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Chapter 4. Windows XP Applications and Tools > Windows Picture and Fax Viewer

Windows Picture and Fax Viewer

Simple image viewer, capable of displaying .bmp, .emf, .gif, .jpeg, .png, .tif, and .wmf files.

To Open

Double-click any .emf, .gif, .jpeg, .bmp, .png, or .tif file

Usage

rundll32 C:\WINDOWS\System32\shimgvw.dll,ImageView_Fullscreen filename

Description

The Windows Picture and Fax Viewer isn’t a standalone application in the traditional sense, but rather a simple viewer window. When Windows XP is first installed, it is the default viewer for the following file types:


.emf

Enhanced Meta File


.gif

Compuserve Graphics Interchange Format


.jpeg

Joint Photographic Experts Group


.bmp

Windows Bitmap


.png

Portable Network Graphics


.tif

Tagged Image File Format


.wmf

Windows Meta File

An unfortunate design in the Windows Picture and Fax Viewer becomes evident when you use the File Types dialog (see “Folder Options”, earlier in this chapter) to try to change the default application for any of the above image file formats. The Windows Picture and Fax Viewer will still be opened when you double-click on any image file. Furthermore, the only way to fix this is to edit your Registry. To do this, open the Registry Editor (described in Chapter 8), navigate to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\ SystemFileAssociations\ image\ ShellEx\ ContextMenuHandlers, and delete the ShellImagePreview key entirely. Close the Registry Editor when you’re done; the change will take effect immediately.


Notes

The Windows Picture and Fax Viewer is really a poor image viewer; just about any substitute would be preferred. For a better image viewer, try ACDSee-32 (http://www.acdsee.com/) or Paint Shop Pro (http://www.jasc.com/). You could even associate image files with Internet Explorer (or another web browser), or even Paint.

See Also

“Paint”, “Fax Console”

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