Looking for a program like Microsoft Paint but for the Linux desktop? Check out the aptly named ‘Drawing‘, a new GTK app that ably fills the gap.

This simple image editor for Linux desktops is made in the mould of the Microsoft Paint. That mean it isn’t trying to out-do The GIMP, pitch itself as an alternative to Photoshop, or pick up where Pinta left off.

What Drawing can’t do is almost as important as what it can do; that’s to say, it’s a simply designed app designed for simple use-cases.

Think meme making, screenshot annotations, wobbly sketched moustaches on selfies, and that sort of thing.

Drawing is a GTK Microsoft Paint app for Linux desktops

Drawing supports a number of popular image formats, including .jpg,.png and .bmp.

It lets you draw free hand on a blank canvas or on an opened or pasted image, in a colour of your choice, with a couple of brush styles to pick from.

Want to draw in lines? It can do that. Want to draw shapes? It can do that too.

Drawing also lets you undo changes using ctrl + z, a tool bar button or, more dramatically, using a freehand eraser.

  • Brush, line, shape and selection tools
  • Freehand eraser
  • Colour picker
  • Fill tool
  • On-canvas text entry
  • Crop, flip, scale and rotate selections
  • Adjust image saturation
  • Image zoom

The best way to get an idea of what Drawing is capable of is to try it out (spoiler: It’s not a difficult app to use).

Admittedly the overall design and feature set of Drawing is tailored toward the GNOME Shell desktop environment. But the app also boasts layouts for users on MATE, Cinnamon and Pantheon desktops.

Heck, its UI can even adapt to support the Librem 5 Linux phone!

Install ‘Drawing’ GTK App

If you’re a regular reader you’ll know that we covered this app briefly before. That release was an early “preview” and, though promising, felt a little rough around the edges.

Drawing 0.4.2 is the latest release and is more stable, more capable, and more featured than earlier builds. It’s free, open source software and is available on Flathub, the Flatpak app store:

‘Drawing’ on Flathub

There’s also an unofficial Drawing PPA that packages the latest version for Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, Ubuntu 19.04 and Ubuntu 19.10: –

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:cartes/drawing
sudo apt install drawing

Ubuntu’s Ken VanDine maintains a Snap package of Drawing.

You can also find Drawing’s source code on Github.

Do share any work you create with Drawing in the comments!
Whatever happened to GNOME Paint?!

On a Microsoft Paint related note, if you really can’t live without the real deal, make sure you check out this Javascript re-implementation. It’s uncannily accurate!

#drawing #flathub apps #gnomepaint #imageeditors