Looking for freeware storyboard software?  Irfanview, a fast photo viewing and tagging program, is an excellent choice!

What’s a storyboard?

Storyboarding is the technique of arranging graphic files in a certain order to tell a story, usually by way of a slideshow or video.

Why is special software required to make digital storyboards?

Well, when graphic files are displayed in a folder they are arranged by their titles, usually alphabetically or numerically.  If you try to drag an icon to a different position in the parade it won’t stay where you drop it, unless you’re using storyboard-capable software.

Irfanview logoIrfanview, a free option for making storyboards

You can storyboard with Adobe Bridge, the partner program to Photoshop, but Photoshop is EXPENSIVE!  Irfanview, a freeware photo viewer and tagging application, will save you lots of dough.

Follow these steps on how to make a storyboard with Irfanview:

(You might want to print out these instructions to make it easier to follow along.)

  • Download and install Irvanview
  • Launch Irfanview.
  • A window with default black background opens.  Under the File menu above that window, select “Thumbnails”
  • A new window opens, with a navigation panel to the left.  In that panel navigate to the folder that contains the graphic files you want to make into a storyboard.
  • Now you will see the icons of those graphics files, arranged alphabetically or numerically.  Under the “Options” menu of that window, select “set thumbnail options.”
  • A new window opens.  In the drop down area of that window, select the display size for your thumbnails. Choose a large enough size that you can easily see the content of the files.  Then click the “OK” button.
  • Now you’re ready to arrange your files in the order you want for your story.  Just drag and drop the icons where you want to place them in the story.
  • When you have the order you want, hold down the Control button and then press “A”.  This highlights all the thumbnails.
  • Press the F2 key.  This brings up the “Rename files” window.
  • Under the “Work as” section, select “Batch rename”.In the “Name pattern” window, if your folder contains less than 100 files, type ##.  If it contains more than 100, type ###.
  • Click on the “Options” button, just alongside the “Name pattern” window.
  • In the “For numbers/digits” window, leave the default setting, starting number 1 and increment 1.
  • On your Desktop, create an output folder for your renamed files. Do this by right clicking on your Desktop and selecting “New”, and then “Folder”.  Name that folder whatever you wish.
  • Referring back to the Irfanview rename window, in the “Output directory for result files” window, click the “browse” button just alongside, and navigate to the folder that you just created on your Desktop, and when you have highlighted it, click on the “OK” button.
  • Finally, click on the “Start Batch” button in the rename window.  If you have followed these directions, your graphics files should now be accessible in the folder you created, and they will have new names, starting with the number, 1.  You can now drag and drop these files into a slideshow editor or video editor and they will remain in the story order you created.

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