You may have noticed more photographs with the “.webp” extension when Google announced the image format in 2018 as opposed to the JPEG and PNG formats, which are still widely used.
When using a popular browser that already has support libraries for showing them, you will typically see these graphics when exploring the web. However, you could experience difficulties while attempting to see the photographs you downloaded using your file explorer.
Google’s WebP format may not always be compatible with picture viewers, depending on your desktop environment and distribution.
There Are Certain Desktop Environments that Already Support WebP
The WebP format has been around for a while, thus it is already supported by an increasing number of applications. Since most desktop environments already have one that supports it by default, developers for Linux have been more than eager to add support for this format to their own picture viewers.
Right now, any distribution that uses Deepin or KDE Plasma should be able to view these photos natively through their own built-in image viewers. Gwenview is the equivalent of KDE Plasma. Deepin has a program with the witty name “Deepin Image Viewer,” and deepin-image-viewer is what it is known as in most repositories.
Adding WebP Support Natively
The only thing you’ll need is a library if your desktop environment doesn’t already support the WebP image format.
A simple library called WebP GDK Pixbuf Loader enables any desktop environment that supports GTK+ to open WebP pictures in its built-in image viewer and create thumbnails of them.
With the exception of Ubuntu-based systems, which have a third-party repository for this program, most Linux distributions have one or more versions of it in their repositories.
For Arch Linux:
sudo pacman -S webp-pixbuf-loader
If you still experience problems opening photos in your file explorer (i.e., an error message appears stating that an application cannot be found to open the file), you must instruct it to open the file using your image viewer by default.
Although the process is remarkably similar in other desktop environments, we will walk through it in GNOME for the purpose of illustration.
- Then select “Open With Other Application” from the context menu by right-clicking the image.
- Select “View All Applications.”
- The “Image Viewer” option can be found by scrolling down or by selecting the magnifying glass icon at the top of the window.
- The image should be shown as soon as you click “Select,” just like any other JPEG or PNG image would be. It will now be remembered by the desktop environment to open WebP images using its own image viewer.
Launch GIMP and open WebP files
If you’ve been using Linux for some time, there’s a decent chance that you’ve heard of GIMP. For Linux users, it’s the preferred image editing program in place of programs like Adobe Photoshop.
The majority of the jobs that people use Photoshop for can be accomplished by GIMP without breaking the bank, despite some of its janky behavior.
If you haven’t installed it, you should think about doing so because it is a crucial piece of software. By default, GIMP is compatible with WebP and the majority of picture formats. You’ll undoubtedly discover a plugin that adds whatever is missing if it doesn’t already.
Open WebP Files in GIMP
You could always just use your browser to view it if downloading and installing software to view a WebP image isn’t your thing. Images in a variety of online image formats, including native support for WebP, can be opened and displayed by any current, modern browser.
Immediately after Google’s 2018 announcement, the standard was largely embraced by browser developers.
Simply drag the image onto an open tab in your browser after opening your file manager. Presto! You shouldn’t need to do anything extra to see the image because your browser should open and display it right away!
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