I'm a very recent (like, over the weekend) convert to Irfanview - which had been highly recommended by several friends in my photography forums. I WILL HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS PROGRAM!
I've been editing up a storm with it, and have this to say: It's so SIMPLE TO USE - that it almost feels like there oughta be a law against it!
The fact it's FREE just makes things that much better.
Get it here: www.irfanview.com
You can use it to view ANYTHING, and work with almost anything. It's easy enough to figure out, that you'll be up and running in just a few minutes. Just open it, and take a look thru the dropdown menus, and you'll immediately understand most of the functions.
Cropping is REAL SIMPLE: Display the picture. Hold down the left mouse button and drag to create the framing you want. Then click Edit > Crop Selection - and it's done! Save it as a JPEG.
Re-sizing pics - that problem we all have nightmares about - is also SIMPLE. The pics of me and Pounce in our new siggie below, were resized directly from the original 2.5MB full-size files - in a total of under 30 seconds! (Uplinking the new files to my server, so they'll show up here, took longer.) The JPEG Save on these is just over 5KB each - so it makes quite compact files. With the source pic displayed, just click Image > Resize/Resample > punch in the size you need (which allows you a choice of Pixels, Inches, or Centimeters) > save the result as a JPEG - and you're in business!
You can fine tune sizing, down to the Pixel! Our siggie pics below were deliberately fine-tuned to 132 pixels high, to match the height of the GIF "Pounce Logo" supplied by a friend - and you can see the results.
Our final result below - both pics and the logo - is 132 pixels high and 478 pixels wide, fitting well within the 500-pixel width limit you'll encounter on some sites (to avoid those with smaller monitors having to scroll side to side).
I LOVE this program!