Irfanview and Zipping Files

(1) Downloading and installing Irfanview

(2) Make your own slideshows and screen savers.

(3) Other cool Irfanview features

(4) Re-sizing your photos to make them e-mail friendly

(1) Downloading and installing Irfanview

Download the program "Irfanview", which is free, and obtained from, and you will find a link to download the latest version of Irfanview. The latest version is


Irfanview allows you to copy, change and rename photos. You can change/convert between various file formats: BMP, JPG, TIFF, GIF, etc. You can enlarge or reduce photos. You can crop or add borders to photos. You can also rotate photos, change them to black & white, change the brightness, contrast, sharpness, and other aspects relating to a photograph. All these actions can be done to one photo one at a time, or "batch" convert entire directories of photos.

Once downloaded, install Irfanview. During the installation, I suggest you allow Irfanview be the default viewer of JPG and BMP formats. Allow it to put a short-cut to your Desktop, but maybe don't let it install to your start-up menu; but this is entirely optional.

(2) Make your own slideshows and screen savers

You can make your own slideshows and screen savers using Irfanview. There's very little difference between these two. With slideshows, you can click on a slideshow you have made display a series of photos (either randomly or sequentially); you can have it either loop indefinitely, in which case the user clickes "ESC" to stop it. Or you stop the slideshow after all the photos are displayed. It is an executable, and thus has a ".EXE" extension. On the other hand, a screen saver is the very same exact file, except that it's extension is changed to ".SCR", and you place it in the c:\windows\system32 folder for access. A screen saver automatically stops when the user moves his mouse or touches a key on the keyboard. Once you create either a slideshow or screen saver, you could use Windows Explorer to simply change the file extension from either .EXE or .SCR depending on what you want.

While in Irfanview, click "File" then click "Slideshow". You have a choice of making it either "Automatic" or "Random". You can also adjust the time (in seconds) for how long each photo will be displayed.

You can click "Loop Slideshow" if you want to, or leave this unchecked if you want the slideshow to end after all the photos have been shown. I recommend you click "Play in full screen mode". To get real advanced, you can preview by clicking "Play Slideshow". You can have text displayed on top of your photos by clicking "Show Text". A "Help" button is shown here which details your options here: display file name with extension, file name without extension, full file path, etc.

To create the list of photos in your slideshow, click on the "Look In" line to browse to the directory that holds your photos. Click "Add all", or choose which photos to be selected. You can also browse to other directories, and select photos to add to your list. When done, click "Save slideshow as EXE/SCR". Another window will open where you will decide here if this will be a slideshow or a screen saver. Next, you click "Browse" to choose where it will be saved, and then in the next line choose the name of the slideshow / screen saver.

When you click "Create", the slideshow / screen saver will be created. If it is a slideshow, just click on it and let it play. You can stop it by clicking "ESC". If it is a screen saver, move it to your c:\windows\system32 directory. Then access this screen saver by right-clicking on a blank area of your Desktop, click "Screen Saver" and you should now see the screen save you just created.

(3) Other cool Irfanview features

Irfanview has lots to offer. Just click on the buttons File, Edit, Image, Options, View and Help to see these features: rotating, custom fine rotation, vertical flip, horizontal flip, resize, resample, adding borders using the Canvas feature, convert to Grayscale, make it a Negative, color corrections, histogram, auto adjust colors, sharpen, red eye reduction, "effects" (such as 3D, blur, emboss, pixelize, sepia, rain drop, etc).

You can click "Options" and "Capture/Screenshot" to capture whatever is on your screen to a JPG file by clicking a certain key (say, Ctrl + F11, or whatever you choose).

(4) Re-sizing your photos to make them e-mail friendly

Most low-end digital cameras take photos that are about 8 MP. The high-end cameras take photos that are exceed 10-12 MP. In general, this is too high of a resolution to email your friends and family; only about 1 MP is needed for casual photos. Here’s how to copy your photos to another folder and reduce them in size.

First, store your originals safely on your hard drive. Assume you have a family event’s photos, and they are in a folder you have named "2009 11 26 Thanksgiving". If so, create a sub-folder inside of that main folder, and simply name it "Originals". Put all your orignals in this "Originals" folder.

Create another folder called "Low Res" in the "2009 11 26 Thanksgiving" folder. Using Windows Explorer, browse to the "Originals" folder, and open one of the photos using Irfanview.

While in Irfanview, click "File", click "Batch Conversion". In the "Look In" line, browse to the above "Originals" folder. Click "Add All" – or just select which ones you want to batch convert. In the "Work As" section, simply click "Batch Conversion". In the "Output format", choose "JPG". Click the small "Options" (beside the Output Format) menu, and make sure it is set on 80%.

Check the "Use Advanced Options" square, then click "Advanced". Check the "Resize" square. Check "Set new size". Set the width to 1024, and the height to 768. This is the resolution of most monitors, and is now considered as "Regular" screen resolution. It seems to be a very user-friendly resolution to email most photos. Then, check the "Preserve Aspect Ratio (proportional)". This ensures that a vertical photo is not artifically stretched horizontally. Click "OK", and exit this "Advanced" page.

You will now be back in the general "Batch Conversion" page. In the "Output Directory" section, click "Use current (‘look in’) directory", then right away click the "Browse" button, and change the location from the "Originals" folder to the "Low Res" folder.

Finally, click "Start Batch", and your photos should now be copied from your "Originals" folder to your "Low Res" folder, and reduced to a 1024 x 768 resolution size. If you want to, you can email individual Low Res photos, or you can Zip the folder, and send all or part of it in Zip format. That way, the other person can download the Zip file, extract all the photos in it, and thus received dozens of photos in one download package.