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Linux tips and tweaks

mtPaint is like Windows Paint only better

GIMP is an excellent photo editing program and it has a large collection of very powerful tools. Everyone should have a copy on their Linux PC because it is one of the best tools of its type. However, it isn't that easy to use and you may find it a bit overwhelming. If you want something that is simpler and easier to use, you should take a look at mtPaint. This paint and photo editing application sits somewhere in the middle between a Windows Paint type of program and GIMP. It has a lot more tools than Windows Paint, but it is simpler to use than GIMP. It's free and it's worth the 30 seconds or so it will take to download.

mtPaint is a Gnome program and you can probably find it in the distro's software repository. It is in Ubuntu Software Center for example, just enter the name into the search box. It can also be downloaded from the website too.

mtPaint

The icons in the toolbars and the interface in general aren't as slick as a Windows program and the program could look a lot better than it does at the moment. This doesn't affect its functionality though and there are lots of useful features and tools within the program. There is quite a bit of fine detail in some of the functions and if you select Scale to resize an image for example, you can choose the method from nearest heighbour, bilinear, four bicubic methods, and Blackman-Harris. Select the Unsharp mask function to sharpen an image and you can set the radius, amount and threshold. Choose Transform Colour (an odd name for brightness/contrast/saturation adjustment), and you can set the gamma, brightness, contrast, saturation, hue and posterise.

The collection of tools is good and includes lines, shapes, and paintbrush, a text tool, lasso, clone, rotate, greyscale, sharpen, unsharp mask, soften, Gaussian Blur, and many more. It's not as good as GIMP, but it is quite good and it's fine for simple photo editing and painting tasks. Animations can be created in layers and files saved as png, bmp, jpg, tga, tif and xpm file formats.

It is free and it definitely deserves a place in your toolkit.



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