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Viewing Images in Microsoft Windows XP

written by: Arvind Arora•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 11/20/2008

Microsoft Windows XP offers a considerable amount of flexibility for viewing images. The users can view and edit images in a number of ways within the operating system. In this article, we will have a look at what image formats are and how many ways images can be viewed on a Windows XP based PC.

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    Basics of Viewing Images within Microsoft Windows XP

    Microsoft Windows XP provides users with a range of possibilities for scanning, capturing, viewing, editing, sharing, and printing their images. However, in this article, we will concentrate our discussion on viewing images in Windows XP only.

    Users of Microsoft Windows XP can view their images on their PC in a number of ways. They can either use some in-built application offered by Windows or they can rely on some third party image software for the purpose. But both the built-in image viewing applications bundled with the Microsoft Windows XP operating system and the third party software share some features which help in making your image viewing a lot easier in the Windows XP environment.

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    What are Image Formats?

    All the Windows XP image-viewing applications provide support to a multiple number of image formats. These image formats are nothing but certain file extensions, which help your PC in recognizing those files as image files, so that it can further open the image files in software applications associated with that file extension. Some popular image formats are JPEG, GIF, BMP, and PNG.

    Normally, this association taks place automatically inside the operating system of your Microsoft Windows XP PC, and it opens an image file in the default software application associated with that file extension, but you can also modify this setting to view the image file of your choice in your favorite XP image-viewing application.

    Some image-viewing programs offer you an ability to save the image file in any other format. For example, you can view a JPEG file in one application and save it as a GIF file. This way, your software also acts as an image conversion solution for you, enabling you to convert the file formats of your image files. This may be quite helpful in reducing the file size in addition to making it more compatible across various platforms.

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    Types of Windows XP Image Viewing Applications Available

    The Microsoft Windows XP operating system provides a number of built-in applications that can be used for viewing images. These images include Windows Picture and Fax Viewer, Microsoft Paint, Internet Explorer, and Microsoft Windows Media Player.

    Also, some third party solution providers offer a range of image viewing software with diverse sets of features and capabilities to view and modify images in various ways. Some of these softwares are IrfanView Graphic Viewer, Inzomnia Image Viewer, ACDSee Photo Manager, FastStone Image Viewer and i-Fun Viewer.

    Nearly all the Windows XP image viewing applications let you print your image in a format and page size of your choice. Based upon your printer software, you can also change your printing preferences to some extent at the time of printing. Some more advanced image viewing programs are also equipped with picture scanning features, which help you in scanning your photographs and pictures with the help of a scanner attached to your Windows XP based PC, right from the software.

Default image viewing applications within Windows XP

Microsoft Windows XP offers various possibilities to users for viewing and modifying images upon their PCs, which include some default image viewing applications built-in within the operating system installation. In this article series we discuss these applications and their features.
  1. Viewing Images in Microsoft Windows XP
  2. Viewing Images with Windows Picture & Fax Viewer and Microsoft Paint
  3. Viewing Images in Internet Explorer and Windows Media Player