Not all default image or gallery viewers on an operating system support the image format WebP. Sure, the majority of web browsers support opening a WebP image, but that is not exactly ideal when wanting to view an image or a collection of images quickly along with image rotating, flip, view metadata, etc. However, that doesn’t mean it’s not possible to still be able to view those images quickly.
What Is WebP?
An image file format that was developed by Google as a replacement for GIF, JPEG and PNG. The format uses a .webp file name extension and has the advantage of producing smaller file sizes, while still keeping quality along with support of lossy and lossless compression, animation and alpha transparency. The WebP related software is released under a BSD free software license.
Viewing WebP Images On Android
Some default gallery / image viewers support WebP by default. There are many apps that can be used to view WebP images when using Android. Here is what I use as an alternative app that is open source and that can be easily installed via Google Play, F-Droid or APK Mirror.
- Simple Gallery
- As the name implies it is a simple photo gallery that provides the features to view, edit, create galleries, set wallpaper, share, manage, have private photo/video/file protection and more. The minimalistic aspect is great but the selling point for me is added benefits of no ads, no unnecessary permissions and does not require Internet access to use for your privacy protection.
Viewing WebP Images On Linux
The behaviour I’ve experienced on a Linux operating system is that WebP is not always supported by default. Though WebP support can be added by installing an additional software library or by using an alternative image viewer application.
GNOME Image Viewer
Once webp-pixbuf-loader library is installed, GNOME Image Viewer (Eye of GNOME) will have the ability to open WebP images along with seeing thumbnails of images in GNOME Files (Nautilus).
# pacman -Sy webp-pixbuf-loader
This should also work with other Debian based distributions such as Pop! OS or Ubuntu.
# add-apt-repository ppa:krifa75/eog-ordissimo # apt update # apt install webp-pixbuf-loader
# dnf install webp-pixbuf-loader
Alternative Linux Image Viewers
Here are few known free and open source image viewers that support WebP image file format.
Viewing WebP Images On macOS
Since I cannot confirm my findings I will summarize what I’ve found for reference. As far as I understand it by default, WebP is not fully supported within Finder via Quick Look. However, it seems it is possible if you install a Quick Look plugin called WebPQuickLook. The only native support that I know of is Safari v14 available in macOS Big Sur v11.
Here are a few links that should provide the relevant information required to get WebP support working within Finder on macOS.
- How to preview webp files with Quick Look on macOS
- WebP support on macOS — is it intended to actually work?
- How to enable WebP image format preview on the MacOS Finder
Alternative macOS Image Viewers
It may be easier for some just to use a web browser or an alternative free open source image viewers.
Viewing WebP Images On Windows
At this time it still seems best to use alternative image viewers on a Microsoft Windows operating system. The default image viewer Windows Photos does not support WebP. Here are a few application suggestions that provides WebP support and much more.
Software listed are free and open source. Do not use Microsoft Store to install.
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- An image format for the Web, Google Developers
- BSD free software license, Wikipedia
- GIF, Wikipedia
- How to Use WebP Images in Ubuntu and Other Linux Distributions, It’s FOSS
- How to View WebP Images on Ubuntu and Linux Mint
- JPEG, Wikipedia
- Photo collection, photo by Simon, published Jul 2, 2014, Pixabay
- PNG, Wikipedia
- WebP Image Format, Can I Use
- WebP Logo, Logo by Google LLC
- WebP, Wikipedia
- Which image-viewers in linux support the webp image format?, Ask Ubuntu