Enhancing screen prints with freeware IrfanView

Usually this website does not delve into PC software but one free (noncommercial) image manager program is worth noting. It is called IrfanView and can easily overlay graphics on your IBM i screen prints.

You probably already know that no new software is required in order to get the IBM i screen print to windows. Just press the print screen key when the correct IBM i screen is being display. Next, assuming no screen capture software is installed on the PC, from the desktop select start, run, and type MSPAINT (it is still there!). Next select Edit/Paste or simply CTL V together. The screen image now displays within the Paint program.

Sometimes you might want to just update the image in Paint if only adding text is needed. As you probably know Paint will default to a bitmap image (.BMP) but that can easily be changed with "Save as" and changing the file type to JPEG (.JPG). JPG compressed files are much smaller files than bitmaps so they are easier to email or upload to the web. However the JPG format is a "lossy" format and is not suitable when high quality resolution (and printing) is expected. The file type TIFF does not lose quality when copied, creates large files, and is best for archival quality of images.

If more elaborate updates are required, run IrfanView (after download and install) and select an area with the cursor, as in a 'text area'. Next select edit and "insert text into selection". A screen will appear that gives better control over fonts, colors, transparency, text alignment, etc. Select the "Choose Font" button and you can choose from a large number of fonts, change the font size and color, and make the text italic and/or bold.

Other features include selecting "Show Paint dialog" from the Edit menu to add arrows, circles, do free-hand drawing and erasing, create customizing colors, and a few other neat tricks.

In order to make modifications to existing PC files just right click the file name in the directory and select "Open With" and select IrfanView. After you get more familiar with the idiosyncrasies of IrfanView you may want to make it the default image viewer or just use it when needed.

There is really nothing wrong with most screen capture programs. This article just introduces IrfanView to add a little more functionality and flexibility and to add one more item to your skill set!