XnView MP Reviews

Excellent image viewer, manager, and basic editor

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I've been using XnView as my main image viewer for many years, and XnViewMP by the same creators is to be its replacement and gets the main focus of development. The big new feature is that while XnView was a Windows-only application, XnViewMP also comes in versions for Linux and MacOS X ("MP" stands for multi-platform).

For several years, I kept XnView installed in parallel (which works without problem), as XnViewMP is a complete rewrite, and as such only gradually started reintroducing features I had gotten used to. As of the current versions, however (as of this writing, version 0.84 has been released), XnViewMP has really come of age and is a very complete, comfortable, and mostly stable image viewer and manager.

The manager portion is focussed around a file system browser with thumbnail view, and it offers many options to search, filter and categorise images. All the important metadata standards are supported, XnViewMP supports EXIF (read-only) and IPCT-IIM/XMP tags, so your applied edits work fine in other applications, as well. The program uses its own thumbnail catalog, so previews are cached and load quickly.

Many very useful management tools are available. For example, you can look for duplicate pictures, not just by finding exact copies of files but optionally also using a visual similarity metric, which for example can be useful to find slightly edited or cropped versions of a picture. XnViewMP has a powerful export feature to convert images to various formats, letting users choose many settings manually, supports direct uploading to FTP servers and some image hosting services, generating file lists, mosaics, multi-frame images, or capturing images from the screen or a website.

Of course there is a full-featured image viewer, with slideshow functionality. And it's one of the fastest viewers I've ever used! The only other viewer that I can think of which is in the same league, would be IrfanView. XnViewMP lets you quickly flip through images in a folder or a selection, zoom and rotate, and even display alpha channels, helpful grids, and histograms. If you need to crop pictures or copy content to other applications, there are tools to fix the size or aspect ratio of the selection rectangle. This is one of the few areas where XnView's options are still superior, but it's still very helpful and appreciated.

A pretty nice set of editing tools is available as well. From the standards of cropping, rotating, scaling, mirroring etc. to basic colour corrections and manipulations (contrast, brightness, gamma, saturation etc.) to a few basic (blur, sharpness, denoise) and artistic (sepia, vignette) filters. There's red-eye correction, and even some basic drawing tools to, for instance, put annotations or censor parts of an image. Although I haven't used it, it's even supposed to support Photoshop plug-ins.

Easily one of the most powerful features is the batch processing dialog. Make any selection of images, and go through the three steps of configuration: Input lets you add and remove images and entire folders, and set filters to decide which images your modifications will apply to; Processing allows you to set up a chain of editing steps from a selection of over 80 processing options, each with various parameters to set up; and Output decides where and in what format the resulting images should be saved – anything from overwriting the originals, to setting up automatic folders and file names while converting to different formats and stripping certain metadata.

As an image viewer, XnViewMP is right up there with IrfanView at the top of its class. As a picture manager, it is powerful, customizable, and fast. And as a basic editor with powerful batch processing, in many cases it is the only post-processing software I need for my photos, from actual corrections and edits right up to exporting them for upload. And maybe best of all, it's a true PC desktop software, with a powerful preferences dialog that lets you customise and adopt to your own way of working. None of that dumbed-down touchscreen nonsense here, you are in control. I wholeheartedly recommend you give it a try!

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I don't like XnView as a quick image viewer.
The interface is not fast and smooth and it has clutter I don't need.

But if you need the features you may well love it.

I'm trying IrfanView next. (used to use Picasa, and Windows 10 photo viewer sucks for some rerason now),

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I couldn't adopt XnView MP because its batch file renaming capabilities are too basic. You are not able to set the properties of the date format or time format. You can't truncate the date to be just day without time, you cannot use 24hr time format, and you cannot use the computer sortable YMD date format of e.g. 2018-06-29. You're stuck with a default D-M-Y H-M-S-am/pm spaghetti string of the type '29-06-2018 2-10-32 PM'. So incorporating a date into a filename is not practical. Hence files cannot be batch date-catalogued easily, and that cuts the use of XnView as a photo manager to about zero. Pity really, as otherwise it is good.

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XnViewMP is a multi-platform rewrite of the image viewer XnView. It's not open-source, although free for personal use. It's still being actively maintained, with many bugs regularly fixed.

In my opinion, it trumps all similar open-source software with its powerful features. (e.g. we have Shotwell, a default photo editor for GNOME - that can't even resize photos.) It's because it hasn't been affected by the "discontinued-forked-unmaintained" diseases that plague many FOSS projects. There's one person behind it, but he keeps maintaining and improving the code.

Look no further if you need a quick tool to resize, crop, adjust images, and with its batch converter you can very easily automate tasks e.g. bulk resize or convert a batch of images before for example uploading them to the web. It knows "almost all" picture formats that you would ever need, with detailed output/conversion settings. Also, functionality can be extended much further by using its plugins.

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Recently switched to Linux and I am quite liking this. I haven't played with it too much yet, but it is pretty nice so far. May come back to improve my comment if needed.


like it better

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actually like it better than most professional workflow software. really nice to have different layout sets. editing and deleting meta data works well and with no stress.


Great Program

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With the ability to open a photo and make slight adjustments in the program, it also offers the option to open the photo in any editor you wish to associate with it for further work. This program is similar to adobe lightroom, adobe bridge, and digikam. In my opinion, it's a great free alternative for all to use.