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  1. #1
    Star Lounger
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    So many people seem to use IrfanView and XnView when discussing image viewers, and, after trying them both many times, I always quickly revert back to FastStone. This makes me curious, am I missing something, or is it just that my needs and ways of doing things with my images lends itself to this particular software package?

    I would be interested in hearing peoples views (given that they have tried the latest version off these programs) on what they can do on one they can't (or find harder) on another.

    Here are some of my thoughts.

    Image editing: This is a VIEWER. I tried the editor portion of XnView (by far the most comprehensive) but, personally, it's useless. When I get to the level that I need to select, copy, paste, from an image, without layers and feathering, the results are not good!

    Simple editing is fine. Cropping, resizing, adjusting saturation and colour levels, etc. All programs seem to do that fine, though FastStone gives me the option to use locked rations, like 4:3 for a photo, and create custom crop sizes/ratios. Didn't see that in XnView.

    Interface This is were, in my opinion, FastStone shines. For me, this is a Viewer. I double click an image file, and I have FastStone set to show it full screen, no text. Beautiful, no distractions. If I want more information, manipulation, image selection, etc, just moving the mouse to any side of the screen pops up a menu with everything. Very smooth. Easy. Efficient.

    When making adjustments, the changes are displayed using most of the screen, not just a little before and after box that you can't see.

    FastStone allows me to select up to 4 pictures and compare them side by side. Zooming and moving in one will be mimicked in all 2/3/4 images, which is useful for picking out the best shot of the bunch.

    Batch Don't see any real differences here. Use it all the time, and have never had any problems in all the programs.

    Navigation Never been a problem in any of the programs, but personally, the interface to FastStone seems cleaner and easier to use. I think this is personal preference.

    Usage What do I do in my image viewer. Perhaps this is the most important question as to a preference in viewers, so I've tried to break it down as best I could. My percentages may show why I like a clean interface.

    80% viewing pictures
    10% Resizing / Cropping manual
    08% Adjusting saturation/brightness/contrast/gamma/colour
    01% Resizing / Cropping batch
    <01% Comparing photos
    <01% Emailing photos
    <01% Organizing images

    Anything else (more complex), on to a actual editor.

    I do occasionally used some of the other features, such as tagging, slide show creation, contact sheets, and others I can't think of.

    So, if you have some features you use often in one of the other viewers, that FastStone can't do or does not do well (besides the 4324 file types that, sorry, I just don't use) it would be interesting to hear about if you care to share!

    Cheers,

    NathanH

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger
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    I guess it comes down to a mixture of personal preference and expertise. The graphics editor in Faststone Image Viewer is adequate for simple editing, but it lacks advanced features such as layers, masks etc.

    My needs are simple, and I *love* the elegant and intuitive interface of FastStone Image Viewer (and FastStone MaxView and FastStone Capture as well), so it's my viewer/editor of preference, but I can understand that it's not sufficient for people who need advanced editing capabilities. (I used IrfanView in the past, but its interface has become rather clunky, so I dropped it)

  3. #3
    Star Lounger
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    Quote Originally Posted by HansV View Post
    ... personal preference and expertise ... adequate for simple editing ... lacks advanced features such as layers, masks etc. ... elegant and intuitive interface
    See, this is exactly my point, why do so many people use XnView and Irfan when FastStone has an "... elegant and intuitive interface" and NONE of them have advanced editing features that are adequate beyond simple editing. I'm just curious what the features are that people USE, and the appeal, of these other viewers.



    NathanH

  4. #4
    5 Star Lounger RussB's Avatar
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    We are creatures of "habit". I have a habit of using IrfanView, been using it so long it just comes natural, kind of like you with FS.
    Do you "Believe"? Do you vote? Please Read:
    LEARN something today so you can TEACH something tomorrow.
    DETAIL in your question promotes DETAIL in my answer.
    Dominus Vobiscum <))>(

  5. #5
    Plutonium Lounger
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    I think Russ is correct about the "creatures of habit" thing. I use lots of software just because I've been using it for some time. Good example is ClipMate (not free) which I've been using for years in spite of the fact that there are bunches of free ones out there.

    I too use the FastStone products including the screen capture with which I do very minor editing. I've got Irfanview, Paint.Net, Gimp and a few other graphics programs on hand, but from MANY years of habit and creature comfort, I always turn to Paint Shop Pro.

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