FastStone Image Viewer 3.0 is moving along quite nicely and just the other day they released Beta 2. I have already raved about their screen capture utility (that is free as well) which we use quite heavily on our site, but the Image Viewer is sure to amaze you just as much.
Basically, with Image Viewer you can manage all of your images located on your PC in one convenient location. It is something that kind of reminds me of Google’s Picasa photo management software, but there is something about Image Viewer that makes it seem powerful yet slim. Maybe it is the fact that you can download a portable version that doesn’t require any sort of installation…I’m not quite sure what it is, but it is quite sleek.
The custom interface really looks nice and gives the application a professional look and feel. It has the tree navigation on the left-side of the Image Viewer so that finding images is as simple as browsing your hard drive. There is no more having to add albums or fuss over why images aren’t showing up, because this just pulls stuff straight from your hard drive.
As you can see in the screenshot I took above, the Edit menu offers an array of effects and customizations that you can choose from which is what makes this so useful for me. There are a lot of really simple operations that I like to do such as resizing images or cropping them, and this lets me do it in just a few operations. Not to mention that you can fix the red eye in photos in a few clicks!
Those of us that struggle trying to manage and view images on a small monitor will also find their full-screen mode to be quite useful. As seen in the screenshot above you can view an image in full-screen mode and still have access to all of the tools that the Image Viewer offers. The best part is that the menus automatically hide themselves and they pop-out when you hover your mouse towards one side of the screen. In the example above I am hovering over the left-side of the screen so the photo editing menu and each side of the screen will reveal a different tool.
The newest Beta has some nice improvements including saving photos as a PDF or cropping multiple images in a single batch operation. Maybe we’ll see some new features in the next pre-release as well, but since you don’t even have to install anything there should be nothing holding you back from giving this version a shot.