Recent Changes - Search:

Recently Written


edit SideBar

Graphic programs

outdated page, many links are dead

In DOS is many graphics programs available. Most of them are from old times when DOS was the majority operating system although few programs are still developed. Similar like in other operating systems relying on freeware and open source development there is much more viewers and players than “creators” like paint programs, CAD, or video editors.

1.  Paint programs

In the past was written few very good paint programs. However in presence they can look somewhat archaic.

1.1  VGAPAINT386

Other people may prefer Deluxe paint or VGAPaint 386 which is released under open source GNU GPL.

1.2  NEOPAINT 3.2d

Most probably the best such program is Neopaint 3.2d - from 1997, $40, still available, not free. Later versions of NEOPAINT do exist, but no longer as DOS software.

1.3  Pixel Image Editor

Commercial product, by Pavel Kanzelsberger , previously called “Pixel32″ , intended to be a full-featured competitor to Adobe Photosh*t, written in FreePASCAL, reportedly “available for many operating systems” , including DOS, however the DOS version is only “promising”, but incomplete, obsolete and very buggy. FreePASCAL still lacks a stable 2.xx version for DOS, also authors interest in DOS is not very high. He maintains a support forum, the 3rd by now, the 1st had a DOS subforum, the 2nd no longer, there were just cca 3 DOS related posts, and recently the 3rd was set up, the old ones are deleted.

Project page:

1.4  Misc

OGE (has Error-200-Bug), Improcess, Grafx2.

2.  Picture viewers & converters

There are also several viewers available, although not all of them support the modern image formats like JPEG or PNG. Some of them can additionally perform various conversions or manipulations and save the resulting files.


One from recommended programs is Pictview by Jan Patera - closed source freeware, very good, supports EGA, VGA and VESA graphics, many file formats (including PNG and JPG, no JPG-2000). Developed with TurboPASCAL (?), runs in real mode using 80386 instructions (at least 80386 required) and XMS if available, with XMS can also view huge (up to cca 2000×2000 pixels ? ) images, while without it will load and display just a few lines from top of the image. There are versions 1.94, 1.94.3 and 1.95 around. Project page is heavily outdated (from 2000, version 1.94 only), the author moved his focus to a viewer plugin for “Altap Servant Salamander” product (commercial Win32 file manager), also called “Pictview”, nevertheless “recently” the information leaked that the the DOS version is not supposed to be dead and might get updated one day.


From 1997, but still very good. See Mediaplayers .

2.3  OMBRA

Freeware picture viewer supporting GIF, PCX, TGA, BMP, and RAW images (no PNG and no JPG) and VGA and VESA graphics cards, also True Color. “Hand-crafted in pure assembly language” by Rick Ostidich (see page for full name). Last version is Ombra Sailplane 7.23, 98.04.01–02,09–10 , file dates are 1998–04–10. The primary highlight of this program is fast and smooth zooming , also corrections of brightness and colours as well as negation, rotation (in 90 degree steps) and mirroring are provided, while the file format support is rather limited and oudated. Also saving is possible (with applied corrections), but only on RAW format. There is no slideshow feature and no file browsing inside the program, the name of the picture must be supplied in the commandline, the viewer was primarily designed to be ran from a file manager. It is a 32-bit application using the (original) Tran’s PMODE DOS Extender, done in “pure assembly language” (according to the documentation, source code is not available), the EXE size (apparently compressed with PKLITE) is 37′840 Bytes. About CPU requirements the documentation says “at least 80386 needed” and “optimized for Pentium”. Author also included a generous ToDo list (PNG and JPG support, introduction of a new format with strong compression and no loss (!!!), file browsing, and more), but no further development followed this release.

2.4  QPV/386 and QPNG/386

By Oliver Fromme , started as JPG viewer in early 1990′s (?), later support for other formats was added, including PNG, was one of the earliest viewers for DOS (and ever) with PNG support, also author was one of those who early heavily advertised PNG and “deprecated” GIF. License was shareware all the time the primary product QPV/386 was under development, however the author created a special freeware version called QPNG/386, supporting just PNG (and reportedly also TGA), thus the most valuable (and unique at that time) feature, while support for the other formats (including BMP, GIF and JPG) was removed. Latest version of QPV and QPNG was 1.7e from 1995, but in 1997 the author changed the license of the “full” QPV from shareware to freeware and bumped the version number to 2.00 , leaving little point to use the restricted QPNG version, except a marginally smaller EXE size. The program runs in real mode, but uses 80386 instructions and XMS, and supports VGA and banked VESA modes. It includes many (historical ?) “drivers” (cca 100 Bytes per piece) to support cards having modes beyond VGA and bankswitching available in the hardware but not an appropriate VESA support. Looks very nice and works well. The main executable isn’t standalone, it needs the “QPV.CFG” file, and the driver referenced by it (usually “VESA.DRV”). “QPV.CFG” must be generated using included “VESA2CFG” tool, the default “QPV.CFG” in the package supports VGA only. No source code in available, and author reportedly doesn’t wish any contact about QPV and QPNG. The package includes a “GIF2PNG” converter, that doesn’t seem to work that well, but fortunately there are other options for this task, see GraphMediaTech .

No project page, download (790′580 Bytes) :


2.5  LXPIC

Viewer by Stefan Peichl from 2002. Smallest - 20′000 bytes .COM file. Supports BMP, JPG (limited, not “progressive”), GIF (also animated, but in some cases can look “strange”), no PNG support at all.

2.6  CSHOW and CSHOW 2000

Bad: has Error-200-bug, not free. Reportedly world’s first (or one of) image viewer with PNG support. See usage hints at BTTR forum: id=7350 .

Download and register (still “available” ???) :

2.7  Blocek

Text editor with minimal picture viewing functionality (BMP, GIF, JPG, PNG). See Editors .

3.  Modeling programs, raytracers and CAD

The absolute kings among such applications are programs by Corel - 3D Studio v4.0 and AutoCAD r13. Next windows versions didn’t bring anything really new. Besides these programs exists some other and few of them are open sourced: DESI III or raytracer Povray.

4.  See also

Edit - History - Print - Recent Changes - Search
Page last modified on February 06, 2013, at 08:48 AM