How can XnView interact with other (graphic) programs?

Frequently Asked Questions regarding XnView (including Answers)

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How can XnView interact with other (graphic) programs?

Post by helmut »

XnView is a universal tool and often used as a quick and fast viewer for images. So a specific image can be searched and found. For comparatively simple image manipulation, the image can be opened and edited in XnView. For advanced image manipulation, often, a larger graphic program like Corel PhotoPaint or Adobe Photoshop is used.

Below please find a descriptions of how XnView can interact with other graphic programs and how you combine XnView effectively with them. The target program must not necessarily be a graphic program, for example you can drag & drop images from and to MS Explorer.

A - Menu item "Shell > Open / Edit"
When using the menu item "Tools > Shell > Open / Edit" you will start the program associated with the file's type (=file extension, e.g. '.jpg').

B - Menu item "Open with..."
In the browser and image view, there is the menu item "Tools > Open with...", which is also available in the context menu (right mouse key).
You can add own programs to this sub menu, for this please choose "Open with...>Add program" and then choose the (graphic) program. For example for PhotoPaint of Corel Draw 10 it's "C:\Program Files\Graphics10\Programs\photopnt.exe". And for MS Paint it's "C:\Windows\system32\mspaint.exe".
From then on, the chosen program will be available as an additional menu item in the "Open with.." sub menu. You can add as many programs (or even scripts) as you like and open the image in one of those programs by choosing the appropriate menu item.

C - Drag & Drop
If the graphic software is already opened, you can use "Drag & Drop" and drag an image from XnView to the graphic program and drop it there. The image will be opened in the graphic program, then.

This is also helpful for copying or moving images: You can drag images to a folder displayed in MS Explorer and thus copy or move the selected image (if needed press 'Shift' for moving, 'Ctrl' for copying files). The other way round will also work.

Note: If the graphic program is started but hidden by other windows or minimized, drag the image to entry of the graphic program in the Windows taskbar and wait for about a second. The graphic program will become visible and you can then drop your image.

D - Option "Use shell context to open picture"
By default, XnView will open and display the images it recognizes using the internal image viewer. By activating the option "Tools > Option > Browser > Use shell context to open picture" you can change this behaviour and force XnView to open all files using the associated program. In this case, XnView is really just a browser and a jump-start, the image viewer will be 'cut off', then.

Personally I use B and C: XnView for managing images and Corel PhotoPaint and MS Paint for manipulating them.

Related topics:
- From XnView to Photoshop and back