I recently received hundreds of TIFF images which gave me the chance to reacquaint myself with IrfanView which is, in my opinion, the best TIFF viewer out there. The TIFF image format is commonly used for scanned documents and images with a high color-depth. Unfortunately, being able to open the format seems a little less common. IrfanView takes care of that problem and has a few other notable features.
I prefer IrfanView for many of the same reasons I like Paint.NET. It opens quickly and still loads large images fast. It’s also free. Three things that Photoshop can’t claim. IrfanView is mostly a viewer, but it does a lot more than just .tif files. You can view all of the formats it handles on the IrfanView site. It can handle a large variety of formats (notably JPEG2000, TIFF, RAW, and all of the common formats) and save to a subset of those. You may need to download and install a plugin pack to expand its capability for some file formats, but that process is quick and painless.
IrfanView also includes the means to do batch conversions, so I could set up a quick task to have IrfanView change all of these .tif files to another format if I wanted to pass the images along and thought .jpg files might be more convenient. The same process that allows you to do the batch conversion also allows you to do batch renaming and with the advanced options you can do bulk cropping, resizing, change color depth, rotate, convert to grayscale, and many more tasks. One reason you may not need to do any batch conversions, however, is that IrfanView can be made portable. If you’re giving somebody a CD or USB drive full of images, you can just copy your IrfanView setup files along with the images and they’ll be able to use the program without any installation.
You can use the left and right arrows in the menu bar to navigate through a directory very quickly. Another cool feature to peruse your pictures is the Slideshow feature. You can set all sorts of options and create a list of images that you want the slideshow to contain. With the plugin installed, you can also add MP3 files to be played in the background. You can also save your slideshow as a standalone EXE or screensaver .SCR file. This can make for a much more reliable presentation (and a whole lot easier to create) than a Powerpoint file.
IrfanView is largely just a viewer though it does have a bit of possible interactions with the images for being just a viewer. If you’d like some of the basic Paint tools like paintbrush, eraser, shapes, paint bucket and others, you can get this functionality in IrfanView through a plugin called IrfanPaint. You can get IrfanView at their official website: http://www.irfanview.com/
If you’d like to be able to view TIFF images on websites or through your browser, be sure to check out the plugin/ActiveX control that works for Firefox, Opera, Chrome, and IE (and most other browsers), check out AlternaTIFF.