How to Make a Slideshow Using IrfanView

Need to create a photo slideshow but don’t want to use Power Point or buy one of the expensive photo editors that professionals use? Try the totally free IrfanView program. If you’re unfamiliar with this gem of freeware, download the small program and you’ll be pleasantly surprised what this little image viewer and photo editor can accomplish – and how easy it is to use. IrfanView supports all the common formats, like JPG, GIF, BMP, and PNG, but it also handles less common image files too. Follow these steps to make a slideshow using IrfanView:

1. Get the program – if you don’t already have it – at or [In case you’re wondering, “Irfan” is the name of the software’s Bosnian creator, a friendly man who developed his namesake program over ten years ago.]

2. If you want to add music to your slideshow, you’ll need to download a plug-in from (don’t worry, it’s easy and covers most usual formats, including MP3 and Real). I recommend downloading all the available plug-ins in one fell swoop as an .exe file. Once it’s downloaded, close the IrfanView program and then run the .exe containing all the plug-ins. Re-launch the main program, and you’re ready to make a slideshow using IrfanView.

3. Select your photos / images and put them in order.

– -a. One way to hunt through your files is to go directly to the slideshow window by clicking on the film strip icon, hitting “W”, or going to File Ã?  Slideshow. Here, you can see a preview of the images and add either a single file or any entire folder worth of files by selecting Add (file) or Add All (folder). Everything you add now populates in a file list at the left, and you can use several buttons to order it: Move Up, Move Down, and Sort Files.

– a. Another way to comb through all the images in your computer is to use IrfanView’s wonderful thumbnail directory feature. Simply press “T” (or go under File > Thumbnails), and you’ll get a directory of your computer’s files. Whenever you click on a folder that has images (i.e. My Pictures), IrfanView will show you thumbnails in alpha order. You can then highlight multiple images in the IrfanView Thumbnails window and go to File > Save [or Append] Selected Thumbs as Current Slideshow. Then just head back to the Slideshow tool and create a slideshow order.

4. To insert music, just add the audio file using the slideshow tool the same way that you added the photos/images. When the audio file appears in the list at the left, you’ll need to move it to the right spot in the lineup. For example, if you want the music to start along with the show, put it first. If you want it to start a few pictures in, then put it in third place. You can make a multi-song slideshow using Irfanview by inserting different audio files in at different points in the list, but we warned that the shift will be abrupt.

5. Select other options to make your Irfanview slideshow complete. On the slideshow tool, you’ll have the ability to set preferences on slide advancement (timing and randomness) as well as general options like looping and hiding the cursor. To change the screen color from black to something else, click on the full screen options button. Also, unless you want to deal with file location text appearing during the slideshow or go through the process of loading your own text, just make the text color the same as the background, and it’ll disappear so as not to muddy the slideshow just crafted.

6. Preview your slideshow by hitting Play, and when you’ve perfected it, save it as an EXE file. Incidentally, you can also create an SCR screensaver file.

7. Enjoy. Make another slideshow using IrfanView, or learn about the free program’s excellent photo editing features. If you really, really love using it, then you can send Irfan a donation, too.

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