you saved into, rather that the current directory holding the picture.  i almost always want to save as in the directory the original image came from.  I've taken to patching my irfanview exe to block this but it is surely annoying.

Xnview has an option to default to original picture location.  very nice.

The thing that has really kept me from using xnview might not be relevant at all to many people, but i use irfanview as a super quick image viewer - i rarely use it to view thumbnails.  and xnview is missing the display mode that i like the most, which is: fit window to image, but fit big images to desktop.

that is, i dont want a big window in the image viewer, i want it as small as the picture (xnview seems designed to run in a bigger window than irfanview, given its toolbar, which makes it a little harder to use on small pictures compared to irfanview); but if its a big image, too big for screen, i want it scaled to a reasonable size without me having to scroll around.

again, this is important precisely because i use this for quickly viewing images all the time - so even a small difference in efficiency effects me. and irfanview still feels like a less obtrusive way to quickly view an image.  and i've also come to love the pngout plugin for irfanview and i don't see it (yet) for xnview.

but i can't deny that xnview feels better organized and less idiosyncratic.

so i guess i'm still feeling conflicted..
« Last Edit: July 06, 2005, 06:37:10 AM by mouser » Logged
mouser
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« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2005, 09:57:41 AM »

xnview also seems to insist on centering its window on startup on the primary monitor, while irfanview truly remembers the last position of the window (even when i check the option in xnview to remember form position).  am i wrong?

again these seem like trivial issues but when all i use it for is quickly displaying images, im going to be very picky about how i want my images displayed when i double click something, and i dont want it always popping up in front of my file browser, i want it in upper left or wherever i left the window last time.

i'm attaching two pictures to show how xnview uses significantly larger amount of desktop when viewing small images, which is one reason i am still drawn to irfanview for its minimalist interface:



* irfanbar.jpg (15.08 KB, 497x72 - viewed 1643 times.)

* xnbar.jpg (31.73 KB, 830x106 - viewed 1706 times.)
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mouser
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« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2005, 10:03:50 AM »

i'm also fond of the 1/x display in irfanview that lets you see at a glance how many images are in the current directory and go to a specific place in the list.
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mouser
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« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2005, 10:12:51 AM »

a plus for xnview, it will scale picture as you resize window, wheras i can't get irfanview to do this propely, at least in the display modes i use.
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mouser
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« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2005, 10:20:23 AM »

i just discovered that:
1) xnview has different toolbar skins, some of which are quite compact
2) you can customize what buttons to show on toolbar (fantastic!)



* xn2.jpg (21.72 KB, 540x97 - viewed 1200 times.)
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mouser
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« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2005, 10:23:34 AM »

and you can also hide the tab bar when displaying only one image.. now this is looking nice.



* xn3.jpg (14.76 KB, 393x71 - viewed 1109 times.)
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nudone
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« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2005, 10:39:04 AM »

excellent.  thumbs up
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Edvard
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« Reply #7 on: July 06, 2005, 11:01:00 AM »

I myself have been torn between the two, here's my two cents (if I may)...
1. (re: irfanview's 'save as') choose 'save' instead. It will prompt you instead of instantly saving and it is in the present working directory.
2. xnview has 'Auto crop'
3. irfanview has more image manipulation functions and it has 'negative' (if xnview has it, i've not found it yet)
4. irfanview has more options when saving to different formats.
5. in irfanview, you can select the background color for the 'cut' function (useful when retouching a strictly b/w image)
6. xnview has grab handles for the crop function.
7. xnview is a little faster...
8. irfanview is ALL free and xnview has a 'deluxe' pay-for version with more plugins and image functions.
9. irfanview's print dialog has more options, and it lets you set print properties before printing EVERY time (in xnview, if you print something, and then go to print something else, it willl use the previous printer settings  without warning you.)

As it is, I have added two context menu entries for the most common image files...

Edit with Irfanview
Edit with XnView

 smiley
« Last Edit: July 06, 2005, 11:15:08 AM by Edvard » Logged

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mouser
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« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2005, 11:13:46 AM »

that has to be the most low-key deluxe version mention that i have ever seen.. i didn't even know it existed till you said so and i went back looking for it.  kudos to xnview for making their free version so powerful and free of advertising for the deluxe version.

lack of "negative" function - could anything be less useful?

what is autocrop?

haha - you're right, just a plain save does what i want.. damn goes to show you you can use a program for years and still miss some stuff that others can help you with.

i had a hard time telling difference in speed.
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mouser
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« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2005, 11:16:37 AM »

fileforum comments on irfanview and xnview can be useful:

http://fileforum.betanews...m/review/967963863/1/view
http://fileforum.betanews...m/review/989386705/1/view
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zridling
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« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2005, 05:06:18 PM »

Oddly, I've always put IrfanView in the Image Editor class, whereas I put XnView in the Image Viewer class — at least that's how I've used (or underused) them. One of IrfanView's best features is its Contact Sheet creation abilities. One of XnView's best features is its efficient file management.
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« Reply #11 on: August 26, 2005, 05:43:47 AM »

> One of my longstanding real pet peeves with irfanview is its
> absolute insistence on Save As starting in the last directory
> you saved into, rather that the current directory holding the
> picture. 

Have you looked at Cottonwood Software's  payware, File-Ex?
http://www.cottonwoodsw.com/welcome.html

I've only briefly looked at it.  Here's their blurb;

"File-Ex saves valuable time and mouse clicks...

- Automatically enhances almost all Windows applications, saving you valuable time.

- Larger file window reduces scrolling clicks by up to 90%.

- Re-opens the last folder used so you don't have to hunt for it each time you open a file.

- Default to the sorting you like, and have it remember the column widths in details view.

- Remembers 100 recent and favorite folders / files, reducing clicks to the file you need.

- Create and open a new folders with fewer steps -- opens to the new folder automatically.

- Built-in Find tool searches all of your hard drives for files. "


I wish it automatically put the cursor on the last file you used, but they've had more than one request for that so maybe it will come.

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mouser
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« Reply #12 on: August 26, 2005, 05:45:39 AM »

hi rj-

we've been having a running discussion of the file open/save dialog box extenders.
see this post: http://www.donationcoder....rum/index.php?topic=506.0

in fact we are going to do a review of them very soon.

sounds like you are one of us who couldn't live without such a tool smiley
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #13 on: August 28, 2005, 03:02:32 AM »

Don't forget IrfanView can be integrated into Windows Explorer Shell too.

This may have been mentioned but if it has I missed it.

For details see: http://www.baxbex.com/products.html

The tool is at the bottom of the page.

The other tool I use is ShellPicture (also on BaxBex website). The review mentioned this and asked does anyone pay for it? Well, er, yes I did. I find it extremely useful and the printing facilities (though not totally extensive) are quite handy as are the instant format conversion from windows explorer. See screen shots below.


* Screenshot - 28_08_2005 , 08_59_41.gif (23.68 KB, 469x497 - viewed 1119 times.)

* Screenshot - 28_08_2005 , 09_00_46.gif (14.43 KB, 503x424 - viewed 1049 times.)
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lanux128
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« Reply #14 on: August 30, 2005, 12:00:22 AM »

One of my longstanding real pet peeves with irfanview is its absolute insistence on Save As starting in the last directory you saved into, rather that the current directory holding the picture.  i almost always want to save as in the directory the original image came from.  I've taken to patching my irfanview exe to block this but it is surely annoying.

hi there mouser,

sorry to revive this old thread, but i'm interested to know about the patching you did with irfanview because the same 'feature' causes me much problems. maybe you can explain how to do it?

thanks in advance
best regards,
lanux
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mouser
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« Reply #15 on: August 30, 2005, 12:33:29 AM »

lanux-
someone told me here on this forum (my apologies i can't remember who), that in fact there is a much much easier way.
so easy that im embarassed after years of use i didnt realize it.

the answer: don't click Save As..
lol.

just choose Save.

it wont save it over the existing file!

it acts exactly like save as except its in same directory as file.

boy was i embarassed to find that out.
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mouser
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« Reply #16 on: August 30, 2005, 12:34:55 AM »

carol,  i'm still in search of the perfect quick printing tool.
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #17 on: August 30, 2005, 02:00:17 AM »

I don't think there is one!

I have Adobe PhotoShop and you can do just about anything you like with that, but not without some effort.

There doesn't seem to be a cheap flexible printing utility for photos etc. that I can find. FotoSlat is OK but nothing terribly special and Shell Picture makes a stab at it and provides a quick (if somewhat dirty) interface for getting quick output.

If you find something let me know smiley
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mouser
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« Reply #18 on: August 30, 2005, 02:08:16 AM »

i should say i LOVE the easy print app that came with my canon photo printer - i would recommend that printer to families and non-computer experts almost solely on the basis of that easyprint application.  a real gem.
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #19 on: August 30, 2005, 02:18:46 AM »

Yes it is a good app but there is no way (that I have spotted anyway) that you can mix and match formats on a single sheet or rearrange the layout of a sheet.

A really easy template builser would be the icing on the cake.

The other thing I find a bit frustrating with the Canon software is the CD/DVD disc printing.

The CD software is a bit basic (to say the least) but almost no labelling programs support direct print CDs (rather than labels).

I have tried to produce a suitable template for other software but it is really hard to get the disc accurately registered and every test means the plastic carrier comes out with wet ink over it and a duff CD. Plus every bit of software needs a slightly different template.

Having said that I shouldn't complain too much as I know my lovely printer can't print discs in the US because of the Digital Right brigade putting pressure on Canon to restrict that feature!
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« Reply #20 on: August 31, 2005, 08:07:49 AM »

hi rj-

we've been having a running discussion of the file open/save dialog box extenders.
see this post: http://www.donationcoder....rum/index.php?topic=506.0

in fact we are going to do a review of them very soon.

sounds like you are one of us who couldn't live without such a tool smiley

Found that afterwards  :-/  Actually, I found a way round it for what I wanted to do.  That was, print out the first pages, only, of a series of PDF files.   Eventually I realised that all I had to do was point Total Commander at the directory they were in.  Because Acrobat reader is a known application to TC, all I had to do was Alt-Tab to TC, move the cursor down one, and hit Enter...  Later I discovered the freeware PDF Toolkit, so now I use pdftk to construct a new PDF file out of the front pages, and just print that complete.

pdftk - PDF toolkit

http://www.accesspdf.com/pdftk/
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lanux128
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« Reply #21 on: September 01, 2005, 09:11:58 PM »

boy was i embarassed to find that out.

me too... & i've been using irfanview since earlier versions of 2.8x ;-)
anyway, thanks mouser...

best regards,
lanux
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« Reply #22 on: February 17, 2009, 05:49:22 PM »

I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts regarding this topic now, since these posts date back to 2005. Both apps have changed. What do you think now?
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Edvard
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« Reply #23 on: February 18, 2009, 11:50:44 AM »

I've switched to XnView entirely.
The background color for the 'cut' function is now settable, which was a bit of a pain before, and the print dialog is WAY beefed up from the version I was using.
It's still a little slow generating thumbnails of pdf files when you're viewing the contents of a folder and there are pdf's in there, but it's gotten faster as of a version or two back.

On the downside, the Linux version is a horrible-looking feature-less pile of mess that makes me wonder if it's even the same program.
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