What are Plug-Ins for?
Plug-Ins are extensions to an existing program. They can add specific, well-defined funtionality to a program.
For XnView there are basically three types of plug-ins:
1 - XnView Plug-Ins
Most of the XnView Plug-Ins will add support for a specific file format (e.g., "Xjp2.dll" for JPG2000 support). Most file formats are built into XnView and no plug-in is needed, but you will need a plug-in for some file formats (e.g. JPG2000). So if the list of XnView's formats claims that a certain format is supported but it does not work on your computer, look at the list again to see whether a specific plug-in is needed. Some plug-ins provide read support for a particular file extension but not write support, others provide both read and write support. The text file "pugins.txt" which is located in the XnView program directory contains a short description of each XnView plugin.
2 - Adobe 8BF Plug-Ins
The Adobe 8BF Plug-Ins are a special type of plug-in that will add new filters and effects to XnView. The Adobe 8BF plug-ins are further discussed in separate FAQ "Integrating Adobe filters".
3 - Extra Plug-ins
XnView has an open plug-in interface which allows any developer to write a plug-in and add functionality to XnView, e.g., support for SWF files. These plug-ins are called Extra plug-ins. You will find more info on the Extra plugins in the topic "Extra Plugins"
Which plug-ins are installed?
It's easy to find out which plug-ins are installed on your computer. In the "Plug-Ins Information" dialog, you will see the list of plug-ins recognized by XnView and the name of the plug-ins folder:
1.) Start XnView
2.) Open menu "Info > Plug-Ins-Information"
Where are the plug-ins located?
The plug-ins are single files. Most of the XnView plug-ins come in DLL libraries and are located in the sub folder "PlugIns" in the program directory of XnView. So typically plug-ins are in "C:\Program Files\XnView\PlugIns". XnView displays the name of the plug-ins folder in the dialog "Plug-Ins-Information", see previous section for more info.
Where do I get plug-ins from?
The XnView plug-ins are provided by the author of XnView and are available on the XnView download page. And topic "Addons/Plugins/..." provides a complete list. But please read on before searching and downloading plug-ins.
XnView comes in various packages (Minimal, Standard, Complete).
- In the Minimal package, no plug-ins are included.
- In the Standard package, plug-ins for JPG 2000 and MPEG (first frame) are included.
- In the Complete package, all plug-ins available are included.
The next section describes how to add additional plug-ins to an existing installation - in case you have downloaded minimal or standard package of XnView.
How can I add a plug-in?
If you have downloaded and installed the complete package, you have all the plug-ins already (see above).
If you have downloaded and installed the minimal or standard package and installed, already and now want to add additional plug-ins, that's easy. From the XnView Download page, download the Plugins v1.80 Setup. Execute the setup to install the plug-ins.
There's also a ZIP archive available. You have to unzip the files to the XnView program directory to "install" the plugins.
XnView loads available plug-ins at startup, so you will have to restart XnView after installing the plug-ins (It's recommended to close any running programs before installing new software.)
Removing specific plug-ins
As we know by now, plug-ins are single files that add specific functionality. You can add plug-ins by simply placing these in the PlugIns directory. The same applies for removing: If you will never use JPG2000 for reading and writing files, you can remove the appropriate plug-in. This will speed up XnView a bit when starting. Rather than removing the plug-ins it's recommended to rename them (e.g., from xxx.dll to xxx.dl$) so that the extension is no longer ".dll").
- Use XnView's Plug-Ins Information to verify whether plug-ins/add-ons are installed properly (see section 'Which plug-ins are installed?' above)
- If a Plug-In is not recognized by XnView, typically the plug-in files are not in the correct directory. Double-check that plug-in files have been unpacked in the subfolder "Plugins".
- XnView loads available plug-ins and AddOns at startup, make sure that you exit and restart XnView after installing the AddOns or Plug-Ins.
- "Extra Plugins"
- What is needed for a minimal installation?
- Integrating Adobe filters
- Plugins not recognized after unzipping in Plugins director