Image selector

When you start the Photini editor it displays a GUI (graphical user interface) as shown below. The exact appearance will depend on your operating system and window manager preferences, but the same functional elements should be present. (The appearance can be altered by setting a different style, see the configuration section for more detail.)


The Photini editor GUI has two main areas. The upper part has a set of tabs to select different functions. The lower part is an image selector that is common to all the tabs. In between the two is a divider that can be dragged with the mouse to change the relative sizes of the two parts. The overall size of the window can also be changed by dragging its edges or corners with the mouse.

New in version 2022.5.2: The tabs can be re-ordered by dragging and dropping a tab to your preferred position.


Now load some images using the File menu Open files item (or its keyboard shortcut Ctrl+O). The loaded files are displayed as thumbnail images in the image selector part of the GUI. Note that the thumbnail size can be changed with the slider control just beneath the thumbnail display area. The files can also be sorted by name or date by clicking on the appropriate button.

Images can also be loaded by “drag and drop” from a file manager window or by adding them to the command line if you run Photini from a command terminal. If you open a directory then all the images in that directory will be opened. This is recursive, so beware of accidentally opening too many images in one go.


Clicking on any thumbnail selects that file. The selected file is highlighted by a red border. Double clicking on a thumbnail should display the full size image, using your default image viewing application.


Multiple files can be selected by holding down the ‘shift’ key while clicking on a second image. To select multiple files that are not adjacent, hold down the ‘control’ key while clicking on the images.


The keyboard shortcut Ctrl+A selects all the loaded files.


Selecting multiple files allows you to set metadata, such as the image title, on several files at once. This is much quicker than having to edit the metadata of each file separately. You will probably want to select a different group of files before editing each metadata item. For example, you might give the same title to all the images, then select only the first two or three before writing a description.

Context menu

Right-clicking on a thumbnail displays a context menu for all the currently selected files.


The context menu currently has five items. Reload file discards any metadata changes. Save changes saves any changes to the file(s). View changes displays any changes of metadata, as shown below. Regenerate thumbnail creates a new thumbnail of the image(s). Close file closes the file(s).


The view changes context menu item displays all the metadata items that have changed. In this example I’ve set two items that were previously empty. If you want to discard any of these changes then select the appropriate undo checkboxes and click on OK.


The same menu items also appear in the main File menu.

Using Photini with other programs

If you use other applications that can display or edit image metadata then you need to be careful when using them with Photini. Just like with a word processor or text editor it can be risky to have a file open for editing in more than one program. If you make changes in Photini you should save them before getting another program to reload or reopen the file. If you make changes in another program you should use the context menu described above to reload the file in Photini.

You may also want to experiment with how other programs display the metadata you create in Photini and vice versa. Be aware that other programs might not store their metadata in the picture files, but use a database or separate files (other than XMP sidecars). Such programs are not compatible with Photini, unless they can be configured to use metadata standards.

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