I have just installed Vista Home premium and miss Windows Picture & Fax
Viewer for printing pictures. It seems that one has to first save them as an
XPS file and then use MS XPS printer to actually print the pictures. A
retrograde step it seems to me!
Judging by the volume of requests on this topic, I think there are lots of
people who agree with you that Vista took a step backwards when it comes to
Windows Picture and Fax viewer.
But it’s not as far a step backwards as you might think.
And even if it is, there are many alternatives.
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The default image viewer is Windows Picture and Fax Viewer.
From what I can tell, it’s one of those love-it or hate-it applications.
Personally, I’m in the later camp and never use it. But I know many people love
it, are very happy with it, and use it regularly.
In Windows Vista, Windows Picture and Fax Viewer has been replaced by
Windows Photo Gallery:
It’s the same, only different. (And for the record, I’m not fond of it
either.) It appears to have most of the same functionality as the older Windows
Picture and Fax Viewer, but it’s … different.
Windows Vista, just Windows Photo Gallery.”
If it’s not already the default image viewer, you should be able to right
click on any picture in Windows Explorer and say “Open With…” and choose
Windows Photo Gallery to view your image.
And to address the issue that lead your question: you can print directly
from within Windows Photo Gallery.
I spoke of alternatives…
Copying Windows Picture and Fax Viewer from a Windows XP system is
not an option. Windows Photo Gallery is implemented in the same file:
shimgvw.dll, and the registration protocol has apparently changed between the
So you can’t get Windows Picture and Fax Viewer on Windows Vista, just
Windows Photo Gallery.
The alternatives I’m speaking of are third party tools that work on Both
Windows Vista and Windows XP, and quite frankly, are far more powerful than
either of the built-in Windows tools.
A reader recently recommended FastStone Image Viewer:
FastStone has quickly become my favored replacement for my long-loved, but
now defunct Firehand Ember.
Another very popular image viewer is IrfanView:
Both Irfan and FastStone offer standard image viewing options, slide shows,
thumbnail browsing, full screen view, and much more. In addition they both also
include basic image editing tools such as cropping, resizing, and more.
And best of all, both are free.
So if you’re frustrated with the transition from Windows Picture and Fax
Viewer to Windows Photo Gallery, my recommendation is that you actually check
out these alternatives. They are suitable replacements that work well on both
Windows Vista and XP.