Imagine the scenario: you've got dozens of photos scattered across your hard drive, all in a variety of sizes and file formats. You want to place them all in the same folder, in the same format and perhaps even rename them for good measure. Perhaps they all need to be the same size, or you'd like to add a watermark. What are you going to do? You could open each file individually and perform the same repetitive actions on each, or you could go looking for a tool to do the hard work for you.

FastStone Image Viewer is - as the name suggests - a tool for viewing images, but that does it a massive disservice. It features some nifty editing tools, plus has a contact sheet builder, enabling you to quickly and easily print out thumbnail previews of a collection of images. But where the program really stands apart is with its batch-processing capabilities. It enables you to quickly convert a group of selected images from one format to another. You can save them all to a different folder, and rename them too.

Tick the Advanced options box, and you open up a whole wealth of options: resize, rotate, crop, change colour depth and DPI, adjust lighting and colours, add a border, and watermark your images with text or an image. Once you've set things up, click Convert and watch the program do in seconds what would take you minutes or even hours to achieve on your own.

What's new in v6.0 (history)?

- Improved the Straighten/Rotate tool. Now you can rotate and crop the image within the same window
- Added Auto Next Folder option to the Viewer tab of the Settings. This option lets you proceed to the next folder automatically when end of current folder is reached. Alternatively, you can press Alt + left/right arrow keys at the beginning/end of current folder to navigate into adjacent folders
- Added Remember Last Viewed File to the Viewer tab of the Settings
- Added two Zoom Filters (Lanczos_Softer and Bilinear) to the Viewer tab of the Settings
- Added Full Screen Preview to Crop Board
- Added Update File Timestamp option to Save As dialog
- Added Copy Image (Ctrl+Shift+C) to the right click menu on thumbnails
- Added Copy to Clipboard to Image Strip Builder
- Other minor improvements and bug fixes

Verdict ratingsratingsratingsratingsratings

 You can take or leave the program's viewing and editing options, but as a batch conversion tool - that's free for personal use to boot - we've yet to find an equal.