| Senior Computer Tutor
Don Edrington Home Profile
For years I've been recommending a program named Irfanview
PCDon.com for digital camera owners
who need easy-to-use tools for editing their photos. Programs such
as Adobe PhotoShop have lengthy learning curves, while Irfanview can
be quickly learned to do the jobs most amateur photographers need
done, such as cropping, resizing, and enhancing colors.
For some simple
examples, open a photo with Irfanview.
To change a picture's
size: click Image>Resize and choose a "Percentage"
of the original, or specify actual "Width/Height" dimensions (with
"Preserve Aspect Ratio" checked).
To crop a picture
(remove extraneous background) draw a rectangle around the subject
with your left mouse button depressed. Next click "Edit" and choose
"Crop" or "Cut" or "Cut Area Around Selection." If you click
Edit>Cut followed by Edit>Paste
your selected area will replace the original picture and be ready
for subsequent editing.
To adjust a photo's colors click Image>Enhance
Colors (or Color Corrections). This will display two
miniatures - one picture showing the current colors, while the other
shows the results of using sliding controls to change the Color
values along with Brightness and Contrast factors. Reverse the
changes by clicking Edit>Undo.
Other options under
"Image" include: "Convert to Grayscale," "Negative," "Sharpen," and
"Red Eye Reduction."
You can also rotate a picture in 90 degree increments with "Rotate
Left/Right." For other angles, choose "Custom/Fine Rotation," where
two miniatures will display the picture's current orientation and
how it will appear with the degrees of change you choose.
Image>Effects will offer choices such as "Emboss,"
"Sepia," "Blur," "Explosion," and other interesting optical
"Edit>Insert Text into Selection" will let you add
lettering to an image. First, mouse-draw a rectangle of the
approximate size and shape into which you will type the text. A
dialog box will appear that lets you choose a font and its
attributes. After typing into the selected area, doing
Edit>Copy and then Edit>Paste into
a new Irfanview canvas will reproduce the image with your text
To save an
edited picture, click File>Save As, type in a name
(or accept the current name), choose a "Save In" location, along
with an image format under "Save as Type." These will include JPG,
BMP, GIF, TIF, and many others. JPG (JPEG) is the de facto choice
for most digital photos.
It's important to
understand that the JPG format can reduce a picture's file size (so
it uses less disk space and can be emailed more easily) by
compressing its digital information. When saving a photo as a JPG be
sure "Show Options Dialog" is checked and then move the sliding
scale to somewhere between "low" and "good" (ie: small and large
a compressed picture a new name so that the original will still be a
"good" quality image. Once a photo's file size has been reduced and
saved, there is no way to return it to its original quality.
An updated version of
the program is available with some brand new features, including a
"Clone Tool." See the illustrations below for some simple examples
of using various commands...
© - Donald Ray Edrington
- All Rights Reserved
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