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I'm looking for a simple and fast image editor and was wondering if any one had any recommendations.


  1. I'd prefer one that was free, open source is not obligatory, but always nice. Free must include commercial use.
  2. It needs to be able to do a couple of very basic editing operations:
    • Select & Crop
    • Paste as New Image
    • Save as JPG/PNG (either or preferably both)
  3. It must run both on Ubuntu and Windows (I have a strong preference for using applications where I don't have to think about which operating system I'm using!)
  4. It must be fast; the main usage of this will be:
    • Load program
    • Paste as New Image
    • Crop
    • Save
    • Quit

The ones I've looked at so far include:

  • The GIMP: This is awesome for a lot of the more complex editing that I do, but is just too slow to load (especially on Windows) for the simple paste/crop/save jobs. I can start MS paint (ick) in about second, GIMP takes 15 seconds on a very good day; often longer.
  • looks nice, but the Ubuntu port doesn't seem to be very good yet.
  • Pinta: looks promising and it might be just what I want when it gets to version 1, but at the moment it refuses to start on my Windows installation.
  • XnView: not free for commercial use.

Can anyone suggest anything that might be suitable?

share|improve this question
Ubuntu and Linux? Isn't Ubuntu linux already? – Fake Name Aug 11 '10 at 11:02
Oops! As you probably guessed, I meant "Ubuntu and Windows". I've corrected it. – Al. Aug 11 '10 at 11:24
Why has this been closed? The so called "exact duplicate" was for a general image editor which didn't meet my criteria. The accepted answer was The GIMP, which I've specifically said was not suitable for the job. I'd read the "exact duplicate" question in detail and decided that it didn't help with my problem, hence asking my question. – Al. Aug 11 '10 at 13:56
The "exact duplicate" question includes "The GIMP": too slow, Windows only, Irfanview: Windows only, picasa: too big and I don't think it does "Paste as New Image", XnView: commercial licence issues, Photofiltre: Windows only, Photoscape: Windows only, online. My question is therefore NOT an exact duplicate. – Al. Aug 11 '10 at 13:58
Voting to reopen – Nifle Aug 11 '10 at 15:19

How about Paint.Mono which is a Linux version of Paint.NET?

Looks like this:

alt text

I haven't tested it myself, so I can't comment on compatibility of files. Here's the article on Wikipedia, and here's an installation guide.

My suggestion is to use Paint.NET on Windows and Paint.mono on Linux, obviously ;-)

share|improve this answer
Thanks, I'll have a look at Paint.mono: last time I tried it (admittedly quite a while ago) it wasn't really stable. – Al. Aug 11 '10 at 14:54

May I suggest an online solution?

LunaPic is surprisingly good. Otherwise Picasa has a decent editor here & here

share|improve this answer
Unfortunately an online solution isn't really viable as some of the images will be confidential (and LunaPic's site is blocked here anyway). I use picasa at home for cataloguing photos and have been very impressed with it. Can Picasa's editor be started for a particular file without starting the whole of Picasa? Can it do "Paste As New Image"? – Al. Aug 11 '10 at 10:15
When I double-click an image it opens in the picasa viewer. There I can right-click and select edit in picasa. Don't know if you can get to the editor directly. Oh, I don't know what Paste As New Image does. – Nifle Aug 11 '10 at 11:43
"Paste as New Image" creates a new image from the contents of the clipboard. This is particularly useful on Windows for taking screenshots (pressing Print-Screen puts a screenshot in the clipboard), but I use it in a few other circumstances too. – Al. Aug 11 '10 at 15:00
@Al - Thanks for the explanation – Nifle Aug 11 '10 at 15:19

If all you're doing is simple things like cropping, pasting, and other simple image manipulations, F-Spot has a very nice simple image editor. A lot of development work went into the editor recently when Ubuntu wanted to remove Gimp from the default install and still have a basic editor in place, so it's pretty nice for the simple stuff.

share|improve this answer
Thanks, shame it's not available for Windows. – Al. Aug 12 '10 at 6:49

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