Best Viewer / Editor : the Graphic Design Project
A lot of variables can determine which Digital Image Viewer or Editor I choose to use. In my opinion, things are a little more tricky when working with creative digital imagery in the Linux world– especially in Fedora which uses only FREE software (as in free to share source-code, not necessarily free beer and chicken) — that’s not to discount the quality of Fedora as a possible Operating System of Choice, as it is a very good Linux Distribution, but i have encountered some snags when attempting to view, for example, Photoshop .psd format, and the high-quality .tiff format. I’ve encountered the most problems when it comes to finding an app with full .GIF support. I believe that ALL of the Fedora image viewers will view a .gif, but the only Image Editor available for Linux Fedora Core 5 which will SAVE to .gif format is the GNU Image Manipulation Program (a.k.a. GIMP).
Here I will record what I feel are significant discoveries in the world of digital image viewing and editing in the Linux O/S environment.
- Read : Open : Write – ICO Image Format!
- Have a look at rgbPaint for your ICO editing needs in the Linux environment
- Save as PNG: Full Alpha Channel Support
The following Linux Software Applications are capable of saving an image in the .png format while maintaining the “transparent background” or Alpha Channel. There may be more, but this is a list compiled according to my success with the software.
- XnView – Original image was in .TIFF format. Background completely transparent ( aka. Alpha channel at 100% ). XnView converted the image to .png format, leaving the alpha channel intact.
- Save as GIF: Full Alpha Channel Support
Since originally writing this article, I would like to add one bit of general advice:
Install WinE, if you are able. Ensure that you’ve done everything properly, so that the installation is as flawless as can be. If you’ve got Photoshop, you can install it on Linux, via WinE, as well as many other Digital Imaging applications from the Win32 environment, with which you might be more skilled, if not more familiar. NOTE: please do not let this recommendation discourage you from trying the vast array of imaging applications available for Linux! I merely suggest the installation of WinE (the Windows Emulator) so the reader has more options available– before he or she might, due to frustration, or simple need to finish a project, resort to moving back to a Windows environment. We don’t want you to do that, just for imaging tasks!
I also highly recommend the Scalable Vector Graphics editor / design tool: Inkscape. Because Inkscape is free software, it is part of the software packages available to the Fedora distribution, without the need to subscribe to any ‘3rd party’ Software Repositories. Also, there is a FREE (as in cost, vs. the Windows version) version of Xara Xtreme available to Linux users. It’s also a most excellent creative graphic design application, which is capable of manipulating existing images as well, and exporting them in various formats. Xara Xtreme, though it used to be part of the Fedora Core, appears to be no longer included, so the User will likely have to install it by following the instructions at the Xara Xtreme web site.