FastStone Image Viewer is a free, powerful image viewer enriched with numerous useful features. FastStone freeware opens and edits pictures (including 4K Unsplash files), makes a photo slideshow with music, creates desktop wallpapers, works with scanners and much more. The list of helpful tools wrapped in a free for home use viewer is impressive.
What is FastStone Image Viewer?
It’s is a free file opening program for Windows. Only for Windows! Many people look an app version for Mac, Linux, Ubuntu, iPad, iPhone or Android app, but they don’t exist. You can download and install the latest version 7.5 .exe offline installer onto Windows computer using the link above. In out tutorial, we’ll review top features of FastStone viewing software and see why it deserves to be used on your PC. Watch short YouTube video guide below:
Is FastStone Image Viewer Good and Safe?
Although the freeware interface looks as if it’s Windows 98, it’s a powerful picture viewer that does picture manipulation work really good. The software is free, powerful, regularly updated, there’s no adware inside. And the software has modest system requirements, so you can use it on Windows 8. It supports multiple picture formats: BMP, JPEG, JPEG 2000, WebP, GIF, PNG, PCX, PSD, EPS, TIFF, WMF, ICO, TGA, RAW (CR2, CR3, CRW, NEF, NRW, PEF, RAF, RWL, MRW, ORF, SRW, X3F, ARW, SR2, SRF, RW2 and DNG). We haven’t tested any other freeware for Windows OS with such tremendous list of supported RAW SLR camera pic formats. Many photographers know it can be huge pain to import and browser full resolution multiple RAW files on Windows PC. Thanks to easy step by step instructions, you can view RAW and WebP pictures and convert them in batch mode to JPEG or PNG format if you wish.
LEARN MORE: HOW TO COMPARE TWO PHOTOS SIDE BY SIDE, PIXEL BY PIXEL IN FASTSTONE IMAGE VIEWER [VIDEO GUIDE]?
The program displays pictures in Windows Explorer-like manner. On the left side, you see a catalogue tree with your pics destinations. On the right side, you view images of the selected folder. You may use a picture preview window in the left-hand bottom corner. Apply magnifying glass to the preview with one click of the mouse to see the picture closer. The file details (resolution, format, name, date) are shown below the preview screen. Besides, you can always change the application background theme for dark, grey or bright and to adjust it for your eyes. Let’s see what photo editing tools the free software contains.
The file reader strives to equip you with key graphics editing tools. Use the upper toolbar to edit photos. Top FastStone editing features are:
- resize and crop pictures;
- flip pics with lossless JPEG rotation function;
- adjust lighting, brightness, contrast and saturation;
- remove red eyes from your pictures;
- add text, draw lines;
- heal old pictures with Clone stamp heal tool;
- copy pic area with Clone stamp to change background or replace objects in photo;
- apply various effects such as black and white photos, sepia or negative images hidden under Color tab;
How to Use FastStone Image Viewer Slideshow?
One of the best and easy features of FSViewer is slideshow. Play picture slides automatically without clicking next, next, next. The images change one by one smoothly and you enjoy great photo carousel on your PC. Here’s how to make a photo slideshow with music step by step:
- Select a destination folder or pics;
- Click “Slideshow” button on the upper toolbar;
- Choose background color;
- Apply one of 156 transition effects;
- Browse music file and click “Play” to enjoy your photos with good music.
Unfortunately, there is no way to save your slideshows as MP4 or AVI or WMV file. And you can’t burn the photo slideshow onto DVD with this tool. It’s only for viewing on on the fly.
How to Convert RAW to JPG, WebP to JPEG in FastStone Image Viewer?
FastStone Image Viewer contains speedy RAW to JPG Converter inside. It’s can process RAW images in batch mode quickly, which is unique feature for all photographers since rarely a few image viewers can compete with hardware vendors Sony Picture Motion Browser to process RAW camera files. Follow this guide to encode RAW files to JPEG:
- Go to Tools at the top menu;
- Click “Batch Convert Selected Images”;
- Select RAW files from the left column and click the “Add All” button, or add only RAW files that you need;
- Choose JPEG as image saving format and select output folder where to place your JPEG pics;
- Click the Convert button and wait a bit to process all RAW files;
- Check your converted RAW files in JPEG format.
As you can see the program works quite easy. In a similar manner, you can convert WebP images to JPEG or PNG with the help of FastStone Image Viewer.
Alternatives: FastStone Image Viewer vs. IrfanView
The app isn’t the only free format reader for Windows. There’s another popular FastStone alternative – IrfanView which we reviewed earlier here – https://photosoftwareblog.com/irfanview-free-image-viewer/. Which one is to choose? Is IrfanView better than FastStone or vice versa? Both image viewers:
- support almost all existing and exotic file extensions and formats;
- have outdaded interface which disappoint many users;
- they are totally free for home use;
- include picture editing features, but can’t replace modern editors like PhotoScape X
Still, two programs have slight differences. FastStone seems to process RAW files with less errors. But IrfanView is good at stitching panorama photos awesomely.
Do you agree with us? Watch below video comparison tutorial “FastStone Image Viewer vs. IrfanView vs. XnView”:
Share your opinion in comments!