Use IfranView as a Snipping Tool

When is a snipping tool not a snipping tool, well when it’s a graphics viewer, like IrfanView. Combine the ‘Print Screen’ button on most Windows PCs and a graphics or image viewer’s crop function and you have a snipping tool albeit ‘old skool’.

So, instead of using a specific snipping tool, why not use an image viewer? Well generally they can be quite large programs, taking a long time to load and we don’t want to wait that long just to grab a piece of the screen. Also the cropping functionality may be cumbersome with multiple keystrokes or mouse clicks to find and use.

But that’s where IrfanView is different, it’s small and cropping with IrfanView is easy, almost as easy as using a snipping tool 🙂

Well let’s do a comparison, how many keypresses or mouse clicks does it take to take a screen capture using PrintScreen and IrfanView.

1) Capture Screen – ‘Alt + PrintScreen’ (2 keypresses)
2) Start IrfanView (4 mouse clicks)
3) Paste Image – ‘Ctrl + V’ (2 keypresses)
4) Select area for cropping – Mouse down, drag, mouse up – (Mouse click and drag)
5) Crop image – ‘Ctrl + Y’ or Edit/Crop Selection – (2 keypresses or 2 mouse clicks)
6) Save image – Save Icon, Save button – (2 mouse clicks)

Not what we would call speedy but let’s see how it stacks up against the Windows Snipping Tool in Windows 7

1) Start Snipping Tool – (4 mouse clicks)
2) Select area for cropping – Mouse down, drag, mouse up – (Mouse click and drag)
3) Save image – Save Icon, Save button – (2 mouse clicks)

Well quite a difference as you can see. With the snipping tool there are three less steps which consist of up to 6 keypresses, so overall you’d have to favour the Windows snipping tool, but of course this ‘experiment’ is hardly scientific. What if IrfanView is already open? Shortcut use to make it access quicker? As always it’s really down to the individual user to see what works for them and whilst IrfanView is a neat graphics viewer it’s probably not a great replacement for the Windows snipping tool.

Unless, of course, you’re running Windows XP 😉