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Xnview is a free Digital Photo Management Software program for Microsoft Windows. 

Purpose:  As computers, digital cameras lower in price while hard disk storage space increase, more and more people have massive digital libraries.  Though most photos are uploaded to social websites such as flickr, most people still keep original copies on their local computer.  The demand then increases for simple and quick file organization, management, and a search ability.

Usage:  The foundation for photo management is a good folder structure, with some logical basis (category, date or other) for you files so you don’t have 5,000+ .jpgs in a single folder.  Xnview is not an image editor, so it’s not used to crop and color correct images.  As a Photo manager it’s great with a file browser and thumbnails, you can select single or multiple image files at once.  What you can edit with Xnview is the file metadata (keywords), the program natively supports IPTC metadata but you can have it copy the keywords to XMP (which can be read by other programs).

Keyword Directions: Keywords are good for organization and later search and filtering of images.  When you use Xnview you just have to browse for the image files, select the thumbnail and right click,  click on edit IPTC data… (or use Ctrl + I) then a Edit IPTC Data window pops up, click on the keywords tab.  Add keywords and check the box “update or Create XMP”  , click “write” then “close” and your keywords will be added.

You can search for keywords by clicking thte Serach icon (binoculars) then check ITPC check box.  There’s a drop down list the has All fields or “keywords” type the keyword, click search and then “browse” and it’ll search and filter out the image by keywords. 

Competitor: Many professionals who use Adobe graphics software programs are familiar with Adobe Bride which is a digital graphics management and preview players for most adobe file and most digital photo formats.  Adobe Bridge is a great program except requires the purchase of an Adobe Creative Suite software product.  Even if you are able to afford an Adobe Creative Suite product it’s still licensed based meaning it’s limited to the number of computers you can install it on before you need to purchase a new license key.  Also if you ever share original digital photo files with friends and family they will need their own copy of Adobe Bridge to edit and use of the metadata (keywords) you may have edited in the file. 

Comaprison:  There is a slight learning curve with using keywords and Xnview and Brige have learning curves for their software, though XnView insn’t as easy or polished as Adobe Bridge it still offers a lot of features.

Conclusion: So if you have the money definitely use Adobe Bridge but if you like freeware and potentially want to share digital photo management with friends and family then download and try XnView.

Xnview Website

Xnview at

Other free Digital Photo Information software:


Is also a free small program that will give you a lot of individual file information.  This is good for those who are interested in photography and using manual camera settings, as there is a lot of information on the file such as Aperture, Focal Length, ISO amd exposure that you won’t have to dig into the program menus to view.