Before getting into the features of FastStone Image Viewer, it is worthwhile to take a look at the information on the main screen.
This is separated into three parts. The upper left is the folder structure on the computer and it is set up to make it easy to locate the image you want to work on. In this image, the “Demonstration” folder on the desktop has been selected.
Below this, there is a preview window that shows whichever picture has been selected. The selected image here is a satellite view of Crater Lake. Let’s take a zoomed-in look at that panel because it contains a surprising amount of information.
Across the bottom, under the preview image, FastStone shows the dimensions of the image in pixels, the color resolution, the type of image file it is (in this case, JPG), the file size of the image, and the date and time the image was uploaded. In the case of the Crater Lake image, this is displayed as 960 x 1413 (1.36 MP) 24 bit JPG 273 KB 2019-08-05 07:24:44. Underneath this information, the name of the image being previewed and which of the images in the folder is being previewed are listed. In this case, it is showing picture.jpg [2/3]. Picture.jpg is the name of the image and it is the second of three images in the folder.
Many or most people will find the file size the most important part of this data, though the dimensions are also important. Most of the images I share on Virily have a width of 960 pixels. A size of 273 KB is a little bit larger than what I like to use, so if I was actually using this image in a post (and I might, at some time), I’d probably cut the file size. How I do that is for a later article. The point is that simply by looking, I know if the image is too large or if it is the right size.
Note that if you put the cursor over the image, the cursor changes into a magnifying glass. If you click and hold the right mouse button, it zooms in on the image so you can see it in full size, though contained within the preview window.
The third panel, on the right, displays the contents of the folder you are in. The path to the folder is displayed just above the panel, in a way that is similar to how a web URL is displayed. In this case, it is displayed as C:UsersRexDesktopDemonstration. This lets me know exactly which folder I’m in.
Thumbnails of all the images in the folder are displayed here. Each is also displayed with the name, the size in pixels, and the image type.
Above the folder panel, there is a control bar that allows a person to edit the image. If you put your mouse over each button, the function of the button is displayed. Personally, I use the third and fifth buttons the most. The third is the resize button and the fifth is the annotation button for adding text, arrows, or what have you.
All of this may sound complex, but it honestly isn’t. Most of it is straightforward and self-explanatory. The information is there to make it easier for the user, but it is up to the user if they want to use any of it or if they even want to look at it at all. Some of the information is also purposely redundant so a user can get the information from more than one place.
It normally takes no more than a couple of minutes for a person to grasp what is on the main page of the program. However, it is worthwhile to look at the wealth of knowledge it contains and which we’ve just looked at.