There are many image viewing tools available. FastStone Image Viewer is free, fast, easy to use and includes several commonly used editing features.
After the demise of Firehand Ember, my previous favorite image viewing program, I began searching for a suitable replacement. Window's built in "Picture and Fax Viewer" just doesn't cut it for me.
After much experimentation with various products in this class, I've settled on FastStone Image Viewer.
FastStone includes not only basic display and print ability, but also a number of simple modification tools, a slideshow creator, a contact sheet creator and more.
At it's heart, FastStone, like many similar products, is much like a Windows Explorer tailored for viewing photos. Fire it up and you'll get the familiar navigation tree on the left, and images on the right:
Double click on an image and you can view it full screen or in a window:
One of what I consider FastStone's hidden gems is that simply by mousing over to the left hand side of an image displayed in full screen view gets you this popup menu:
You can see that there are a number of image adjustment and modification features at your finger tips, including perhaps the most used rotate, resize and crop.
Of course if that's not enough for you, you can configure FastStone to launch an external program of your choosing with a single keystroke. In my case, "E" (for External editor) launches the displayed image in Adobe Photoshop.
FastStone includes a stand-alone slideshow creator which you can use to create a Windows ".EXE" file that when run displays a series of images in slideshow form - a much better alternative than Power Point for sending and displaying slide shows.
Contact sheets are another popular feature. Simply put a contact sheet is an automatically generated single image that contains multiple images within it. Here's a 2x2 contact sheet containing 4 images:
Contact sheets are a quick and easy way to generate a collection of images on a small number of printed pages for easy review.
I've really only touched on some of FastStone's features. At it's heart it's a simple and intuitive image viewer, but comes with a set of easy to use and compelling features as well.
FastStone Image Viewer is free for personal/home use.
I recommend it.