Conventional integral three-dimensional images, either acquired by cameras or generated by computers, suffer from narrow viewing range. Many methods to enlarge the viewing range of integral images have been suggested. However, by far they all involve modifications of the optical systems, which normally make the system more complex and may bring other drawbacks in some designs. Based on the observation and study of the computer generated integral images, this paper quantitatively analyzes the viewing properties of the integral images in conventional configuration and its problem. To improve the viewing properties, a new model, the maximum viewing width (MVW) configuration is proposed. The MVW configured integral images can achieve the maximum viewing width on the viewing line at the optimum viewing distance and greatly extended viewing width around the viewing line without any modification of the original optical display systems. In normal applications, a MVW integral image also has better viewing zone transition properties than the conventional images. The considerations in the selection of optimal parameters are discussed. New definitions related to the viewing properties of integral images are given. Finally, two potential application schemes of the MVW integral images besides the computer generation are described. © 2005 SPIE and IS&T.