All operating systems usually come with a cast of native applications to perform the basic tasks of our day to day. But many times these are too simple or lacking in options … or quite the opposite, which is why maybe we want to look for alternatives, to find others that better fit what we need.
If you are a Windows, OS X or GNU / Linux user and you think that the native options of your computers to view photos are too heavy, with cumbersome interfaces or full of options that you don’t need, today we are going to propose seven applications to replace them. They are simple applications to view photos, period.
IrfanView, light and off-road
I started using IrfanView when I released Windows 98, and since then it has always been the application I usually install to view photos. It is light as well as possible (2 MB for 32 bit and 4.42 MB for 64), minimalist by giving more importance to the photos than to their functions and very easy to use by pressing space or the direction arrows to move from one photo to another.
It has configuration options to adapt it to our liking and a series of addons to see any photo, video or audio format. It has several editing options such as resizing, cropping, adding basic filters or removing red eyes, it has support for skins and a multilanguage interface. For me there is no other like it, and its only downside is that it is exclusive for Windows.
FastStone, a good alternative to Picasa
If instead of a simple viewer you are looking for an application that also has options for managing folders in the picasa style, FastStone is an alternative that you should consider. It has good support for various rare image formats, although you will have to get used to its large number of toolbars.
It has basic photo, color and effect editing options, as well as a scan and screen capture function. Also a simple photo display option which will open the images in full screen.
XnView, complete, lightweight and multi-system
We could consider XnView almost like a twin brother of IrfanView, with the difference that in this case we do have available versions for Windows, Mac and GNU / Linux (Deb and TGZ). But in essence we find the same thing, a viewer with a simple, clean and easy-to-use interface.
It has support for around 500 multimedia formats, it can convert images to other formats, and includes editing options to make small improvements and apply some basic filters to images. It can be downloaded into an executable to turn it into a portable application, and will allow you to create and save presentations.
Quite less known than the other options, but Imagine is a hybrid with which you can make simple IrfanView-style visualizations or basic folder management like FastStone. And all in such an extremely lightweight application unique to Windows that its installation file, even the 64-bit one, is less than 1MB.
gThumb, complete and only for Linux
GNU / Linux users have infinite options to view their photos. In fact, almost all desktop environments include their own, which we can then install in others. But if you had to choose, perhaps one of the best options would be the gThumb viewer created for GNOME desktops.
The application allows you to view images, but also to change their size, crop them, rotate them or make some basic adjustments to their colors. You can convert your formats, edit the metadata or organize it with bookmarks and catalogs. In addition, it also supports audio and video formats.
Viewnior, Linux minimalism
But okay, Linux users may not want a tool with several menus to get lost in, but a simple viewer like IrfanView that serves as an alternative to XnView. In that case, Viewnior is an excellent option. It is an extremely lightweight visor, very fast, minimalist and with support for GIFs.
In addition to its support for animations, it allows slideshows and full-screen viewing, navigating only between hand-selected images, and displaying EXIF and IPTC metadata. Allows basic edits such as rotating, resizing or cropping, and setting an image as the wallpaper. It is available for Archlinux, Fedora, Debian and Ubuntu, Slackware, Gentoo and Frugalware, and we can also download the source code to take it to any other.
Xee, the great alternative for Mac
If you are a veteran Mac OS X user, you are surely more than used to working with native photo and preview applications. But if you have moved from Windows or are looking for a slightly more comprehensive optionYou may want to find an alternative similar to the ones we’ve been mentioning in the rest of the list.
In that case the best option is Xee, which will allow you to view photos as in Preview, but allowing you easily navigate to all folder and file contentQuickly move and copy images with support for many file formats. On their website you can download their trial version or buy the full license, and they also have another version of iTunes, although more limited by Apple’s requirements.