I would like to find a program that allows drawing of simple shapes (rectangles, arrows, dots, text, ... - like MSPaint does) on images, but with an image browser included (allowing to pass from one image to the other very easily - like any images viewer).

Does anyone know if this kind of program even exists? All I can find are gallery editors (with photo effects like luminosity, contrast, white balance, ... none of what I need) or images editors (with the features needed, but that does not allow me to switch from one image to the other).


  • drawing simple shapes (rectangles, arrows, dots, text)
  • image browser included (allowing to pass from one image to the other very easily)
  • light-weight (I don't want a feature-overloaded full-fledged image editor)
  • runs on Linux (preferably contained in an Ubuntu repository for easy installation)
  • If requirement of image browser is not a must, I could recommend a good tool for your needs.
    – danijelc
    Feb 27, 2014 at 20:00
  • 1
    @danijelc Would be helpfull to include that in your comment (not post it as an answer), for future readers (like me)
    – Bernhard
    May 5, 2014 at 11:31
  • 1
    ok here we go MyPaint
    – danijelc
    May 6, 2014 at 22:20
  • I use Microsoft PowerPoint (it works well, surprisingly) to do this type of thing on Windows, so you could widen your search to include PowerPoint competitors on Linux. Aug 4, 2015 at 20:56

2 Answers 2


I used to use LibreOffice Draw for this functionality. If you're already using LibreOffice, it's probably already installed and would have a minimal learning curve. (If not, it's in the Ubuntu repository.)

It's similar to making diagrams and pictures in LibreOffice Writer or Microsoft Word, if you have done that before. You can create basic shapes, connect them to form diagrams, add text, and import images. It also offers the advantage of keeping elements editable and movable after first placing them (unlike MSPaint).

It doesn't have the capability to browse between images. I'm not sure of any programs that have both this "gallery" feature and the type of image manipulation you're describing. However, Draw does have pagination, so you can have separate images in the same document. If you want to only export one of them, just export that page.

  • This post does not contain enough information to be considered a high quality answer. Please read our discussion on what makes an answer high quality to see if you can incorporate some of these improvements into your answer, otherwise it will be removed. To be specific rather than just saying here's a link go read it: go over the identified requirements and confirm which ones are matched. Aug 6, 2014 at 16:22
  • Is that better?
    – Pterosaur
    Aug 6, 2014 at 17:07
  • yes much better Aug 6, 2014 at 17:49

I don't think the perfect tool for this exists for Linux - you can get this feature set beautifully in Faststone in Windows which combines browsing, capture, and editing of the kind mentioned. It does run reasonably well under WINE in Linux (well, Ubuntu and Mint in my experience), but that isn't ideal.

My recommendation for Linux is Shutter, a screen-capture program which includes editor and primitive image browsing. In terms of OP's requirements:

  • Yes drawing simple shapes (rectangles, arrows, dots, text) | Exactly these tools are available in the edit window; other manipulations (e.g., quick drop-shadow) are available via plugns. editor
  • Note image browser included (allowing to pass from one image to the other very easily) | No and yes. This isn't built as an image browser (see below), but the main interface is tabbed: the first tab includes thumbnails of all "loaded" images, and it would be simple to load in a directory's worth, or whatever, and simply "tab" between them. first-tab
  • Yes light-weight (I don't want a feature-overloaded full-fledged image editor) | Not much more to say here.
  • Yes runs on Linux (preferably contained in an Ubuntu repository for easy installation) | It is available for a number of distros including Ubuntu (so a simple sudo apt-get install shutter does it).

As mentioned, however it is not designed as a browser. But I use Shutter in combination with Geeqie (fast and lightweight image browser) or GThumb.

I haven't been able to replicate Faststone in Ubuntu or Mint, but the Shutter + browser combination gets me close.

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