Viewer2 is a free image viewing and tagging app that combines form and function into a powerful program that is a joy to use. It offers an innovative tagging process based on organizing image thumbnails and folders visually and grouping them in various ways that make it very easy to work with and tag them.
Includes a powerful, versatile search function that indexes metadata as well as filenames and paths.
There are a number of good freeware image viewers/taggers out there, but Viewer2 will immediately impress due to its stylish interface and innovative functions.
I would suggest that you view the video at the bottom of this post to get a sense of how this program works and feels; meanwhile here are some notes on this program:
- The interface: there’s not much of it, until you mouse over to the edges of the screen, where you will find all the tools that you need to browse, view and tag your images. But note that in order to really take advantage of what this program can do you really have to become familiar with the different mouse manipulations (e.g. right-click and move to move selected sets of images around – see the video tutorials). You also might want to become familiar with the various keyboard shortcuts, esp. the ones that concern tagging images, as they will make the process super fast and easy. Note that when hovering over any command icon in the interface a text label will show at the bottom of the screen to explain it (although a tool-tip would have been better, I think).
- Grouping images: Viewer2 can automatically group images visually in various “piles”. It can group by name, by path, by resolution, by number views, by time/date accessed, by color, and of course by tags.
- Automatic tag suggestions: for quick tagging, Viewer2 can suggest tags based on other tagging activity.
- Film Strip view: right clicking while viewing images displays thumbnail view of all other images in that folder that you can quickly browse through with horizontal mouse movements. A super cool effect (illustrated in the one of the two screenshots on the top of this review).
- Lasso-type tool: an innovative tool that can be used while tagging to select multiple images (alternately you can simply CTRL+click on several thumbnail to select them). In image view mode the lasso tool is there, but this time it serves to quickly zoom into the lassoed area (is that a word?).
- Searching: the search function is one of the most versatile and powerful that you could hope for, offering search by tags, by name, location, size, etc. It is able to field sophisticated queries such as give me the word “bla” with “2007” in the path excluding the tag “wallpaper” as an example (see the manual section for an overview).
- Navigating folders: double click on the viewed image to display the other images and folders in the same location.These will be represented visually in piles that can be hovered over (for more info) or clicked on to access. Alternately mouse over the left side of the screen to access a simple directory listing.
- Customization: most everything about this program can be customized in the settings, from the size of the thumbnails to the way various elements behave.
- Memory use: only 16 megs in memory, despite the nifty, visual pyrotechnics.
- Technical details: IPTC data editing, full Unicode support.
A video of the program in action:
The verdict: I am bowled over by this app. Its not just because of the high coolness factor, which would have been enough to win me over, but also because the innovative interface and process actually makes it super easy to work with tags quickly and effectively. The developer who thought out and built this (and kept it at such low memory usage) did a terrific job! Download and try it you will like it. [Thanks go to reader Anjan for tipping me off about this program!] Version Tested: 4044 Compatibility: Windows 2000, XP, Vista. Go to the Program page to download the latest version (approx 1.59 megs).