Things You Didn't Know You Could do with the Gwenview Image Viewer

Gwenview is the default image viewer for the KDE desktop. Out of the box it's good looking but nothing obviously exceptional. Except for two things: Phonon and plugins. That combination really does make Gwenview a pretty useful bit of kit. Let's see what it can do.


Phonon is the KDE technology that offers a consistent API to use audio or video within multimedia applications. Gwenview qualifies under that description. Fire up Gwenview and navigate to the directory where you store your videos. Simply click on one and Gwenview will start playing it. It's that simple. Don't believe me? Here's a screenshot of the blessed James Taylor in full concert flow, with Gwenview handling the mp4 file with seamless ease.

Figure 1: Video in Gwenview courtesy of Phonon

KIPI plugin

To do really useful stuff we need plugins, specifically KIPI--KDE Image Plugin Interface. For Ubuntu users it's only a sudo apt-get install kipi away. If Gwenview is already open, you'll need to restart to load the plugin. Now, select the Tools drop-down menu and explore the options.

Figure 2: KIPI really extends Gwenview
Figure 3: KIPI really extends Gwenview 2
Figure 4: KIPI really extends Gwenview 3

Many will be familiar but the one that stand out for me is emailing. There are two ways to organize emailing images: either CTRL plus left mouse click to select images and then click on the Share button and select Email Images.

Figure 5: Email Images from the Share menu

Hit OK and Gwenview will process them all and open up a compose email dialogue.

Figure 6: All images successfully attached

If you wish, before you hit Ok, click on the Mail Icon and you will be able to select mail client, file size and format.

Figure 7: Customize before composing email


This work is licensed under the GNU General Public License.