In a previous tutorial, we have shown how easy it is to use Windows Live Photo Gallery 2011 to create a slideshow as a screensaver. The same is possible with the free image viewer application named Irfanview. But, to add to the fun, you can also save the slideshow as a standalone screensaver that can be shared with friends and family and run on other computers.
If you don’t have Irfanview installed, you can get it from the IrfanView Official Homepage or from here. When you install it, it tries to install also Google Chrome. If you don’t want it, make sure you pay attention to all the installation steps.
Step 1: Creating a slideshow
If you want to create a screensaver with Irfanview, the first thing you have to do is create a slideshow. To do this, open Irfanview.
Go to File -> Thumbnails or hit the letter T on your keyboard.
This opens the Irfanview thumbnail browser. In the lefthand pane you can easily navigate to the folder where the pictures that you want to include in your screensaver are stored. In the righthand pane you see a preview of your files.
Select the pictures you want to include in the slideshow.
When you have selected the pictures, go to "File -> Save selected files as current slideshow".
That’s it. You have a slideshow. You can also preview it by going to "File -> Start slideshow with selected files."
Step 2: Finetuning the slideshow
After you have saved the slideshow, you can fine tune some of its configuration parameters. In order to finetune the slideshow, open the main Irfanview window and click on the Slideshow button (the second button on the left).
You can also open this panel by going to "File -> Slideshow" or by hitting the letter W on your keyboard.
Then a large pane opens with a lot of options. It has a play slideshow button, so each time you make changes you can get a preview of what the slideshow looks like.
On the lefthand side you have options to change the speed of advancement between pictures, if you want your cursor to be visible (untick that if you want to make a screensaver from your slideshow) and viewing options for playing the slideshow.
There is also a box called "Show text". I prefer to keep that unticked, because it makes it show the name of each picture, it’s exif data, what folder it is in, etc.
A really nice feature is that you can add mp3 files to your slideshow, to create background music.
Very nice in a screensaver, though you might want to be careful with what you choose. Loud booming music blasting from your speakers in an eternal loop might get on your nerves :)
On the righthand side there is an option to browse to a folder with pictures or mp3’s to add more files. And below that, there is a list of the images that are in your slideshow.
You can use this window also to browse for mp3 files to be added to the screensaver. You just have to change the selection of "Common Graphic Files to All File (*.*)" though, by means of the drop box near "Files of type".
Once you’ve added all the pictures and mp3 files you want to include in the slideshow that will become your screensaver, play around with the available settings till you like what you see.
Once you are done, do not close the Slideshow window. Follow the instructions in the next section instead.
Step 3: Exporting the slideshow as a screensaver
Once you have set all your options and you like the slideshow, click "Save slideshow as EXE/SCR" on the lefthand side, near the bottom of the Slideshow window.
A new window will popup where you can choose to save the slideshow as an EXE file or as SCR file. Since we want a screensaver, you have to tick "Create SCR file (Screensaver, .scr)." Then, browse to the folder where you want to save the screensaver and give it a name. Next, click Create.
Depending on how many files you place in your slideshow, it can take up to several minutes before it is done. You will receive a confirmation message when the process finishes. Click OK.
Open the folder where you have saved the screensaver and give it a try. Double click to test it or rightclick and choose Install, to use it as the default screensaver for your current theme.
NOTE: If you change your active theme, the screensaver you just installed will no longer be used. Themes include beyond their own desktop backgrounds, also their custom sound schemes and screensavers. If you want to get back to using the screensaver you installed, after changing a theme, you need to customize it and select your screensaver again as the default. Here’s a tutorial that will help you learn how to do this: How to Customize Windows 7 Themes.
Irfanview offers a neat way to create your own slideshow screensavers. And you can also share them with friends and family, because they are saved as a screensaver file that can be copied to other computers. For more articles related to screensavers, don’t hesitate to check our recommendations below.