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Often I need to annotate (draw some arrows, lines, basic shapes like squares, ellipses etc and enter some text) on top of pictures (JPG, PNG images) and screenshots (again png images). I would also need to be able to crop, resize etc.

I tried the Gimp but I could only enter text and perform all image transformations but couldn't find a way to draw boxes etc.

I finally settled to draw, but I know that isn't what I want, because in oodraw I need to insert my pic into a drawing and resize it (or the drawing) to fit and then go about making changes and finally export to png...

Is there any image editor that allows adding shapes and text to jpg & png files and save the modified file in its place? If the tool can also have template collections (like dia does) for shapes that is an added bonus.

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up vote 59 down vote accepted

Shutter (which you can install from the Ubuntu Software Centre or sudo apt-get install shutter) is a tool which has a variety of options for taking and annotating screenshots. (Note: You can annotate any images of your choice, not just screenshots.)

Shutter example screenshot

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2 notes: 1. Inteface is indirect - need to click on the toolbar button for editing with in-built editor to get to the window which allows annotations to be made. 2. sudo aptitude install shutter doesn't install libgoo-canvas-perl which is required for enabling the edit button! Couldn't figure it out straight away: shutter complains of missing Goo::Canvas/libgoocanvas while aptitude search libgoocanvas show libgoocanvas3 is installed - the unmet (runtime) dependency is libgoo-canvas-perl. Thought of putting it here in case anyone wants to try out shutter after reading this. – koushik Sep 6 '10 at 6:22
Turns out there is a bug report, but it's been marked invalid :( – 8128 Sep 6 '10 at 7:00
I just over-ruled the decision on that bug report, and uploaded a fix to maverick. libgoo-canvas-perl is now a Recommends and is installed by default. – andrewsomething Oct 5 '10 at 2:34
@andrewsomething You can recommend that for Debian Squeeze, too. :) – Xiè Jìléi May 23 '12 at 6:40
@aperson imgur support is there now :) – dukedave Aug 10 '12 at 4:10

I would use Inkscape

(which you can install from the Ubuntu Software Centre or sudo apt-get install inkscape).

Install via the software center

enter image description here You will need to right click the image, select Open With -> Other Application... and chose Inkscape from the list. After you have done this the first time, you can just right click -> Open With -> Inkscape.

This will import the image into Inkscape and the page will be sized to fit the image. You can then make your annotations.

To save it, you need to use File -> Export Bitmap, click Browse... and chose your original image.

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+1 to inkscape. Man, this is awesome. IMO there is a learning curve though - albeit smaller than, say, photoshop. – koushik Sep 6 '10 at 5:47
I love inkscape but don't agree that it is a good tool for editing screnshots. Just see how hard it is to add a simple arrow. – snowguy Jul 11 '12 at 15:24
I came here looking for an alternative to this approach. If Inkscape could open in under 1 second and recognized that In fact I just opened it for annotating a screencapture then that would be awesome. But it doesnt, and we are forced to jump thorough hoops and wait for it to load which is not good when you have 30 screenshots to do in rapid succession. – Lennart Rolland Mar 23 '15 at 12:54

If you want to stay in gimp, you can add boxes and circles/ellipses. Use the rectangle or ellipse selection tool, and when you have the marching ants, on the main menu click Edit/Stroke Selection, then make your line style choice.

There are gimp plug ins to do arrows (that I have not tried), however it took only a few minutes to find a clip art site, copy an arrow image, convert it to a transparent-background gif using these directions, and add it as a new layer to the image. The arrow layer can be moved, rotated, scaled, colored, etc.

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Informative. I knew there was a way to do it with the gimp. I also indeed want to stay with the gimp - since I already use it for so many other things. Thanks for the tip. – koushik Sep 7 '10 at 9:25
I have tried the arrow plugin, it's hard to use. I can't preview the arrow shape. I had to click the arrow menu item for each arrow line. Better then none, though. – Xiè Jìléi May 23 '12 at 6:43
I also have used the arrow plugin. Not a good solution. It only does straight arrows and if you do some long arrows and some short arrows the long arrows head gets too big and looks strange next to a shorter arrow. – snowguy Jul 11 '12 at 15:25

You also might want to try GnuPaint or Krita. Not sure if it's exactly what you're looking for, but they might work for you. Both are in the Software Center.


enter image description here


enter image description here

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gpaint was the perfect recommendation for me, minimal small, deps and basic to quickly mark up a screenshot – Maks Sep 7 '14 at 5:55

You can use firefox or Chrome web browser to do this. On firefox you have to install fireshot addon and on chrome "screen capture"


Unfortunately fireshot works on Windows only. Here's a list of such addons. Please test them on your own.

Screen Capture will do on Chrome
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On Ubuntu (or Linux Mint), try Kolourpaint. It's easy to use and has the features you describe.

enter image description here

Install via the software center

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You can use Pixtick. Web tool, no installation required and free.

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Your answer would be improved by adding screenshots showing that the tool you recommend can do what the OP asks. – Elder Geek Sep 2 '14 at 15:02

You can take a look here, u'll find a lot of funny chrome extensions:

And this articile talks about some others:

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Whilst this may theoretically answer the question, it would be preferable to include the essential parts of the answer here, and provide the link for reference (ie. post examples of the Chrome Extensions) – Oyibo Dec 31 '12 at 17:47

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