Linux - Part 24
Over the years, I have struggled with the
variety of digital image tools provided with default installations of
Ubuntu. I never liked image viewers that wouldn't show me thumbnails of
all the pictures in a given folder, or those that did not give me quick
access to a simple editor in order to crop an image or make a slight
change to its brightness. And, I simply hated photo managers that
insisted on arranging my pictures chronologically, rather than having
one folder hold all the pictures from a specific trip.
In fact, the only reason that I didn't undertake a systematic search
for an appropriate alternative was that – horrors – Zoner Photo Studio
Free (http://opcug.ca/Reviews/zoner.htm), in the (dual-boot) Windows' world, provided
everything I needed. However, I recently came across gThumb, a
Gnome-based image viewer, and found that this was my new Linux tool of
Interestingly, this all came about after I read a glowing review of
Mint 14 with the Cinnamon user interface. I downloaded Mint and
installed it on a bootable USB memory stick. In trying out this distro,
I discovered that Mint's default image viewer is gThumb. I liked my
“preview” of this package so much I decided to install it on my
production Ubuntu system.
The basic image viewer shows thumbnails of all the images in a selected
folder, together with a tree directory of available folders in the left
sidebar. The size of the thumbnails, and the information displayed
alongside each (e.g. file name), are configurable. Similarly,
double-clicking on a specific image can be set to display the image so
as to fill program's window. Icons are available to show an extensive
list of the image's properties, or to open an image editor in order to
modify the actual image. While the available editing tools are not
exhaustive, many useful items are provided, including brightness,
contrast and colour adjustment; image cropping, resizing and rotation;
and red-eye removal.
Images can be downloaded from a digital camera although, in my view,
this process isn't perfect. While a folder can be specified to hold all
of the downloaded images, the program still creates a sub-folder, named
with the current date and time, and places all of the images inside
this sub-folder. However, it's now a simple matter to transfer all of
the downloaded files into a specific folder of the user's choice. This
is certainly much easier than having to combine files from multiple
“days” into a single, user-defined folder.
The program has a multitude of other features including the ability to
create slideshows; to export photographs to social-media sites or
web-based photo-albums; burn them to optical disks; or to print contact
sheets. Many of these options are provided as plug-in extensions and
additional features are available through this mechanism.
The program is highly configurable simply by
editing a “preferences” menu. For example, one really useful feature,
where screen real-estate is at a premium, is to change the location for
the group of thumbnails that is displayed in the image viewer. By
default, these thumbnails are shown across the bottom of the window;
however, this severely restricts the height – and hence the overall
size – at which the image selected is displayed. Switching the location
to be “on the side” easily resolves this issue.
So, for my way of working with digital images, gThumb is certainly a
published: March, 2013
expressed in these reviews
do not necessarily represent the views of the
Ottawa PC Users' Group or its members.