Clients often ask me for the name of a simple image editing program – usually they just want to resize photos but sometimes they want to crop as well. I recently found a nifty free program called FastStone with quite a few features – FastStone Image Viewer 4.6 – Free of course!!
It’s quite simple to use. When displaying an image it shows how much it has been reduced to fit the screen and the resizing options are very simple and good, always showing the % the file size the size in pixels width x height. Cropping is simple, again all sizes etc displayed.
It also has colour controls and I found them very good to use, I easily enhanced the colours on some ducks and made it really good. There’s a sharpness feature but that should be used carefully because it’s range is too big and it’s easy to oversharpen. I normally only sharpen with the unsharp mask and use 1 out of a possible 100.
It launches with a 2 panel window, so you can select your photo. Double clicking the photo launches a full screen window with NO TOOLBARS!! When you hover near the sides of the screen the toolbars pop out, this is really good.
Download Fastone Image Viewer from here –
If asked to ‘Save’- click yes. If given a choice, save to your downloads folder.
When the file has finished downloading, either double ckick it in the download browser, or go to your downloads folder and double click it there.
Follow the prompts.
After it has finished installing you will be taken to a page asking for donations. The program is free. I suggest you use it for a while and if you find it useful go – http://www.faststone.org/ThankYou.htm here and make a donation. Many things are free on the Internet, but when I find a valuable application, I make a donation, to honour the programmers hard work. If everyone sends the successful programmers $5 or $10 it can only do good.
Open FastStone Image Viewer via the Start Button list of programs.
Fastone opens up with 3 panels, Navigate to your picture folder in the Left Hand panel and click on it.
The photos in that folder display as thumbnails in the Right Hand Panel
Click on a photo to select it and it will display in the bottom Left Hand Panel
Double click on the photo and it will launch in full screen mode.
At the top will be displayed the information on the photo size and at what percentage it has been shrunk to fit the screen.
By moving the cursor to the borders of the screen, different toolbars appear and you can work on the photo.
Information on how that works is in a video Tutorial by Leo Notenboom here –
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED -An In Depth PDF on Using Fastone for Difital Imaging is here – http://www.faststonesoft.net/DN/FSIV_Tutorial.pdf
iPad, Kindle and Zip versions also available here- http://www.faststone.org/FSIVTutorial.htm
Remember to always crop before you resize !!