Free Useful Software...Really

Talk about anything and everything here within reason.
Post Reply
Eclectic   1 kW

1 kW
Posts: 302
Joined: Aug 06 2012 9:18pm
Location: Southern California (San Gabriel Valley)

Free Useful Software...Really

Post by Eclectic » Jan 28 2015 6:14pm

I thought I would talk a little bit about some FREE software that I think members of this forum could use.

The first one is an image processing program called IrfanView. If you are having problems with an image being too big or you want to put comments on it, this program is a great.

Edit: Apparently everyone blew this off because the title of "Free Software" seems like a scam. What I am doing is showing others about a lot of good software that is free. Most of which I have been using for years. So I changed the title some hoping that others will at least look at this post. I see a lot of questions about how do I reformat images to post here. The first program that I am reviewing here is one that would be very useful for that.
Last edited by Eclectic on Jan 29 2015 12:33pm, edited 2 times in total.
So you've sweat and toiled and tinkered
You know her every bolt and wire
But when it's just you and her and the wind and the silence
It feels like you are flying and you are being pushed along by the hand of the creator

Transportation…not just recreation

Eclectic   1 kW

1 kW
Posts: 302
Joined: Aug 06 2012 9:18pm
Location: Southern California (San Gabriel Valley)

Re: Free Software

Post by Eclectic » Jan 28 2015 6:34pm

IrfanView (written by irfan skiljan) is an excellent (free) media viewing program for Windows computers that has undergone a lot of changes in the last 18 years. It has gone well passed being a viewer and is now a very good image processing program. While Lightroom and Photoshop are my staples for cataloging, correcting and retouching photographs, I use IrfanView for almost everything else. It is my primary viewer for most multimedia. I also use it for simple color correction, cropping, scaling, annotating and montages. It also does batch processing, slideshows, scanning, plugins… tons more. No Adware or Malware, just a really good free program.

Installation:

To do a normal Windows installation, download the file from here:
http://www.irfanview.com/
and do a regular installation. During the installation, you will be asked if you want to associate several file types with IrfanView. If you allow that change, when you double-click on a jpg (or other picture/movie/sound file), it will display in IrfanView. If you decline to change that, jpg’s etc. will continue to default to the Microsoft viewer (or Photoshop or however else your files are associated)

Personally, I tend to use the “Portable” version. Portable Apps are Windows programs that have been slightly modified so they don’t have to be “Installed” in the traditional way. They just decompress in to a folder. That folder can be copied anywhere and the program (the .exe file) can be executed from there. I carry a flash drive with several PortableApps on it. I can plug that flash drive in any Windows USB port and run my programs from the flash drive without having to “Install” them. Find the PortableApp version here:
http://portableapps.com/apps/graphics_p ... w_portable


Loading an Image:

You can “Drag and Drop” image files in to IrfanView or use File>Open. To scroll through the images in a folder, use the Space and Backspace keys or the Left & Right arrow keys or the mouse scroll wheel.

View an Image:

View>Display options (window mode). The easiest way to learn this function is to play with it.

Selection:

IrfanView is normally in selection mode. Just draw a box with the left mouse button. You can adjust the selection by moving the sides (but not the corners). To erase the selection, just click anywhere else on the image. Once an area is selected, you can Zoom, Copy, Paste, Cut, Crop or use the processing tools (like color correction).

Cropping:

Select the area of the image you want to keep. Use Edit>Crop Selection (Cut out)

Color Correction:

Select the area of the image you want to correct. Use Image>Color corrections…
Note: If the image is too yellow (amber), add blue.

Annotation: (Straighten, Text, Arrows, Boxes, Circles)

Edit>Show Paint dialog Note: As long as the Paint dialog is open, the Selection tool does not work.
IV Paint Pane Anno.jpg
IV Paint Pane Anno.jpg (20.95 KiB) Viewed 1886 times
Straighten: Select the Straighten tool and draw a line and the image will rotate to make that line horizontal or vertical.
Text, Arrows, Boxes: Set the color, line width and fill. Then use the appropriate tool for the annotation that you need.
Close the Paint dialog when you are done annotating.

Scaling:

Image>Resize/Resample…
Note: Settings I normally use…
-Set new size
-Units: pixels
-Preserve aspect ratio (proportional)
-Size method: Resample (better quality)
I normally just enter a new width or height and click on OK

Creating a Montage: (Combining multiple images into one image)

Note: I will often have several IrfanView windows open with a different image in each one.

One way is to use the selection tool to copy and paste portions of one image into a selected portion of another image.
IV Paste Into.jpg
IV Paste Into.jpg (4.22 KiB) Viewed 1886 times
The other way is to add one image on to the Top, Bottom, Left or Right of the original.
Edit>Paste Special (add on side).
IV Paste Special.jpg
IV Paste Special.jpg (6.36 KiB) Viewed 1886 times
Saving an Image:

Save and Save As work slightly different than most Windows programs. “Save” does not automatically overwrite the original file. It still asks for a file name. I normally use “Save As” because it allows reading from one folder and saving in another.

Normal Workflow:

-Open the image (or multiple images in multiple IrfanView windows)
-Straighten any images that need it (see Annotation above)
-Crop images
-Color correct
-Combine images if necessary
-Scale image to final size
-Annotate the image
-Save new file to a new folder
Note:Sometimes I will save interim files just in case

I know that this is not much of tutorial but I think it is enough to get you going. I hope I covered enough of the topics you would need to work with an image to post it on this forum. There is a LOT more to IrfanView and I am still finding more all the time.
So you've sweat and toiled and tinkered
You know her every bolt and wire
But when it's just you and her and the wind and the silence
It feels like you are flying and you are being pushed along by the hand of the creator

Transportation…not just recreation

Eclectic   1 kW

1 kW
Posts: 302
Joined: Aug 06 2012 9:18pm
Location: Southern California (San Gabriel Valley)

Re: Free Useful Software...Really

Post by Eclectic » Jan 29 2015 7:49pm

I’m a little disappointed that very few are even looking at this post but I’ll keep plugging away at it for a while. I plan on doing quick guides for some other apps but they take time.

I want to take a moment to talk about PortableApps. http://portableapps.com/

PortableApps is a PC based Open Source project. By slightly modifying a program, it can execute without having to do a traditional install. Because of this, it can be run from almost anywhere. A hard drive, flash drive, sd card, cloud drive… Most of the Apps offered are free and many are Open Source.

Some quotes from the PortableApps website:
Flexible

Make every PC feel like your own
Use your favorite software everywhere
Carry your bookmarks and settings
Edit your documents, photos and more
Free

Free. No time limits. No catch.
No registration required. Never was.
No adware. No spyware. No malware.
OSI Certified Open Source Software™.
Not everything there is perfect but there are a lot of gems and well worth checking out.
So you've sweat and toiled and tinkered
You know her every bolt and wire
But when it's just you and her and the wind and the silence
It feels like you are flying and you are being pushed along by the hand of the creator

Transportation…not just recreation

BikeFanatic   1 kW

1 kW
Posts: 408
Joined: Nov 19 2011 10:58am
Location: Massachusetts

Re: Free Useful Software...Really

Post by BikeFanatic » Jan 29 2015 8:21pm

IrfanView (written by irfan skiljan) is an excellent (free) media viewing program for Windows computers that has undergone a lot of changes in the last 18 years. It has gone well passed being a viewer and is now a very good image processing program.
Thank you for the tutorial- I do use Irfran view and i love it.

User avatar
StudEbiker   1 MW

1 MW
Posts: 1999
Joined: Apr 13 2009 2:15pm
Location: Ashland, OR, USA

Re: Free Useful Software...Really

Post by StudEbiker » Jan 29 2015 9:23pm

I have used irfran view, but my goto program is faststone image viewer. It also allows editing of software. Not as many features as irfran, but it does everything I need it to do and then some. Also free. :D

Ohbse   10 kW

10 kW
Posts: 880
Joined: Dec 26 2013 5:15pm
Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Re: Free Useful Software...Really

Post by Ohbse » Jan 29 2015 10:28pm

Irfanview is a favorite of mine too. Other ones of note are "Paint.net" note that they don't actually own the domain paint.net, so be careful and 7-zip for compression and extraction of rar/zip etc. One of the other great features of 7-zip is it can open a .iso as an archive and you can drag and drop the contents out.

markz   100 GW

100 GW
Posts: 9401
Joined: Jan 09 2014 11:38pm
Location: Alberta Canada

Re: Free Useful Software...Really

Post by markz » Jan 30 2015 1:46am

I just downloaded IrfanView. Reassuring to know their website links to Cnets website. I always trust downloading stuff off Cnets website.

Can you specify what size in terms of MB you want the picture to be?

User avatar
Ch00paKabrA   10 kW

10 kW
Posts: 670
Joined: Mar 15 2013 8:46am
Location: the Jersey Shore, NJ

Re: Free Useful Software...Really

Post by Ch00paKabrA » Jan 30 2015 10:56am

It looks a lot like Gimp. I have been using that for years and it is also free.

User avatar
teklektik   10 GW

10 GW
Posts: 4020
Joined: Mar 26 2011 1:15pm
Location: CT, USA

Re: Free Useful Software...Really

Post by teklektik » Jan 30 2015 11:38am

Irfanview has been recommended on ES for years. A solid choice.

I personally prefer other photo and drawing programs, but Irfanview is my goto program for accurate file (not image) resizing to get file size safely under 250K with the best resolution for display on ES. Just drop the finished image on the Irfanview desktop icon, click SaveAs, then Save. Done. Since it remembers the SaveAs settings, there are no adjustments to make. Easy-peasy.
Visit Grin Technologies at www.ebikes.ca
Build Thread: 2WD Yuba Mundo V4

Eclectic   1 kW

1 kW
Posts: 302
Joined: Aug 06 2012 9:18pm
Location: Southern California (San Gabriel Valley)

Re: Free Useful Software...Really

Post by Eclectic » Jan 30 2015 1:01pm

IrfanView FAQs
http://www.irfanview.com/faq.htm
markz wrote:Can you specify what size in terms of MB you want the picture to be?
There is a "Set file size" in the JPG save options. It requires the RIOT plugin but I believe that is a standard plugin now.
Ch00paKabrA wrote:It looks a lot like Gimp. I have been using that for years and it is also free.
Gimp is actually more of an Open Source version of Photoshop. I use it occasionally but I find it has a pretty steep learning curve (kinda' like Photoshop). I am soooo much more proficient in Photoshop, I only use GIMP when I have to (I carry a copy GIMPportable on my flash drive). If you are looking for an alternative to Photoshop, GIMP is a very good choice; and it's Open Source and FREE.

IrfanView is somewhat of a unique program and the user interface is not totally obvious but there are 10's of millions of people who use it. I've been using it for 10-15 years. It seems to be very safe but I still scan anything that I download before I use it. If you ever have questions about how to use IrfanView, a quick search usually comes up with plenty of results.
So you've sweat and toiled and tinkered
You know her every bolt and wire
But when it's just you and her and the wind and the silence
It feels like you are flying and you are being pushed along by the hand of the creator

Transportation…not just recreation

Eclectic   1 kW

1 kW
Posts: 302
Joined: Aug 06 2012 9:18pm
Location: Southern California (San Gabriel Valley)

Re: Free Useful Software...Really

Post by Eclectic » Jan 30 2015 8:24pm

I think the next quick guide is going to be for Open Office (an Open Source version of MS Office). Specifically the Draw module. I use it for doing diagrams. Open Office is a very viable alternative to MS Office with probably 80% of the functionality.
So you've sweat and toiled and tinkered
You know her every bolt and wire
But when it's just you and her and the wind and the silence
It feels like you are flying and you are being pushed along by the hand of the creator

Transportation…not just recreation

User avatar
tomjasz   10 GW

10 GW
Posts: 4223
Joined: Mar 29 2014 1:45pm
Location: Out riding, MN USA
Contact:

Re: Free Useful Software...Really

Post by tomjasz » Jan 30 2015 8:45pm

Jeepers does windoze still exist? I mean with Linux on a budget and Apple with some cash to spare, why? VBG
Thanks Justin_le we're here thanks to you. All the best to the mods for their tireless work keeping it on an even keel.

User avatar
Ch00paKabrA   10 kW

10 kW
Posts: 670
Joined: Mar 15 2013 8:46am
Location: the Jersey Shore, NJ

Re: Free Useful Software...Really

Post by Ch00paKabrA » Jan 30 2015 9:44pm

I figured I'd give it a try but then it took me to CNET. yuk. Even when I try to negate all of the other stuff that they get paid if I install, I still wind up with a crappy new home page and a bunch of shitty toolbars. NOt to mention all of the adware that you don't get to skip.

Does anyone have this in a pure download?

mark5   100 kW

100 kW
Posts: 1389
Joined: Dec 28 2011 9:26pm
Location: USA

Re: Free Useful Software...Really

Post by mark5 » Jan 30 2015 9:59pm

Ch00paKabrA wrote:I figured I'd give it a try but then it took me to CNET. yuk. Even when I try to negate all of the other stuff that they get paid if I install, I still wind up with a crappy new home page and a bunch of shitty toolbars. NOt to mention all of the adware that you don't get to skip.

Does anyone have this in a pure download?
Just downloaded irfanview from MajorGeeks.com, another download mirror listed in irfanview's download page. Installed it in a sandbox. I see no toolbars or other extra crap when running it. CNET isn't a good place to download from.

markz   100 GW

100 GW
Posts: 9401
Joined: Jan 09 2014 11:38pm
Location: Alberta Canada

Re: Free Useful Software...Really

Post by markz » Jan 31 2015 4:08am

I never realized cnet was like that. My trust in them has been shaken.
I guess I kind of always knew in the back of my mind, very common, right, for companies to do that.
Last edited by markz on Feb 08 2015 1:58am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
emmetbrown   10 W

10 W
Posts: 99
Joined: Oct 28 2010 1:38pm
Location: Germany

Re: Free Useful Software...Really

Post by emmetbrown » Jan 31 2015 4:42am

Hello MarkZ,
it is very uncommon for linux in general and debian-based distributions in special to crash.
Maybe somethings wrong with your hardware.
Ubuntu is, like written above, a Debian-based distribution, so you could try out a full Debian system.
Another Debian based one is CrunchBang, http://crunchbang.org/ ,its a minimalist Linux system without
that whole blingbling-clutter of gnome or kde. Just an OpenBox window manager, but if you want fully customizable, as every other
Linux system.

Are you sure about W10?
For me thats by far the most terrific option, but to be honest, XP is the last one I use sporadically since I need the option for
calibrated monitor profiles, haven't found a way to do that on linux so far.
All other tasks are done under linux or unix since almost 13-14 years now.

For virus-scanners, no problem with viruses ever, i would suggest to use up-to date versions on your target systems.
There are a few options available, mostly for non-graphic use in terminal.

User avatar
Ch00paKabrA   10 kW

10 kW
Posts: 670
Joined: Mar 15 2013 8:46am
Location: the Jersey Shore, NJ

Re: Free Useful Software...Really

Post by Ch00paKabrA » Jan 31 2015 9:57am

mark5 wrote:
Ch00paKabrA wrote:I figured I'd give it a try but then it took me to CNET. yuk. Even when I try to negate all of the other stuff that they get paid if I install, I still wind up with a crappy new home page and a bunch of shitty toolbars. NOt to mention all of the adware that you don't get to skip.

Does anyone have this in a pure download?
Just downloaded irfanview from MajorGeeks.com, another download mirror listed in irfanview's download page. Installed it in a sandbox. I see no toolbars or other extra crap when running it. CNET isn't a good place to download from.
Thanks, after my troubles with cnet, I have trust issues. :lol:

I bookmarked that site. Good stuff. Irfanview is ok. I guess I am just used to using Gimp to resize my images.

mark5   100 kW

100 kW
Posts: 1389
Joined: Dec 28 2011 9:26pm
Location: USA

Re: Free Useful Software...Really

Post by mark5 » Jan 31 2015 2:44pm

markz wrote:And I was thinking I should get a virus program for it. I know Linux viruses are rare, but I use memory stick, transfer stuff over to different computers. I literally download a lot of "stuff", so a scan would do me good for safe computing.
ClamAV antivirus for Ubuntu

"ClamAV can only detect viruses and move any infected files into a quarantined folder; it cannot remove them from files. ClamAv detects viruses on all platforms, but it is primarily useful for Windows viruses and malware.

Other antivirus programs running on Ubuntu can be found here."

User avatar
Drunkskunk   100 GW

100 GW
Posts: 7201
Joined: Apr 14 2007 11:37am
Location: Dallas, Texas. U.S.A.

Re: Free Useful Software...Really

Post by Drunkskunk » Feb 03 2015 3:59pm

Normally I'd just ignore any post about "free software" but I saw it had been responded to and figured I'd get some laughs at those people trolling the spammer. Instead I find a useful post about a great piece of code. I'm sort of disappointed. :P

Irfanview is an awesome little program. I've been using it since 1998 and find it invaluable. I enjoy 3D modeling and make my own textures with photoshop. as such I have almost a terabyte of texture samples and images. Irfan makes it much easier to brows those images without loading some memory intensive program. I usually run it on a second monitor when I have photoshop or blender open.
Download it. set it as your primary picture viewer. regret nothing.
Buy the ticket, take the ride.
Monster Bike:http://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewto ... =6&t=38667

User avatar
cal3thousand   1.21 GW

1.21 GW
Posts: 3606
Joined: Mar 26 2012 4:47pm
Location: California

Re: Free Useful Software...Really

Post by cal3thousand » Feb 03 2015 5:16pm

I've been using IrfanView for years. It is really a gem. I prize it for the ability to easily resize or resample and convert image formats. It's also a really light weight app that doesn't require installing a bunch of crap. You can use it from a USB stick if you so choose.
Get a Cycle Analyst and a Multimeter, you're still a noob if you don't have at least one of each.

Planning on posting questions or buying anything on this site? Put up your country (at minimum) on your profile. This is a worldwide forum and we haven't reached clairvoyance.

Lurkin   100 kW

100 kW
Posts: 1428
Joined: Jan 18 2015 4:31pm
Location: Melbourne, VIC, AUS

Re: Free Useful Software...Really

Post by Lurkin » Feb 12 2015 4:56pm

I'll download a copy tonight, definitely seems worthwhile.

Would be great if you continue with any other free software that you (or others) have come across which is free etc.... I'm always game to try something new....

Was looking for a widget to monitor forex movements (i.e. always on top just showing a graph of the exchange) and came across this free chart station:-

http://www.fxstreet.com/rates-charts/chart-station/

WARNING - loads of advertising on the page, but it is possible to unpin the chart... (doesn't seem to have always on top)..

Post Reply