Loupe (named after the small magnifying glass jewelers use) is a GNOME incubator project, meaning it’s under consideration for inclusion as a GNOME Core app. If adopted, Loupe would replace the venerable Eye of GNOME.
This app is built in Rust, and it has been in development for a while. Anyone tracking GNOME development on social media will probably have heard hype about this app.
Now the first public release of Loupe is available from Flathub, meaning non-developers wishing to try it out can do so without needing to get their hands dirty.
So what’s it like?
Loupe Image Viewer
Loupe has a minimal UI that ensures the image you’re viewing is the focal point. On-canvas controls allow you to move left/right, take the app full-screen, and zoom in/out on an image (and I must say the scrolling and zooming of images is terrifically smooth).
Loupe is able to open the usual image formats like JPG, PNG, WEBP, SVG, GIF (including animated), TIFF and BMP, as well as more “tricky” ones like HEIF, AVIF, ICO, and EXR, according to its Gitlab page.
Transparent images (like SVG) are displayed on a dark background rather than a checkerboard (or worse, white). SVGs also render beautifully even at extreme zoom levels, and remain fluid when panning – I do appreciate that.
Finally, there are toolbar buttons to copy an image to your clipboard, and delete the image being viewed. Touchpad gestures include two-finger swipe, pinch, zoom, and rotate.
More features in the loupe?
I tried Loupe from Flathub on my Fedora 38 Workstation and it worked great for the most part.
While the Flatpak build pulled in a HEIF runtime, Loupe was unable to actually load HEIF images. It also struggled with WEBP (it just spins and spins), and EXR images looked bad — however, let’s remember this is an initial release so bugs, missing features, etc are to be expected.
Loupe already lets you rotate images but it can’t, as of writing, resize or crop images. Some would argue a viewer should just be that: a viewer, but normally when I view an image I want to do something with it, like crop and share elsewhere. Having those in-app would save time.
A slideshow feature is also absent atm (though do people actually use those? Let me know in the comment). Also, though more of a niche ask admittedly, I’d love a keyboard shortcut or menu option to “view actual size” — something I use a lot on macOS.
But so far, so good: Loupe makes a delightful first impression, and looks to be an app that’s well worth keeping an eye on.
Loupe features at-a-glance:
- GTK4/libadwaita app
- Supports lots of image formats
- Fluid panning and zooming
- Touchpad gestures
- Smooth transitions between images
- Rotate images
- See image info in sidebar
Want to try it out?
• Get Loupe on Flathub