Last day of the year… I don’t know about you, but most of the people I know will also end up with a bunch of pictures after the party tonight, not only with a headache. Speaking for myself and being honest, I must confess I have absolutely no idea where and what I’m going to do tonight, but one thing’s certain: a lot of people may think about replacing their image viewer this weekend or at least try a new one, so I decided to close 2010′s reviews with ABsee Free Image Viewer. If this one’s going to be the last disappointment of the year, another average program or the last revelation I had in 2010, that’s what remains to be seen…
Released in mid-December, ABsee Free Image Viewer 3.7 is a freeware image viewer that also includes a basic image editing tool and works with all Windows operating systems, at least that’s what the official product page claims.
The setup package comes inside a ZIP archive that has 2.2 MB in size and installing it can get pretty nasty for paranoid people, but not only for them. How’s that? Well, we have no toolbars to be afraid of… only a little piece of spyware that’s called RelevantKnowledge! Fortunately, it even comes with some kind of privacy statement/user license agreement that’s written with a small font and reading it is really hard. Unfortunately, I found no way to avoid installing it…
Hey, even my antivirus jumped up saying there’s some adware moving in my computer, but there are plenty of sites saying this piece of code isn’t exactly malicious, so it’s all up to you. If you want my advice, I would tell you to install the whole program under close surveillance of an uninstaller like Ashampoo UnInstaller so you can remove everything properly after you’re done.
Apart from the “spyware or not” issue above, installing ABsee Free Image Viewer 3.7 is a really straightforward process so, if you still feel brave enough to give it a try, I think we should move to the more interesting parts of this program, namely the interface and features, of course!
This program’s interface looks good, using it is pretty easy, the documentation can help you understand better all its functions, but don’t expect skins or multilanguage support, because you won’t get them. Anyway, I can’t say there’s something really wrong with this program’s GUI, so let’s see those features now, shall we?
When it comes to the image formats supported, things are looking really good here, with ABsee Free Image Viewer 3.7 being able to handle almost 50 image formats, including BMP, JPG, PNG, TIF, PSD, PCX, ICO and so on. Unfortunately, this program can’t handle archived images, not even those that have been packed using the ZIP format. I know for sure this would be a great addition to the features list. Oh, well, maybe in the future…
The main window of the program is pretty well organized, allowing you to browse your images and quickly view them in a small viewing area, but that doesn’t mean you can’t go full screen, if needed. In the same area, you can quickly view the image info and the EXIF information, when that info is available. When it’s not, the EXIF tab won’t appear.
The browser can display all files or only images, but you can also choose to show hidden files, while the available file view modes are list/report/large icons/thumbnails. While you may not expect this, ABsee Free Image Viewer’s thumbnails can be customized, and we’re talking about more than just size here – you can also choose to have rounded edges, shadows and a bunch of other options that I leave for you to discover.
ABsee Free Image Viewer 3.7 also has a Slide Show feature and using it should be pretty straightforward – you go to a folder, select some images, then press the button to enjoy your images. Bad luck, it seems this one doesn’t work that way. The documentation doesn’t help at all, either, since it says exactly what I expected: “Slide show the image files in the current folder.” Well, I guess we have one feature MIA here…
… but to really see a bunch of missing features, you have to see the so-called “editor,” which is nothing more but an empty shell, if you ask me. Sure, it has edge, emboss and a few other image filters, but virtually no editing capabilities, apart from pan/zoom and a few selection tools. Come on, people!!!
At last, I should also tell you a few words about the options available – while there’s nothing about image decoding/resize methods, at least you get those interesting thumbnail-related settings I mentioned earlier, as well as a few things that should help you making the slide shows more interesting. Such a pity that this feature doesn’t seem to work… so let’s end this review and this year, right now!
Tips & Tricks
Only one tip… hey, maybe two-in-one: first, there are plenty of better free image viewers out there; second, I guess ABsee Free Image Viewer may seem really good if you drink enough before using it!
ABsee Free Image Viewer 3.7 looks good, using it is really easy, it offers support for quite a few image formats and it even has some documentation to help you if you get stuck. Oh, yeah, it’s also (almost) free to download and use!
When I said “almost free,” I was obviously thinking about the adware/spyware coming with the program. Unfortunately, that’s not the only problem I noticed, since the ABsee Editor is nothing more but a joke and the Slide Show feature simply doesn’t work!!!
Complete failure? Not really, I’ve seen worse. Something to avoid? Unfortunately, yes. The image viewer itself wouldn’t be that bad, but what comes with it make it one of the last choices to consider when looking for a new image viewer/editor.
Well, it seems we’re not ending this year with a revelation, but one thing’s certain: the future can only be better, so let’s look forward with hope. Have a Happy New Year, everyone!