Designed to open and view those file formats in which scientific and technical documentation is generally distributed, STDU Viewer is a small, free, and unusual file viewer. The range of file types it supports, if not comprehensive, does cover most image-based or image-related documents, such as PDF, DjVu, XPS, JBIG2, or WWF. E-books and comic books are also supported, as well as pure image files in TIFF, BMP, JPEG, PCX, GIF, or PSD format.
Forget about Microsoft Office files, spreadsheets, or HTML files – STDU (Scientific and Technical Documentation Utility) Viewer is focused on those other file types in which technical papers are usually disseminated to the scientific community because of the amount of graphical information they tend to contain. DjVu and JBIG2 are two of those less-common file formats that have specialized in lossless image compression, and that are widely used as substitutes for the also supported PDF standard and its “environmentally-friendly” version, WWF (endorsed by the World Wide Fund for Nature, hence the acronym). CBR and CBZ files are also image-based and supported by this tool, and are usually the containers used for digital comic books and graphic novels. EPUB, MOBI, AZW, and FB2 e-book files can also be opened and enjoyed with STDU, among other common and uncommon types.
The program’s main interface is simple and clear. The contents of the selected file is displayed on the main panel, while a smaller panel on the left-hand side is reserved for bookmarks, page thumbnails, and the table of contents, when present. As with most file viewers, you are not allowed to edit the text or the images present in the documents, but unlike most file viewers, you can do some editing with some of the file types supported. Thus, the brightness, contrast, and gamma levels of images can be customized for a better viewing experience, and the pages of most documents can be rotated to help you read documents with a landscape orientation. You can also search for specific text strings in those documents that are not pure images – the panel on the left will display a list of all the occurrences found and the page number they are on to help you move from one another more efficiently.
Anyone having to deal with these types of files on a regular basis can enjoy STDU Viewer’s functionality free of charge as long as the use is non-commercial. This neat and light tool is a sensational substitute for all the apps and file viewers that users would need to install to cover the wide variety of proprietary file formats supported.