Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Using Irfanview photo editor for Blogger blogs

Irfanview is a very good free image editor which can be very useful for bloggers working with images. I used it very frequently especially to edit and upload screenshots to my posts. You can get Irfanview by googling for "download irfanview".

What and how do I use Irfanview for my blogs? Well, very frequently, I need screenshots to better explain what I want I have in mind. (I refer to screenshots below because I mainly work with screenshots. The same methods apply to photos, etc.) To do that, in the particular page, I press the key Printscreen, open Irfanview, click Edit in the menu bar and choose Paste, and the screen image appear in its editor window. With this method, the cursor will not be displayed. If I want the mouse cursor to be shown on a particular spot to draw attention to it, I first go to the screen I want pasted, go to Irfanview, press C, and a pop-up will appear. I select the relevant options, make sure "Include mouse cursor" is ticked, click start and I will be taken to the previous screen. I then press ctrl+F11 (the key is configurable, but F11 is the default. It can be changed but I have no reason to change it), and I will be taken back to Irfanview with the screen in the image editor window with the mouse cursor in the spot where I last left it.

I can also highlight a spot by drawing a circle around it. Unfortunately, Irfanview does not have that feature. For that, I have to use Paint which comes with Windows (under Accessories)


If I want only a particular section of the screen of the screen to be included, I drag and drop the mouse in that section. a broken-line box will surround the section. I click on Edit in the menu bar and select "Crop selection" and the rest of the screen will disappear, leaving only the section. I then save the file, usually in jpg format (there is a huge selection of formats to choose from in Irfanview). I then upload the screenshot into the post.

Add text

If I want text to be displayed in certain section of the screnshot, I drag and release to highlight that section of the screenshot I want the text to be displayed, click Edit in the menu bar, select "Insert text into selection", a pop-up will appear with a box for me to type in the text. There will be other options such as choose font, alignment left, center or right, etc. When I am finished, I just click OK and the text will appear in the screenshot.

Highlighting particular section of the screen with Paint

When I want to draw attention to certain section of the screen, such as putting a circle or a rectangle around a section of the screenshot, it unfortunately can't be done in Irfanview. I first save the file. I then open Paint available in the Accessories section of Windows. I open the file in Paint. I first select the color of the ellipse I want it to be, usually red by clicking on the square of color in the palette at the bottom of Paint. Then I select the icon for ellipse in the toolbar on the left side of Paint. I then drag and drop the mouse over the section I want to highlight, and an ellipse will surround that section. To see an example of a screenshot with a portion of it highlighted by a red ellipse, surf over to Generating simple graphic header using Irfanview photo editor (click "BACK" button to return to this page). If I am not happy, I click Edit in the menu bar and select Undo, and the ellipse will disappear. I repeat again until I am satisfied. I then save the file (the default format in Paint is bmp. I normally change it to jpg). The screenshot is then ready for upload to the post.

Resizing image size

Frequently, we have to resize images so that they will fit into the space we want them to display, etc. This can very easily be done in Irfanview. In Paint (which I seldom use) the choices are to resize in percentage, which can be problematic if you need the width to be in exact pixels. In Irfanview, just click Image in the menu bar and select Resize/resample, and a pop-up will appear. There are many choices (pixels, cm., inches, percentage). You can see the choices in the screenshot below (click to enlarge):
Irfanview photo editor: resize image
If, for example, you want to resize the image so that the width do not exceed the width of the column, enter the pixels into "width", leave the "height" alone and tick "Preserve aspect ratio". The height will be automatically set to keep the image from being distorted. You can then either save the image to be uploade in its original size or just use the figures in the width="" height="" attributes in the <img> tag. (Note: if you are using the <img> tag, you only need to enter the attribute width="X". If the height attribute is left out, the resulting image will automatically be scaled so as to keep the aspect ratio constant).

Save or convert picture into many different formats

With Irfanview, you can save or convert your picture into very many different formats. I am using the Irfanview 3.98 version. There are already a few upgrades which I didn't bother with, and I wouldn't know if there had been any changes in the number of file formats. For the version I have, there are altogether 19 choices which I list below:

Irfanview 3.98

bmp Windows bitmap
ecw Enhanced compressed wavelet
emf Enhanced Windows metafile
fsh EA Sports format
gif Compuserve gif
ico Windows icon
jp2 JPEG 2000 format
jpg JPEG files
jpm JPM format
ldf LuraDocument format
lwf LuraWave format
pcx Zsoft Paintbrush
pbm Portable bitmap
pgm Portable graymap
png Portable Network Graphics
ppm Portable pixelmap
raw RAW image data
tga Truevision Targa
tif Tagged image file format

The ico format will be useful if you intend to add a Favicon for your blog.

Related post:
Generating a simple graphic header using the Irfanview photo editor (click "BACK" button to return to this page).

How to put a copyright notice into your photo



  1. Anonymous11/05/2006

    Even I too use irfanview for basic image editing. Its a very good tool.

  2. How is this better than the SnagIT program ??
    Snagit 8 is the only utility to receive a perfect five-star rating (*****) in PC Magazine's Incredibly Useful Utilities category.


    Willi H2O

  3. Hi Willi_H2O,

    Thanks for the extra useful information. I just checked out Snagit. Looks like it is not a free program. It cost USD39.95 which converted to our currency is RM139.79, a bit hefty for me. I am afraid I am a cheapskate and uses all free tools and Irfanview together with Windows Paint have severed me very well so far. For those who are well off and can afford to pay for software, by all means try out Snagit 8. As for me, I am happy with what I have.

    But if you have more to tell me and my blog readers about it, I am sure we all like to know about what we missed, and those who can afford it may just go for it. You can do it in a comment here about how much better Snagit 8 is or make a post in your blog and post a link here.

    BTW it looks like I have to have to do a fresh post on how to use Irfanview plus Windows paint for screenshots. Snagit may be more sophisticated, but I can probably do without the frills.

    Thanks anyway.

    Peter (Blog*Star)
    Earning Online

  4. I am using a MAC and wondering if this irfanview would work with it. Is it like a photo shop? I don't have anything like that on my computer, so I'm looking into downloading irfanview?! Thanks.

  5. Hi Chelsea,

    I believe Irfanview is only for Windoze. I heard GIMP is cross platform. Try searching for it. Use the search box at the top of the blog, tick [ ] Web and search. Hope to have time to test GIMP myself, but if you really find GIMP works for MAC, will like feedback. I heard it is very good and also free.

    Peter Blog*Star
    Food as medicine

  6. ...what a useful idea, i can use it on my photos whenever im doing photo editing on my images...tnx for the info!wakoko...

  7. ...what a useful idea..tnx for posting!i'l keep u posted...i can use that irfanview on my image manipulation...

  8. I just found your blog - it's great!! I use picnik.com - it's free and nothing to download. Great for cropping, editing, framing, adding text, etc.

  9. check this photo editing blog guys

  10. I will try infanviews. Thanks.

  11. hanks for such an interesting article here. I was searching for something like professional photo editing that for quite a long time and at last I have found it here.


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