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Opening Images

Using an Image Viewing Program

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There are many freeware and shareware image viewers that you can download from the Web. Many offer additional features for basic image editing and converting file formats as well. Visit the links below to learn more about image viewers, or download freeware and shareware viewers.

When you install the image viewer, it should automatically set the file associations to open the most common image files. If for some reason a file association is inadvertently changed or suddenly stops working, you can take the following steps to correct it:

  1. Go into Windows Explorer and find a file of the type you want to associate (GIF, JPEG, etc.).
  2. Click on its icon once, just to select it (don't double-click).
  3. If you have Windows 98 hold the shift key down, then right-click on the icon. In Windows XP, you can right click without holding the shift key.
  4. In the pop-up menu, choose Open With...In Windows 98, a box will open asking you to choose a program to open that file type. In Windows XP, you will get a sub-menu with the most likely programs listed.
  5. Pick a program from the list. If the program you need isn't in the list, choose [other] (Win98) or Choose Program... (WinXP) to navigate to another EXE file on your hard drive.
  6. If you always want that program to open these types of files, put a checkmark in the box that says Always use this program to open files of this type.

You may also choose to associate your image files with an image editor. An image viewer is usually faster when you just want to look at a picture, but if you plan to do any modification of the images, you'll need an image editor. Image editors allow you to perform all types of modifications on your images, such as color correcting, cropping, adding text, adding borders and frames, combining pictures into collages, correcting scratches, tears, and other problems, and much more. For more information, see my article Before You Buy a Photo Editor and the links to Image Editing Software.

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