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Delicieuxz

Personal review of this awesome photo viewer (ImageGlass) that I've been a fan of for 1 day

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Posted · Original PosterOP

So, the prelude here is that the Windows 10 photo viewer sucks. It has sucked since the release of Windows 10, and although it got a bit better with Windows 10 1703 where it received some needed tweaks, it still sucks, a lot, being a significant downgrade in functionality and digital ergonomics from the Windows 7 photo viewer (which is hard to do), while also being massively slower than the Windows 7 photo viewer (how does that work?).

 

So, what if there was a parallel universe where Microsoft evolved and refined the Windows 7 photo viewer in ways that suggested lessons had been learned between the releases of Windows 7 and 10, rather than forgotten? Well, that parallel universe would probably have something like ImageGlass. And thanks to @BlackJackTheRipper for mentioning it in his thread about Windows 10 LTSB.

 

 

 

ImageGlass is a free lightweight photo viewer that has all the features of the Windows 7 / 10 photo viewers, but with additional ones, and also lots of smart user-friendly customization options.

 

The website downloading ImageGlass is https://imageglass.org/

 

Newer version, ImageGlass Moon: https://imageglass.org/moon

 

 

The benefits I've found to ImageGlass over the stock Windows 10 photo viewer include:

 

- it loads a bit faster, and performs some editing actions, such as rotating an image, a lot faster

- the layout is cleaner and more convenient (it's previous / next image buttons aren't obnoxiously slammed to the opposite sides of the screen)

- the tools are more useful. For example, the zoom in and out tool has greater min max limits, and there are both rotate-left and rotate-right buttons

- its toolbar is customizable and lets you choose which icons to display and also which order they appear in

- it has a visual theme editor and stock dark and light themes to choose from

- it has very useful configuration options, such as choosing what the scroll-wheel does, whether an image's rotated state is automatically saved, and what program should open if you right-click an image in ImageGlass and choose Edit 

- it probably isn't harvesting personal data from you when you use it

 

 

One of the things I look for in a photo viewer is BOTH rotate-left and rotate-right buttons *coughs in the direction of the stock Win 10 photo viewer*, and ImageGlass has this. However, with its default settings ImageGlass didn't save the newly-oriented state of an image after I rotated it left or right. I initially thought this was an unfortunate oversight in an otherwise promising photo viewer, but then I looked at the settings options for the program and found that 'save the image after rotating' has a check-box to enable that functionality. It has since been checked.

 

I also noticed that when I zoomed an image in and out in ImageGlass that the image became pixellated and thought maybe smoothing zoomed images might be one thing that the Win 10 photo viewer does better (for casual image viewing) than ImageGlass. But, again, I found an option in ImageGlass' settings for zoom smoothing.

 

I've set ImageGlass' default image editor to Photoshop, so that now any time I right-click on an image I'm viewing in ImageGlass and then choose Edit, Photoshop loads with that image in it ready to be edited. Each different file-type can be set to be opened in a different editor.

 

Importantly, ImageGlass has full-screen and slideshow modes that are separate from each other (something that the Win 10 photo viewer didn't have until 1703).

 

 

The one thing I wish ImageGlass had that I didn't find a settings option for is smooth-zooming, like the Windows 10 photo viewer has. Instead, ImageGlass zooms in and out in increments, which is pretty normal. I just would like smooth zooming. It's nice.

 

But, other than that, so far, it looks to me like ImageGlass is the perfect basic photo viewer that Microsoft, if they were actually a good company, would have made and included in Windows 10. It's a quality and intelligent refinement over the Windows 7 photo viewer.

 

 

Here's a preview of some of ImageGlass' settings.

 

2136291916_ImageGlasssettings1.jpg.c439c230a120e7a522af65f6faf064c2.jpg

 

1105108116_ImageGlasssettings.thumb.jpg.962074cee03cdec68e9e2b23990c83bf.jpg

 

 

 

Buy today. It's free!

 

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Thanks for the review!

 

* The thread was moved to the Member Reviews section *


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I'll check it out. Thanks!


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On 10/11/2018 at 6:57 AM, Delicieuxz said:

So, the prelude here is that the Windows 10 photo viewer sucks. It has sucked since the release of Windows 10, and although it got a bit better with Windows 10 1703 where it received some needed tweaks, it still sucks, a lot, being a significant downgrade in functionality and digital ergonomics from the Windows 7 photo viewer (which is hard to do), while also being massively slower than the Windows 7 photo viewer (how does that work?).

You've reminded me that I haven't properly given my feedback on that atrocity anywhere on LTT yet, which is amazing.  While my feelings are overall bad on average, it's not entirely bad through and through.

 

The good:

  • Can view RAW files out of the box
  • at least with RAWs (pretty sure I haven't noticed it doing this with any others and tbh it's good it doesn't), it automatically applies enhancements that make the photos look how you would probably do them up in photoshop rather than the way they actually are, which for just viewing and showing people is fantastic (note this is an "on view" thing, it doesn't actually modify the file in any way)

The bad:

Oh god where do I start...

  • The simple act of actually displaying an image - you know, the entire point of the program - is completely broken.  I've routinely opened an image only to have it give me a blurry version, and while sometimes I can get it to partially or even wholly snap out of it, often the only way to see what it actually looks like is open it in paint.  I've even seen it display correctly when you very first open it but within a second it snaps to the blurry one.  Absolutely ridiculous.  I complained in review and the feedback hub about this when Windows 10 was brand new and while I seem to recall them making "changes", it has not been resolved.
  • There's no easy way to toggle between the two most likely zoom states: fit and 1:1.  Yes I know you can right click and go "view actual size" but why make that an extra click away?
  • You can't switch to a new image unless you zoom all the way out again.  Why!?
  • The interface appears and disappears when you click on the image which is frustrating for a variety of reasons, and what's worse is that it takes like 1 second to actually happen, and it resets the zoom level of the image when it does.
  • It is unable to scroll through multiple pages in a TIF image/document despite the fact that the old version could.

I'm probably forgetting a whole host of things but those are the big ones and having now written this out, I suddenly find myself amazed that I've tolerated it all this time and confused as to why I have continued using it.  In case you didn't know, the old image viewer actually is still in Windows 10, you just need to activate it.  Simply merge the attached registry key and then choose it from the "open with..." menu (you might need to expand the list to find the old "Windows Photo Viewer" but it's there).

Enable Windows Photo Viewer.reg

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Posted · Original PosterOP

There's a newer version of ImageGlass available, called ImageGlass Moon.

 

https://imageglass.org/moon

 

The developer says of it, "The recent build of ImageGlass Moon has improved significantly startup time and and overall performance!"

 

I didn't really find ImageGlass to be slow performing before, but, wow, the new version of ImageGlass Moon is blazing-fast to launch.

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On 10/12/2018 at 9:25 PM, Ryan_Vickers said:

-Snip-

I've tried one other image viewer, but I went back to whatever the one Windows provides because of one feature that I can't seem to find anywhere else: it will go through the images in the order you've sorted them in Explorer.

 

This is actually a thing for me because I like to keep my images sorted in order by date (either modified, created, or whatever). While this isn't a problem if most of your image files are from digital cameras, I also hoard images that don't follow any real naming convention. And I tend to like to have them sorted by date since it's more frustrating to me to download an image and find it in the unsorted mess I have than it is to be right there on the top.

 

So yes, this one requirement of mine is a deal breaker whether or not I'll shift over to a third party image viewer (I guess a soft one is it has animated gif support)

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5 hours ago, M.Yurizaki said:

I've tried one other image viewer, but I went back to whatever the one Windows provides because of one feature that I can't seem to find anywhere else: it will go through the images in the order you've sorted them in Explorer.

 

This is actually a thing for me because I like to keep my images sorted in order by date (either modified, created, or whatever). While this isn't a problem if most of your image files are from digital cameras, I also hoard images that don't follow any real naming convention. And I tend to like to have them sorted by date since it's more frustrating to me to download an image and find it in the unsorted mess I have than it is to be right there on the top.

 

So yes, this one requirement of mine is a deal breaker whether or not I'll shift over to a third party image viewer (I guess a soft one is it has animated gif support)

Interesting... now that you mention it, I do recall the old style one having issues with that, and the newer Photos app working as expected.  I guess that's one more point for the new one.  However, I also noticed just recently that the old one seems to be able to open RAW files now.  I'm not sure how new this feature is, and I don't know whether it's available on all platforms or just Windows 10.  I don't even know if it gives the same results.  I do intend to look into all of these, but in the mean time, I can say that the existing point Photos had for this is hanging in the balance.

 

Edit 1: After A/B-ing between the Photos app and the Windows Photo Viewer (older) app on a photo that makes any liberties taken with interpretation really stand out, I can confidently say that they look the same in terms of colours and all of that.  One thing that was different (and the only thing as far as I can tell), is that the Photos app nicely sharpens the image for any given scale, where as the older one does not really do this appreciably.  However, at 1:1, I believe they are identical.  Next time I can be bothered I'll check if this works on Windows 7 as well.

 

Edit 2: I took this opportunity to see how both respond to stepping through photos with the next button when opened from a page of search results, and both cycle only through the two photos in the list, despite there being hundreds in the folder, so either something about this specific situation is causing it to act differently, or both of us are remembering a difference in the experience that does not actually exist.

Edited by Ryan_Vickers
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On 10/13/2018 at 12:25 PM, Ryan_Vickers said:

You've reminded me that I haven't properly given my feedback on that atrocity anywhere on LTT yet

yeah when I found out I could get classic photo preview back I did it almost immediately ._.

(also did the same for calculator, but sadly it's an actual installer from a less-known site ._. been working for me and Windows Defender hasn't complained yet)

 

(also also installed google's webp system driver, because sites being dicks for force downloading webp images instead of whatever the URL claimed it to be)

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3 hours ago, VegetableStu said:

yeah when I found out I could get classic photo preview back I did it almost immediately ._.

(also did the same for calculator, but sadly it's an actual installer from a less-known site ._. been working for me and Windows Defender hasn't complained yet)

 

(also also installed google's webp system driver, because sites being dicks for force downloading webp images instead of whatever the URL claimed it to be)

What's wrong with the UWP calculator?  Well, other than the obvious xD

image.png.2c0ae2504a8a53b9ac8b3419a799b314.png

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