Windows Photo Viewer - all menu options grayed when opening a picture from within a zipped attachment.
We regularly receive zipped archives containing multiple png images that we need to review and sometimes print out. In Windows XP, this was not a problem - I could double click the zip file, then double click the image file within and from within the viewer select print. In Windows 7, when I double click an image file within a zip file, something called Windows Photo Viewer opens and shows me the picture. But all menu options except file/delete and file/exit are disabled. Why is this? Is this some kind of security measure? It greatly reduces the usability of Windows if I can no longer print out selected images immediately, but have to go back to the mail, save the image file to disk, and reopen the photo viewer with the saved image in order to print it.
August 25th, 2011 7:32am

Hi, I am sorry to tell that this is by design. If you find any inconvenience or have any suggestions, please submit your feedback to our Product Feedback Team : http://mymfe.microsoft.com/Windows%20%207/Feedback.aspx?formID=195 Please remember to click Mark as Answer on the post that helps you, and to click Unmark as Answer if a marked post does not actually answer your question. This can be beneficial to other community members reading the thread.
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August 29th, 2011 12:22am

That is most unfortunate. Though thank you for a clear and straight answer. Is there a known reason that this was limited in Windows 7? Do you think if I simply copied the old picture viewer from Windows XP onto my new Windows 7 machine that it would work and restore the option to print zipped image collections directly out of e-mail?
September 1st, 2011 9:06am

Hi, This is not a application in either Windows XP or Windows 7, So you cannot copy it from Windows XP into Windows 7. Using Task Manager, you will find this is a function in explorer process.Please remember to click Mark as Answer on the post that helps you, and to click Unmark as Answer if a marked post does not actually answer your question. This can be beneficial to other community members reading the thread.
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September 1st, 2011 7:41pm

As Juke mentioned, it is by design. It is not a limitation of Windows 7 or the Photo Viewer. It's because when an image is zipped it is compressed, and performing manipulations on this compressed image can lead to loss of quality. If this worked in Windows XP, it only means this is a corrective measure taken in Windows 7 to prevent loss to files that were prone in XP. Similarly, you will also notice that you cannot edit a Word file that is in a *.zip file. You also cannot rename zipped files. Same reason. Best practice would be to copy-paste a particular file outside the zipped file, edit it and copy-replace it in the .zip file again. Hope it helps! Kunal D Mehta - a Windows Server Enthusiast | My first TechNet Wiki Article
September 3rd, 2011 4:30am

Oh I see. What you say does make sense for all the menu options that edit the file in various ways. It is not editing I want to do though, I just want to print out images - I get a mail with 5-10 images in a zip, and I go through and look at them - most of them are uninteresting, but some of them I want to print out. Printing an image should be a safe operation whether the image is in a zip or not. I did some more research into the being an application thing. I found that in Windows 7, it is actually running in a dllhost process. It is a COM server with a classid {76D0CB12-7604-4048-B83C-1005C7DDC503}, "%ProgramFiles%\Windows Photo Viewer\PhotoViewer.dll". So there is some hope that it could actually be replaceable without having to mess with explorer.exe.
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September 3rd, 2011 4:37am

A zipped file is best optimized for storage and not for viewing/printing. There is a certain difference in quality/functionality while using a zipped file and an unzipped file (not necessarily visible to the naked eye). But printing usually needs the best quality and this is only gained after the image is decompressed again. This is again why printing a zipped image is not allowed. I'm not sure if I'm able to convey what I want to, but hope you got the idea!Kunal D Mehta - a Windows Server Enthusiast | My first TechNet Wiki Article
September 3rd, 2011 6:14am

But printing usually needs the best quality and this is only gained after the image is decompressed again. This is again why printing a zipped image is not allowed. I'm not sure if I'm able to convey what I want to, but hope you got the idea! I don't think this makes any sense at all. Zip is not lossy compression. There is no difference in quality between a zipped and an unzipped image, and for images that DO lose quality from compression, they cannot regain that quality by being decompressed. In fact, most non-lossy image formats use compression similar to zip internally to store the bitmap data. There is absolutely no technical reason a zipped image can not be printable. Though obviously a design decision has been made not to allow it. Hopefully I can find a workaround.
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September 4th, 2011 7:57am

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