Pinta 0.5 Released - What's it Like?

by Ostatic Staff - Nov. 03, 2010

Pinta 0.5 has been released and with it come some new tools and several bug fixes. Pinta emerged in February and garnered lots of enthusiastic attention for its user-friendly interface. It was compared and contrasted to The GIMP, but consensus at the time seemed to be that it needed more time to simmer. Will today's update bring it closer to prime time?

Pinta was born out of the need for something more powerful than photo organizers and easier to use than image manipulators like The GIMP. The GIMP has commonly been accused of being too complicated and many users wished for something a bit easier. Pinta exists for that group of casual users. It's modeled after, built with GTK#, and depends upon Mono. Pinta loses some user interest with that last ingredient, but for many it's not an issue. Most just care about the fast performance and clean interface. It features support for multiple layers and includes tools such as paintbrush, pencil, eraser, and various selection tools.

What's New?

Building upon the initial release, today's release brings:

* Multiple Image Support - open and work from more than one image at a time.

* New Brushes - add paint effects using new brushes such as splatter, squares, circles, and grid.

* Clone Stamp - clone selections of image, most commonly used to remove unwanted elements.

* TGA file support - bitmap format commonly used by in-game screenshot captures.

* JPEG Compression Variable - users can now specify compression ratio.

* Paste into new image - paste selection into another image.


Pinta isn't included in any distribution shipping software stack and very few, if any, include it in their online repositories. At a .5 developmental stage this will unlikely change in the near future. With the Mono development base, it will never find its way into some.

However, Pinta has been receiving positive feedback from users and reviewers. They like the clean tidy one-window interface and fast initialization. Packages are available for Linux, Mac, and Windows, although there are no distribution specific binaries available as of yet. Build tarballs are available. Some dependencies include pkg-config, Mono, Cairo, glib-sharp, and gtk-sharp.

Alas, after all this (and installing Mono on my Sabayon system), Pinta won't run. The error box says, "Could not open file:" Clicking OK closes the whole program. Results here are: put the lid back on and let it simmer some more. Comment if you have better luck.