Pinterest Stumbleupon Whatsapp
Ads by Google

nfo1An NFO file is a ReadMe on crack – it includes all the basic information about the downloaded movie, game or application, often with a nice ASCII text art finish.

Most people out there have already discovered that these files can be opened by Notepad or another text processing application. This ‘works’ in the most basic sense of the word, but it’s clumsy and pretty ugly – you’re missing out on a lot of the fun.

To really use NFO files to their full extent you’ll need an NFO File Reader or Viewer – an application specifically designed to deal with these files. Today we’ll take a look at three of the best free NFO File Readers (and one creator) on the software market.

ACiDView 6

ACiDView is currently one of – and in my personal opinion, the best NFO file reader out there. This free application is actually an all-around image viewer, with support for JPEG, GIF, and other popular image formats. It might not be the best image viewer you’ll encounter, but as an NFO viewer it easily beats its competitors because of all the extra functionalities.

Perhaps one of the most useful features is the browsing sidebar, which allows you to quickly select your NFO and other files. I’ve tried out several other NFO viewers in my technological past, and this is a feature you’ll start to miss fast.

Ads by Google

nfo file reader

You can also autoscroll the NFO files, view them fullscreen, and change the resolution and basic formatting options such as font type and colour palette.

For the real freaks, ACIDView can stream an NFO file to simulate the desired speed of a certain modem connection and slow down the animation accordingly.


DAMN NFO Viewer makes a good second to ACiDViewer. It’s not as graphically oriented as other applications, but instead more like a text viewer with ASCII support. As such, it’s got a tighter letter spacing and a reversed (or actually, ‘normal’ colour palette). This makes it a lot better for reading, but less ‘fun’ and good-looking for the ASCII (fear not, this can be fixed).

how to open nfo files

DAMN NFO Viewer supports NFO-, DIZ- and TXT files. It’s the basic package, without too much extra stuff – just read your NFO’s and optionally tweak your formatting a little bit.


Last but not least is NFOlux. This tiny application will both let you view or create NFO files. Although the viewer doesn’t stand up to big guys like ACIDViewer, it’s extremely rare and useful to have an NFO reader and creator in one – to my knowlege, this is the only application that does this.

damn nfo viewer

The special features are to be found in the creation section. There’s an ‘auto generator’ that’ll create an NFO for you, based on some basic release information, with a Movie- and an Application template included. Custom characters can be added with the integrated characters palette and the click of a button.

NFOlux won’t do anything special in the reading department, but offers a few unique functions for creating NFOs – it’s the combination of these two applications that makes NFOlux a winning formula.

What NFO file reader application do you use? Something fancy, or haven’t you been able to leave Notepad yet? Let us and your fellow MakeUseOf readers know in the comments section below – we’d love to hear how do you open nfo files!

  1. josue contreras
    August 19, 2016 at 11:52 pm

    Beware of ACiDView 6! I extracted the files and the Downloads folder is locked. AVG Internet Security wont find a virus and everytime I open Downloads folder it closes itself. So sad, now I gotta look for another antivirus and warn AVG support. Please dont try ACiDView 6!

  2. Bostyan
    February 19, 2016 at 11:00 pm

    Always NFOPad is small and easy to use it. Notepad++ is bigger software with lots of features available. If user need small software is NFOPad very good or any other similar (NFOlux) etc.

    I have Notepad++ sure :) If I need for bigger file or... I use but for small files always NFOPad and is default to.

    "NFOPad is a free and easy to use NFO file viewer and editor. It lets you view and edit NOF, DIZ, and TXT files easily. You can change its font and background settings. It displays the ASCII art present in the NFO files correctly. You can use basic text editing functions like find, find and replace etc. easily with it. It also detects the URLs and Emails in the documents. You can associate it to directly open NFO, DIZ, and TXT files with it."

  3. Didier
    May 24, 2015 at 2:47 pm

    I used notepad to read my nfo or firefox to see the ascii art but with thoses soft the displaying quality of the ascii art is really better. THX ;)

  4. Simon Slangen
    September 2, 2009 at 2:26 pm

    The question to ask with Notepad(++) and Firefox is not 'if' there is a quality difference, but rather 'do you mind?'

  5. jesse
    September 2, 2009 at 2:07 pm

    I open mine with Firefox, i wonder if there is a quality difference?

    • anon
      February 1, 2015 at 2:36 am

      Thanks for the Firefox tip! I always used plain ol' notepad.exe to view .nfo but the formatting was frustrating!

      I just tried dragging the file over to Chrome and I'm happy to report that it displays the .nfo properly! MUCH MUCH better with formatting! I'm not sure why anyone would download another program, when, at least on Winboxes, you have a couple already built in. Now, if you were creating sweet .nfo's then by all means, check out the above mentioned progs.

  6. Mida
    September 2, 2009 at 1:34 pm

    what is wrong with notepad++ and notepad :D

  7. chtrich
    August 31, 2009 at 11:37 pm

    just change the extension from .nfo to .txt and notepad works fine.

  8. unyk
    August 31, 2009 at 1:42 am

    GetDiz is what i use & still the best IMHO.
    You can't beat Damn nfo for raw speed though.

  9. Fred Thompson
    August 30, 2009 at 11:53 pm
  10. Dave
    August 30, 2009 at 8:12 pm

    DIZzy. It's portable, hence no installation necessary, takes up 9kb of space and is available here:

  11. mike
    August 30, 2009 at 4:09 pm

    notepad++ and you good to go..

  12. Herbert
    August 30, 2009 at 1:16 pm

    IMHO, QuickNFO is still the best.

  13. Magnifico
    August 30, 2009 at 11:12 am

    Huh, I discovered Damn a long time ago and it has never occurred to me that there are others out there. Though, now that I think of it, that was kind of ignorant of me. Hehe. There's always another. Anyway, I think I'll give that other a try even though I can see that it has nothing I really need. I can't help myself.

  14. megeain
    August 30, 2009 at 10:40 am

    I was just to dl one of these, then i saw that you could use notepad++, did not think of that, now im just using that, thx for the tip jollyrogue.

  15. MM
    August 30, 2009 at 10:38 am

    I use GetDiz, it looks good and simple

  16. dps9682
    August 30, 2009 at 10:02 am

    standard notepad is more than enough.

    • antonio brandao
      September 3, 2009 at 9:22 am

      is more than enough, to read only. but if you start using one of these progs (I use DamnNFO) you will not want to go back. The ASCII art is properly displayed!! it makes wuite a difference.

      As a NFO reader-only person, I choose DamnNFO, I don't need the sidebar and I don't publish NFOs.

      I've used both simple notepad for a long time and DamnNFO, and today I use and recommend DamnNFO for readers.

  17. jollyrogue
    August 30, 2009 at 9:55 am

    i just use Notepad++ to open my nfos. :)

  18. Chris
    August 30, 2009 at 9:45 am

    I have been using NFOpad for awhile now. You can get it here. I originally saw it here when it was posted on LH

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *