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(Guide/Review) FileExplorerGallery adds an image gallery to File Explorer


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FileExplorerGallery adds an image gallery to File Explorer


We have reviewed many image viewers here at Ghacks, if I were to pick my favorites, I'd probably say ImageGlass, or Irfan View for the advanced options. How about one that you can use directly from Explorer?




I know what you are thinking, Explorer already has a preview pane which is sort of an image viewer. That's too small though. FileExplorerGallery is an open source tool that adds a proper gallery view to Window's file manager.


Download the program's setup file from the project's page, and run it. It's a single -click install. A small window will open with a message that says FileExplorerGallery is ready to use. Open Windows Explorer and navigate to a folder that has some images. Press the F12 key and the view to switch to a gallery mode.




This is FileExplorerGallery's interface, it's quite minimalistic. The first image in the folder is displayed automatically, in a much larger view than Explorer's preview panel. If you select a picture in Explorer before triggering the hotkey, the gallery shows the corresponding photo. The thumbnail bar at the bottom displays a preview of all pictures in the current directory.  The image's title is displayed in the top left corner of the screen. The gallery plugin does not detect images in sub-folders.


Click on the arrow icons either side of the screen to switch between the pictures. You may use the right and left arrow keys, or directly click the thumbnail bar to navigate. Zoom in and out using the mouse wheel. Left-click and drag to pan the view. To reset the zoom setting to default, right-click anywhere on the screen. Though FileExplorerGallery lacks sorting options, it respects Explorer's current view settings. So, you can change the sorting order in Explorer to make the images appear in a specific order. Hit the Escape key to close the gallery view, and return to Explorer.


Use the buttons at the top of the screen to rotate the image, or to view a slideshow of the folder's contents. FileExplorerGallery places an icon on the system tray, right-click on it to access its settings.


You can set the program to run when Windows starts, check for  updates automatically. The slider allows you to define the duration for which images are displayed during a slideshow, the default value is 3 seconds, which maybe a bit too fast. You can set it to as low as 1 second, and up to a maximum of 20 seconds.




The program needs to be running in the background (system tray) for the gallery to work. If you are already using F12 for something else, you can change the hotkey to a different one. The setting for the shortcut reads "color picker", don't worry about that it's just a typo. Color Picker happens to be from the same developer, check out our review, you may find the tool useful.


FileExplorerGallery is identical to the image gallery that's available in Atlasee File Manager, also from the same developer. The gallery program is a bit too vanilla for my liking, but I'm sure some of you may like it. The plugin is a bit slow to start on the first run, but performs better on subsequent uses.  It could use a full screen mode, but that's not a dealbreaker.


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