An 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 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.
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).
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.
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!