The name of the FastStone Image Viewer is somewhat confusing, because it’s both a photo viewer and an editor. Though in leading image editing suites it cannot contend with the nifty features, the choices for display are the top of the line.
FastStone Image Viewer has a wide variety of choices for picture viewing. First off, you have the default file browser which displays the image thumbnails with a preview window for the selected file. The software provides both the possibility to view individual images as a full-screen display, as well as the potential to focus or magnify photos.
Other choices include the ability to compare a maximum of four pictures, so that you can choose which one to hold, tag and display EXIF detail. images with location camera settings and scene data.
FastStone Picture Viewer does not only display videos, however. You can make easy improvements to really bring out the best of your images, for instance, adding a trendy frame, which acts as a mask to eliminate sharp borders.
Or FastStone Image Viewer provides a very powerful bump map option which will be of great help in texturing if you deal in 3D. The Normal tools for resizing, cutting, correcting the luminosity/darkness, sharpness/blur, grayscale and red-eye removal and specialised tools for level correction, curve and illumination are also available.
Additional features include batch conversion to PDF, JPG, PNG, TIFF, and screenshots and a menu option to add text, lines, and forms. Input to the touch interface is also supported by FastStone Image Viewer.
The GUI of FastStone Image Viewer looks a little old and is too noisy. What all the buttons at the top of the screen do is not instantly apparent which makes the interface difficult. However, the drop-down menus are well-organized, which makes getting to the options much simpler.
When you display pictures in full-screen mode, by hovering the mouse over the four corners of the screen, you can also control various options which is a good thing and helps make the software easier to use. Or you can right-click on the screen for basic browsing and editing options.
If you want a different look, you can change FastStone Image Viewer skin (MacX, Windows XP, Windows Classic etc).
In the image viewers’ arena, there is healthy rivalry and FastStone Image Viewer provides many great elements in a relatively easy-to-use (if not quite attractive) kit. It seems, though, that the software has an identity problem and cannot fully determine if it is an image editor or spectator. When FastStone Image Viewer retains its variety of great image display options to create, it remains the best choice for downloading. The portable version is available on the website of the developer. Finally, we suggest using IrfanView or XnView if you are searching for more free alternatives to this program.