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free image editing softwareGIMP lovers may disagree, but the world’s needed a GTK photo editor with an easy-to-understand interface for a while. Featuring layers, various effects and good old fashioned editing functions, Pinta is the photo editor missing on Linux systems, as well as Windows and OS X. Think, but cross-platform.

But even if you don’t use Linux, you just might find Pinta to be your new favorite free image editor. It’s fast, functional and gets the job done. If you’ve used, or even Photoshop before, you’ll probably not have any trouble finding anything. But if you haven’t, consider Pinta a fantastic introduction to what photo editing software can do that’s not too cofusing to use.


free image editing software

Fire up Pinta for the first time and the interface will largely look familar. It’s not that different, at first glace, from Microsoft Paint: toolkit on the left, layers and history on the right, image in the center.

The toolkit should be familar to you, even if the only photo editing tool you’ve ever used is Microsoft Paint. If not, don’t worry: hovering over a given tool will cause a helpful popup to appear:


Pinta - A Simple, Cross Platform Free Image Editing Software pinta tooltip

The menu is also worth browsing; you’ll find many useful things there. Rotating the image, viewing options, and various effects all await you.

You can also adjust the curves and colors, which is very useful should you need to correct a photo in this regard:

image editing programs

I could go on, but it’s best to just fire up the program and explore yourself. I highly recommend playing with the various effects to get an idea of what’s possible. Whether you want to make your photo look like an oil painting or just remove red eye from a family portrait, there’s lots to explore there.


If you’ve ever really gotten into photo editing, you know that layers are essential. Whether you’re trying to add elements to photos or simply stylize, the concept of layers become crucial very quickly. Pinta supports this, putting it above the simplest image editing software.

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Even with this seeming complexity, however, Pinta is a piece of software the average computer user should have no trouble at all using. Even the way layers is done is very easy to understand and use, if you experiment with it.


Another indispensable tool for image editing is your history. This allows you to see all the changes you’ve made while editing your image, and to roll them back at will.

free image editing software

This is self-explanatory, but very important if you like to experiment a great deal with your images. Note, however, that the current release of Pinta stores you entire history in the RAM, meaning this program will take up a lot of memory very quickly.

Installing Pinta

Want to get started? Head over the Pinta’s official web site. You’ll find installation files for Ubuntu, Mac and Windows, which is the best way to get started.

The currrent incarnation of Pinta is only the beginning, so if you’re not quite happy with what you see here be sure to check back again in a couple of months. Dynamic projects like this can be a lot of fun to watch, and really represent the power of open source at its best!

Oh, and if you’re a Linux user not quite dedicated to the idea of installation, I highly recommend you download the program over at It’s the place to find Linux downloads the work on every distro Portable Linux Apps Which Work With Any Linux Distro Portable Linux Apps Which Work With Any Linux Distro Read More , and it couldn’t be easier to use.

So, what do you think of Pinta? Please share in the comments below. Also feel free to represent other free image editing programs, because I and our readers always love to learn about new software!

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  1. myimage
    March 1, 2011 at 5:04 am

    Thank you for sharing... Pinta??? never heard it before but seem like it's a useful tool.Will try it.

  2. Tracy
    February 3, 2011 at 2:50 am

    I started to download it, but it said I needed another software loaded first (Mono Tools at $100 to $2500 depending on the version) and that there was a 30 day trial for that...but would be charged after that. So FREE Pinta would not really be free. No thanks. There's always a catch to "free".

    • Josh Fox
      February 3, 2011 at 3:04 am

      ... Are you using Mac? That's the only time you would need Mono. You don't need Mono Tools, just Mono, which is free. Mono Tools is for development.

      • jhpot
        February 3, 2011 at 3:07 am

        Yeah, you don't need Mono Tools to use this. It's completely free.

  3. lefty.crupps
    January 2, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    > but the world’s needed a GTK photo editor...
    Not at all!! A cross platform editor, sure; an easy-to-use editor, sure; but needed a GTk-based editor? Pa-leeze.

    I'm looking forward to trying this out however, even though I'll be running it on my KDE desktop.

  4. lefty.crupps
    January 2, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    > but the world’s needed a GTK photo editor...
    Not at all!! A cross platform editor, sure; an easy-to-use editor, sure; but needed a GTk-based editor? Pa-leeze.

    I'm looking forward to trying this out however, even though I'll be running it on my KDE desktop.

    January 2, 2011 at 12:42 am

    good program but (sorry) GIMP is still better

    • Josh Fox
      January 2, 2011 at 3:36 am

      That's actually one of the nice things about Pinta, it's not made to be the next Photoshop or GIMP, it's just purely a simple image editor. With all the plugins and extras I have installed for GIMP, it takes nearly a minute to load it cold. Pinta loads in about 3 seconds. Why would I want to wait a minute just to do a quick and simple edit like blur a name from a screenshot, crop, resize, etc? Granted, GIMP is where I would go for more advanced features, but if it's something simple, I always load Pinta.

        January 2, 2011 at 10:27 am

        I use IrfanView for simple things like crop, resize, etc. however, to be faster, Pinta should allow (e.g.) the quick move of a selected area and without crop also the background

  6. Ibrahim Ali
    January 2, 2011 at 12:41 am

    Although I stumbled upon this program through the Ubuntu Geek feeds, I somehow have not installed it until today (after reading this article). I have to say so far I like its friendly and simplistic interface along with the smooth and snappy load times and functions in my Ubuntu OS.

    • Aibek
      January 5, 2011 at 11:50 am

      hey Ibrahim, please let us know your thoughts about the program once you have tried for some time.