How To Use Windows Picture Viewer

Windows Picture Viewer is a graphic viewer program used to view digital images and picture files in formats such as JPEG, PNG, GIF, BMP and TIFF, among others. It comes with the Microsoft Operating System, particularly the Windows XP and Windows 2003 editions. You could also find versions of this program with Windows mobile-based pocket PCs (through its picture pocket programs).

When using the Microsoft Windows Picture Viewer, you’d be able to view pictures and digital images from a specific folder one at a time, at about 1/3 the size of the computer screen.

It’s very easy to use the Windows Picture Viewer:

  1. Learn the controls. The controls of the program are found at the bottom part of the screen. These controls are represented by symbols that illustrate their specific functions. For example, you’d find left and right arrows which you can press to go back to the previous picture and go ahead to the next picture, respectively; a screen with arrows at its corners pointing outwards, which means you can enlarge the image according to its “best fit” to the screen; a screen with arrows at the corners pointing inwards, which you can press to minimize the picture to its actual size; and a white screen symbol to start a slide show. Other controls found at the bottom part of the screen include a magnifying glass with a plus sign in the middle (you can press this to zoom in on the picture); a magnifying glass with a minus sign in the middle (to zoom out of the picture); green images with arrows that allow you to rotate the picture clockwise and counterclockwise (the arrows point to the direction they would be rotated); a red x-mark which you can press to delete the picture; a printer which you can press to print the picture; a diskette to let you save the picture; an image with a brush across it (to edit the image using another program) and a question mark that you can press if you have questions.
  2. Learn the different features. There are many different features available with the Windows Picture Viewer. Some of these include the following: setting the specific image being viewed as the wallpaper or background; sending it to an email; converting it to PDF file; and checking the properties of the image file (such as the memory size in KB, the date it was saved on file and modified). Through this program, you could also change the security settings of the image file (such as whether or not to allow other users to edit and modify the picture, or to simply view it) and to pinpoint its location on the computer’s disk. To access these features, just right-click on the image itself and choose from the list that comes with the pop-up box.
  3. Learn how to control it using the mouse or keyboard. Apart from clicking on the symbols that have been mentioned, you could also control the program using keyboard shortcuts and your computer mouse. Press the right and left arrows at your keyboard to go ahead to the next picture or to go back the previous one; press on “delete” to erase the picture; use the scroll control on your mouse (if it has one) to zoom in and out of the picture.
  4. Learn how to open the program. The Windows Picture and Fax Viewer is the default software viewer of Microsoft Windows 2003 and XP. This means that it automatically opens every time you click on an image file contained in your computer’s hard drive (or any other storage device such as a diskette, USB or CD). Again, since it doesn’t enable you to edit pictures, you could choose to open another program for this particular action.

There you have it! Be assured that Windows Picture Viewer is relatively easy to use, and if you just started out with it you’d likely be able to get the hang of using it in no time.


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