Any recommendation for a simple, light GUI program to resize & compress images?

The GIMP (with its approximately 1.3 billion buttons & options) is far too complicated and time-consuming for 99% of the things I want to do with images.

I've already installed Flameshot (latest via .deb) for quick annotations and blurring of screenshots.

Now I need a simple, light GUI program that can both resize an image's physical dimensions and compress the file size. I'm looking through various options but would appreciate any recommendation from your personal experience. Thanks in advance.

For lighter and less intensive editing than GIMP, I prefer Pinta which is similar to MS Paint:

You can resize image, resize canvas or change file format. Like with GIMP, there is a learning curve but there always is...

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Pinta looks nice for real image editing, but that's something I almost never do. (Also I'm going to guess that it requires a lot of KDE/QT dependencies.)

I have too many curves to learn at the moment, which is why I'm looking for suggestions to pare them down by using a couple of simple, dedicated tools instead of "everything and the kitchen sink" apps.

Like Flameshot: all I had to do was look at it for about 3 seconds and I knew exactly how to do what I needed.

What I've tried very briefly so far (apps found via KDE Discover, installed via Synaptic):

Pros: Does one job (OK two, resize and compress), does it simply and fast. Can do batches if I need that. Shows a preview. Only one dependency.
Cons: Preview window is small. No crop.

mtPaint (OK, it's a full image editor, but at least a light and tight one):
Pros: Easy to work out how to resize and compress. Has other options if I want them.
Cons: Had to change the "allocated memory" setting a couple of times in order to perform actions. A handful of dependencies.

Pros: Includes a few other editing tools (especially crop!) but still much simpler than mtPaint, Pinta or GIMP.
Cons: A bit of a learning curve when it comes to doing more than one action (e.g. crop and resize, then save as...). The "save as" process is a little convoluted and doesn't allow you to set the compression rate (that's in the program settings). No preview. A fair number of dependencies.

(A couple of others I considered but ruled out because of lots of dependencies: Gwenview, Gnome Photos.)

All three turned a 7.2mb 2040-pixel-high jpeg into around 300-350kb at 75% compression rate, resized to 1080 pixels high. Mission accomplished!

I didn't think of cropping in my original post but it's very handy. I like the "image viewer with a few basic tools thrown in" paradigm of Gthumbs but the saving process can be a little confusing. mtPaint looks as though it hasn't changed since I first saw it on Puppy in the mid-00s, but it gets everything done simply and quickly (once you've allocated enough memory).

I'll have to use them some more before I decide on one (or any other that anyone recommends).

No, it is a gtk app, not a Qt app.

I understand what you are asking, trust me, if you look around the forums you will find multiple confessions that attest to my graphic design skills, or lack thereof rather. But maybe it's better to learn to do small tasks using one program, than using multiple programs for those tasks? Over time, you'll be much more efficient and get proficient with new skills.

With GIMP, you can go to Image -> Scale Image to resize:

To compress, you can select File -> Export As and, after you've selected the new file location (you can also override the original if you prefer), you will have options to choose compression rate and other optimizations.
You can also just use a different extension name and it will be converted automatically, in case you need to convert from png to jpeg, webp, etc.

Using the same parameters that you mentioned (1080px and 75% compression rate) I got a similar size:

I know it's not what you asked but I also use GIMP only for very simple tasks and I've learned this couple of little tricks. As a matter of fact this is just about everything I know about GIMP... but gets me pretty far. For annotations and such I use Flameshot too.


Why did I think that? I must have been confusing it with Krita. So many programs spinning around in my brain.

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Thanks for the tip. I'll try it and compare with other options to see which suitsme best.

I use a program called XnView MP (Multi Platform) .... when I first used Zorin about 2 years ago I couldn't find a graphics program I like that worked like Infranview from my Windows days ....

I did a search for a apt most like Infranview that would work on Linux and this was the one most recommended because like you I didn't need a lot of editing or hundreds of different choices to have on my apt ....

XnView MP fit that bill and I still use it to this day ...... it has two features that I love as I do download a lot of photos which I need to batch file .... this app has both batch rename and batch convert as separate commands from the left MB drop down menu which is what I desperately need .....

It does have a small learning curve which any medium sized graphic apt will have but if I can get used to running it I'm sure most people can too ....

Check it out if you want .... it might just be for you or maybe not .....

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Ah yes XnView. I used to use it on Windows, at least the native version, I had some problem when I tried to run the MP version.

XnView definitely seems to have what I'm looking for, however it's proprietary. Now that I'm making the jump to a free operating system, I want to use free software as much as possible. I should have stated that.

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There's a program available in the Software Center called Converter. Might give that a look.

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Hummmmm ..... the version I'm using is free or at least I'm not paying for it .... it does ask for donations if you want to pay something ..... here is what I'm using ....

Sorry, I meant free-libre, not free-gratis.

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"Software" was being problematic (as usual). That's why I used Discover instead. Today finally able to find Converter in Software.

Looks nice and simple (although a bit heavy, 116mb installed size; by comparison, mtPaint's installed size is 1.8mb), you can drag and drop pictures on it. But after clicking "Convert", it gets stuck. After waiting a couple of minutes, I tried closing and got "Stop converting? You will lose all progress". Eventually I clicked "Stop", closed program and tried again. Same thing again.

So Converter is a bust (at least for me).

re Gthumb, the "save / save as" process is doing my head in. I've been "saving" and "saving as" in multiple programs, formats and operating systems for decades, but I cannot for the life of me work out how to do it right in Gthumb.

Just when I think I understand what I should do, something like this happens:

  • I open "pic.jpg" in Gthumb, crop, resize and compress it, and (in my opinion) save it as "pic-crop.jpg".
  • I then find that the original file "pic.jpg" is cropped, and "pic-crop.jpg" is resized but not cropped. :rofl:

There must be some way of doing it right but the whole point here is to minimize/eliminate learning curves and just get a simple task done quickly.

So for now I guess I'll be sticking with mtPaint (where "save as" works like every other program ever made).

There are a few terminal commands that may assist in what you are attempting. Some may require that certain packages be installed, even if their parent application isn't....Reduce File Size of Images in Linux - CLI and GUI methods | DigitalOcean.

The title is misleading, as it also covers conversion as well as compression (reduced file size)

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I customize keyboard shortcuts in GIMP so that I can quickly access frequently used functions.

Obviously there are multiple ways to achieve the final results I want, but the way I achieve them is also part of what I want.

The problem with terminal commands, of course, is that if I don't use them every day (or at least a couple of times a week), I forget them. I know I can always google it or "man imagemagick", but it takes me 20-50 times as long just to read and understand the man page as it does to just do what I need in a GUI program. With a GUI program, the possible actions and the means to achieve them are presented to you front and centre, no matter how long it's been since you last used it.

(Furthermore, I've now realized that I also want cropping. I don't think there is any such thing as CLI cropping, is there? Unless somehow you know exact coordinates in the image where to crop.)

I'm not 100% averse to the command line, but it has to be something I use often enough to memorise the command (e.g. sudo apt install ...). I will try to use CLI more in future but for some tasks (especially basic and not very frequent ones) I just want a simple, light GUI.

Your link gives the GUI tool Trimage. I realize you were focusing on the CLI tools, but I'll give a quick review of Trimage here in case anyone is interested.

Trimage is a simple, drag and drop GUI to compress images. But with my test image, it only brought the file size down from 7.2 to 6.9MB (4.1%). It doesn't do resizing or cropping. It doesn't allow adjustment of compression quality rate. (As far as I can tell, it doesn't have any adjustable settings of any kind.) And I now realize it doesn't "save as". The 7.2mb original is now gone, replaced by the 6.9mb compressed version.

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Many of the suggested applications had warnings of replacing the original and to make copies if you didn't want them perminitely modified.

You can find and configure a command for any one of the offered utilities and save the command in a text file. It is also kept in the terminal history for a time.

The terminal is the best way to batch process images, one of your requested features.

I linked the article for you to explore. Skimming it won't be helpful, since the warnings were obviously missed. Take the time to read and understand, this will allow for less modified originals, unless it is something you don't mind.

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This is very true.

Though GIMP also offers batch processing.

I use GIMP and sometimes Pinta when in a hurry. I am very supportive of the Pinta Project even if I admittedly do not use it often. But I do use it when it beats GIMP at certain tasks. For example, replacing multiple images - With GIMP you must export each image through a series of several whacks at the enter key over a pop up. With Pinta, select save as with ctrl+shift+s and it also remembers your last position. It makes doing that task much faster.

Gimp really is not difficult to learn. I realize that you omitted it previously but maybe it really is time you took another look at it.

I cannot think of a GUI tool on Windows that fits all these requirements either.

You may be able to work around the issue using autokey:

I use several hotkeys to enter complicated or lengthy terminal commands that I do not often run.

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I really hate to repeat myself but learning a few simple task on GIMP is probably what you want, long term at least. Cropping, resizing and compressing are tasks easy to do with it.

I never used it for batch processing however, other than tediously doing it one by one, but in the case of cropping you have to do it this way anyway so... if you only need to resize or compress images, I found that article shared above, using imagemagick very useful.

Would you be interested in a script that prompts you for the most common options? That would be a fun exercise for me to do anyway, but I can't promise it will be on top of my priority list.