Some questions regarding Gwenview

I’m trying to switch from XnView to Gwenview, but there are some serious frustrations which I’ve been unable to “configure away”:

  1. I cannot find any means of configuring the mouse. For many, many years, I’ve used middle mouse button to mean “toggle fullscreen mode” in all my picture viewers and media players. It’s deeply ingrained into my muscle memory, but now I’m forced to double-click the left mouse button? It feels unnatural and crippling. Is there some hidden way to configure the mouse just like you can with the keyboard?

The fact that Gwenview has a --fullscreen parameter isn’t helping as there is oddly no way in Plasma/Dolphin to specify anything besides a “program” to open files with (no extra parameters). If there is, it’s certainly not available in the “Open with” GUI thing. (Besides, it still doesn’t solve the problem but would merely save me a double-click for the first “enter fullscreen”.)

  1. With XnView, I frequently simply started selecting a rectangle while viewing an image (not possible in Gwenview), right-clicked and selected “Crop”. This instantly cropped the image. But in Gwenview, I have to first move the mouse to the top to make the menu appear, then click “Show editing tools” in that drop-down menu, then click “Crop” in the list, then do the actual cropping, then click “Crop”, then verify that I want to save it.

  2. As soon as my mouse cursor reaches the top of the screen in fullscreen mode, the aforementioned visual menu appears. With an animation. I don’t really want it to appear at all, but if it must, why have it animated like that which makes everything take/feel longer? Turning off those horrible “animations between images” in the settings does not affect this.

  3. If you touch your mouse at all when in fullscreen mode (which I always am), a pointless “mini map” appears in the bottom-right part of the screen. This cannot be turned off in any settings that I’ve been able to find, and it makes me “sit on nails” when I use this program. I really feel uncomfortable in it, due to “small details” like this which make me wonder if the developers use it like this and don’t find anything wrong with its usability.

  4. When you reach the last image (or try to move back when viewing the first image), there is a pop-up thing showing, telling you about this fact. You can keep pressing buttons to ignore it, but it’s annoying and confusing. I’d much rather have it simply stop there with no on-screen stuff popping up, and ignore further key presses. Again, no settings to change this.

Bad defaults are one thing – “not everyone has the same preferences” – but when the defaults are bad and there is no way to turn off annoying misfeatures, that makes me angry as a user.

Is there possibly something like mpv but for images? mpv is an example of something with horrific defaults but extremely powerful configuration abilities.

Sadly, XnView itself has major issues which make me not want to use it anymore:

  1. Not available in Debian’s APT and must be manually installed and updated. This alone is enough to make me go insane and cause serious stress.
  2. Bizarrely, they removed the “flip image horizontally” button semi-recently out of the blue. It’s possible to bring it back, “kinda”, but it looks ugly and it pisses me off that they would remove the #1 most common editing operation. Speaking of which, Gwenview also appears to lack it in the main toolbar (it only has a “flip 90 degrees” thing).
  3. Apparently, it has a bizarre bug which “keeps files open” after you edit them, causing KDE Plasma to not update its thumbnails even after you’ve closed XnView.
  4. It’s closed source or something.

If there has to be a menu entry for every single user’s wishes, the context menu would be a mile high.
Nothing prevents you from creating desktop applications or servicemenus.

How flip horizontally is the most used edit operation is a mystery to me, but it’s available in gwenview’s toolbar.

Just a general thing: I’m sensing waves of frustration and despair in your words. I understand that the software isn’t working exactly the way you’d like it to, but I think it might be helpful to take a step back and realize that in the grand scheme of things, these are really minor problems. One person is upset that when using one specific image viewer (out of the many available options) they have to double-click to enter full screen, while someone else in a different country (or even city) is worrying about their children having enough to eat or being robbed by gang members!

I’m not trying to trivialize your struggles here, and I know how frustrating it can be to have something 90% right and not yet over that hump of comfort. But a little perspective might help with not feeling quite so upset about it. :slight_smile:


Now, responding to the content rather than the tone:

Some of these things are in fact configurable. In the settings window, you can change the value of “Notify after reaching the last image” to “Never”. And to turn off the mini-map, right-click on an image and uncheck “Show Bird’s Eye View When Zoomed In”.

Other things you mention I believe are not configurable.

If you don’t like these things about Gwenview and can’t adapt to them, that’s okay, no one’s forcing you to use it and the FOSS world certainly has no shortage of image viewers! Or you’re welcome to use to submit feature requests to change things to offer better ergonomics for your use cases.

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input remapper will let you assign function keys or key combos to your mouse buttons

i just mapped my middle button to KEY_F11 using it and when i switch to gwenview the button toggles full screen mode for me… maybe more of a work around than you were expecting but it did work.

btw, middle mouse button in my gwenview toggles between fit and 100% (within the current window size), but i don’t know if that helps you.

as for the menu popping in and out, mine doesn’t do that, there is panel on the left that is always open with crop and flip etc within easy reach.

i’m on v21.12.3 of gwenveiw

FWIW making the double/middle click behavior configurable in Gwenview would probably be fairly simple to do. I’m just not recalling that anyone has ever asked for this before.


While the intent with this statement is noble, this is a logical fallacy known as Fallacy of Relative Privation and we should strive to all avoid these sorts of logic loops (im guilty of this one as well)

@ExXfceUser Ive seen you around here and other places and you have a lot of anger/frustration very frequently, try and calm down a bit before posting and maybe be try to read your own words from another perspective

That said have you tried geeqie? its one of the best image viewers ive tried and im not 100% on if itll fit your needs its available as flatpak, appimage, and in many repos and has good color management options if that matters.


Agreed. Geeqie is quite good. Very ( highly really) customizable. Could be a bit overwhelming though. AND, same prob as some, the desktop thumbnail doesn’t refresh on the go. Neither does Nomacs. If you want something more basic, might I suggest Qimgv. That one is fast, supports scripts and does what you wanted ( middle click>fullscreen, crop, flip vertically…) And it does refresh the thumbnails when saved. So, if those are the “only” things you require…

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The issues I ask about on this forum are a microscopically small subset of my computer issues, which in turn are a microscopically small subset of my overall problems. I have to take long breaks and bookmark pages and read them much later because of all the problems that weigh me down. Just because I care about “details” doesn’t mean I “don’t have anything worse to care about”. By that logic, why ever code another line of code while people are starving? Might as well use the current state of software and hardware forever, then, since “others have it worse”. In fact, what if my form of escapism from the horrors of reality is to at least attempt to have a properly working “computer world”?

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If you are having problems with a software try what I use sometimes it can help

I’m actually VERY curious how a KDE user would even consider XnView a starting point!

Gwenview is very customisable - this is great.

So basically, lt’s assume we have our image loaded:

Now, back in the 1990’s I believe, I started learning about Menu’s. You know, since DOS we’ve had ‘File Edit…’ etc at the top of our windows and these have always been available via the ALT key.

So we press ALT (to access the menu, invisible in my windows until I mouse over or use a shortcut) and we want ‘Edit’ and 'Crop`.

Next to ‘Crop’ in my menu, I see Shift+C

So now we learned the method, we won’t waste time using the menu - menu’s are for noobs who don’t know the easy way, and now that you know you’ll just hit Shift+C and do the crop.

Partly this is one reason I don’t like the newer ‘Hamburger’ style menus, because it often makes life less regular and harder to adapt to - and I really don’t like clicking targets to do stuff TBH…

Also, after pressing Alt, you’ll also see ‘Settings’. And this is one area where KDE is way ahead (and sometimes not) of the competition.

So under ‘Settings’ you’ll see ‘Shortcuts’ where you can define a shortcut.

Now, to be fair, the ‘mini-map’ only appears if you zoom in - and that’s not related to being fullscreen or windowed. I doubt if many people would consider it a problem - but you’re right that it’s not an optional toggle in settings.

As for point 5.
You can set ‘Notify after reaching ithe last image’ to be 'NEVER, or ‘ONLY DURING SLIDESHOWS’ or ‘ALWAYS’ in the settings…

…menu’s are for noobs who don’t know the easy way… Myeah. Oooowkay…

Well, I started using Linux with XFCE, and XFCE’s shipped image viewers are a complete joke. Having used XnView for many years on Windows, and knowing that it had a Linux version, it was natural to use it. I did look at a bunch of “alternatives”, but they all seemed to suck. Only now that I have a full KDE environment I even thought of there being something better in the KDE universe. But Gwenview is… not optimal.

Memorizing (and using) key shortcuts is very difficult and annoying to me. I have a bunch of “global” key combos that I use, but program-specific ones always just cause problems for me. Suddenly, random menus or UI items disappear, or the program closes suddenly, losing all work, or other annoying things just happen because I accidentally pressed some unknown combination of keys. I often use the mouse when viewing images. Being able to select a rectangle and right-click and then “Crop” just feels “right”. It’s not about what you are used to – this is a common misconception – but rather what “feels natural”. My brain thinks that’s how it’s supposed to be done, for whatever reason. When I can’t do it in a program (and can’t set it up to behave like that), it’s very frustrating and cripples me.


Ok, got you triggered there.

So I do agree that there are - especially with KDE - more shortcuts than you can ever learn.

So I guess the next step is to ask if you use X11 - if you do, then I would strongly recommend installing easystroke which allows you to use your mouse to draw shapes - which are generally much easier to learn.

For example, if I draw a > shape with my right mouse button pressed, it will launch PlexHTPC. If I draw > from the bottom up, it launches plex web on localhost.

This takes away the need to learn all the shortcuts for common desktop jobs - Q for ‘quit’ or 'Ctrl+Q`, for example… or an alpha symbol (α - looks more like ×) for Alt+F4 ‘close window’.

This can also do something like 'shift+super+print` - which I never remember - by drawing a square, which does ‘capture area’ or ‘capture window’.

This means you have more flexibility - and a few other programs you can edit shortcuts to match, so that it’s easy to remember in GIMP or in Gwenview that Shift+C will do crop.

I do agree that using computers in general is frustrating - in the 1990’s I came up with the argument in a discussion that ALL operating systems suck… but some suck less than others.

KDE has the best tools I found for getting around the suck (though not always…).

Anyway, that’s my tip. If any global shortcuts don’t suit me, and they’re mapped to a mouse gesture, then I change them to something obscure and stop using them… and as I can usually remember shapes, I can add shortcuts like ‘ctrl_alt_right’ for toggling ‘maximise horizontally’ to avoid having to right click that little square, or ‘ctrl_alt_up` to toggle maximise vertically (instead of left, or is it middle clicking the square???’.

So let’s see:

  • I can use side buttons for ‘resize’ which would be Alt+F10 and ‘move’ which would be Alt+F9.
  • putting a list of clipboard contents next to my mouse ready to select and paste one I draw a V (for Super_V set as my shortcut in prefs)
  • konsole --new-tab is a ‘T’ shape and kitty is also a ‘T’ shape drawn the other way.
    Telegram is a kind of play button shape, Discord is a curly D

Sometimes setting volume is cool, I draw a ‘v’ for volume then add a 1-9 to set volume 10% to 90%

2023-10-11 16:31:17

Swipe up left for ‘overview’.

I’ll also stand firmly with my statement that menu’s are a pain in the bum, and should only be used if you don’t know what you want to do… that’s why there are ‘type to find’ options in krunner and the main menus - I noticed someone having a go at that. Anything I want to use regularly (like crop, or ‘move file’) needs a shortcut that I could potentially edit.

Many KDE Apps are pretty decent about stuff like shortcuts and drag 'n drop - you’ll have a hard time convincing anyone that it’s not intuitive because you developed a long-term habit.

With Gwenview (as I also don’t use keyboard so much) it’s also very easy to stick a small icon on the toolbar, which I generally don’t need because I go with the more common Shift_C for crop.

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Hm I just registered for this forum to make feature requests…
Should I make them at bugs. kde. org?