Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Shotwell is a simple, open source image manager and viewer

Shotwell is a photo organizer and viewer that runs on both Windows and Linux operating system. It comes with a photo manager that allows you to import photos from disk or camera, organize them in various ways, tag them, do basic image enhancing and view them in slideshows. The Linux version comes with an additional option that allows publishing of photos on Facebook, Flickr and Picasa Web album.

Shotwell, as I mentioned in the title, is an extremely basic image viewer. If you are expecting truckloads of features, you will be disappointed. On the other hand, if you are looking for a simple image organizer with just the right tools, give Shotwell a shot.


Once you import your pictures into the program’s library, it automatically organizes your collection by date (named Events) and existing tags on the photos. You can mark photos as favorite, modify tags and sort them by title or tags. You can adjust the thumbnail size and the background color – by default the program sports a dark background that enhances image viewing.

Image editing includes rotation, cropping, red-eye removal and color adjustment (saturation, exposure, tint, temperature etc). You can also configure Shotwell to open the image in an external editor for editing.

The program’s biggest drawback: it can handle only JPEG, PNG, and RAW photo files. Support for other graphics format such as BMP, GIF and TIFF is not available in this release. But this is Shotwell’s alpha release and I expect the developers to rectify this before the final version is out.

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