At a glance, FastStone Image Viewer has very little on offer, especially when you visit its modest download site. Looks, as you may very know, can be deceiving, and there’s no better example than with this image browser, converter and editor. Dare to scratch under the surface and you will find layers and layers of complexity, neatly organized into a free set of useful tools!
The uninspiring and dated interface will win no awards but, in terms of functionality, there is an abundance of tools for image viewing, management, comparison, red-eye removal, emailing, resizing, cropping, retouching and color adjustments. In addition to this, you have musical slideshow with 150+ transitional effects at your disposal. ‘Tools’ opens up possibilities for group conversion or renaming images, rotation of images while preserving image quality, re-sizing by removing metadata and even comparison of images side-by-side (up to 4 at a time). To top it all off, you could also use FastStone Image Viewer to view Corel, Photoshop, Illustrator files as well as JPEG photos.
The latest 6.2 version adds additional mouse support with the Forward/Backward buttons, lets you switch between full screen and windowed mode with the F11 key, adds algorithm for conversion to 1-bit color depth, as well as memory management for handling of larger images. The previous versions 6.1 and 6.0, among other things, greatly improved the loading speed of JPEG images, added support for ZIP-compressed TIFF images and allowed us to rotate and crop within the same window. We also got two Zoom Filters (Lanczos_Softer and Bilinear) and other minor improvements and bug fixes.
FastStone Image Viewer is free for home users.