grid tool for pictures

i am looking for a simple tool to place a grid over a picture -  as shown in the example
what i need is :
-select # of lines up to 10 horizontal and vertical
-optional select line color
-simple, small, and prefereably FREE
independent of applications like Adobe etc...

any suggestions ?
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Who is Participating?
Mohammed RahmanCommented:

Instructions on how to make a grid (you may not require the instructions, still :) )
Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
Hi nobus,

IrfanView is excellent (FREE!) imaging software that I've been using for many years:

Click the Download link on the left to download IrfanView and click the PlugIns link on the left to download the PlugIns (which are needed to give you PDF capability and other features). Install IrfanView first, then install the PlugIns.

Although many plugins are included in the above, you're going to need a separate, grid generator plugin available (FREE!) at:

Scroll down and you will see the Grid Generator:
 irfanview grid generator pluginDownload it and copy it to the IrfanView Adobe 8BF plugins folder:

c:\Program Files (x86)\IrfanView\Plugins\Adobe 8BF\

Now run IrfanView and load an image (any file type). Click the Image menu, then Effects, and you will see this:
irfanview effectsClick [Adobe 8BF filers...PlugIn]. The first time you do this, the box will be empty. Click the [Add 8BF filters] button and navigate to the folder shown above. It will load all of the filters (which you'll never have to do again) and you'll see this:
adobe 8BF filtersNow double click on Grid Generator and you'll see this:
grid generatorYou have lots of flexibility with the generation of grids, such as color selection, as shown here:
line colorIn the image below, I made the X and Y grid sizes the same, set the line color to yellow and transparency to 40% (so some of the underlying image comes through), and the background transparency to 100% so ALL of the underlying image comes through (color of the background is controllable, too, but, of course, doesn't matter when using 100% transparency):
mona lisa with gridsRegards, Joe
Paul SauvéRetiredCommented:
Here is another choice:
download and install
Select the color for the grid
Effects menu -> Render -> Grid/CheckerBoard Maker
Create the grid
Select GridCreate Grid
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nobusAuthor Commented:
Mody - i'll check it out
Joe - a good suggestion (i knew irfanview already) and it seems to fit most of my desiderata; maybe except one thing : the size? 1.5 mb is not that much i admit, and it's a good candidate and has 2 mb advantage over from Paul

any good reasons to choose either one, or is it simply up to me?
Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
I don't use Paint.NET, so I'm unable to give any reasons for choosing one over the other. I can only give you reasons for choosing IrfanView, which I use many times every day and has become my go-to software for image processing...and, of course, it's free! Overall, it's a great piece of software, and the plugins make it even better. It handles virtually all bitmap/graphic formats and, with the plugins, supports PDF. It has excellent command line support (you may see the command line options in the [i_options.txt] file that is installed in the program directory) and the [i_view32.exe] executable itself is just 586KB, while the [grids.8bf] plugin is just 395KB.

All of that said...yes, it is simply up to you! :)   Regards, Joe
Paul SauvéRetiredCommented:

I too use irfanview. I tested the grid maker on both (irfanView & Paint.NET). Unless I missed something, the only difference I see is that Paint.NET allows you to select the line (i.e. Brush) width.

Also, for image editing, after GIMP 2.8, I mainly use Paint.NET. By the way, the GIMP grid function is a temporary overlay and is not saved with the image. I use this quite often to get the correct rotation of photos.

Finally, GIMP and Paint.NET are also FREE!

nobusAuthor Commented:
ok - tx for the updates; all your answers are valid to me.
but i have one more question :
does there exist a tool that only applies the grid to a picture? (this was what i had in mind when i asked the question)
i mean something programmed in VB, or C++ that you click and it asks the # of vertical & horizontal lines (+ color)
this surely must be easy to make - or it exists already
Paul SauvéRetiredCommented:
does there exist a tool that only applies the grid to a picture?...
something programmed in VB, or C++ that you click and it asks the # of vertical & horizontal lines (+ color)
What do you want to do with the image afterwards? If all you want is a grid, you can use any word processor. Insert image, select wrap text -> behind text, create a table.

All you will be able to do with the result is print it.
nobusAuthor Commented:
i don't even want to print it, - just show the grid over the picture, as a painters help tool -that's all
i really don't want to put it in word and process it - too cumbersome
i want a "oneclick" solution if possible - to show the grid after the jpg is displaying
Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
> show the grid after the jpg is displaying

"Displaying" in what program?
Paul SauvéRetiredCommented:
Then the EASIEST solution is the first one (by mody2579): GIMP. No fuss, no mess, no bother!

Open the image, View menu -> Show Grid. I really don't know an easier way than that.paulsauve
nobusAuthor Commented:
let me rephrase my question : could i make a bat file  - doing just that?
Joe, display with windows photo viewer, or alike
Paul SauvéRetiredCommented:
could i make a bat file  - doing just that?
I couldn't find anything like that (but that does NOT mean that it cannot be done).

Here is the absolute easiest thing that I found:
Open the image with Windows Live Photo Gallery
Click on Edit, organize, or share
Double-click the image
Click on Fine tune
In the right-hand menu, select Straighten photo
Using Win Live Photo GalleryOf course, you will have to install the FREE Windows Live Photo Gallery.
Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
> display with windows photo viewer, or alike

The program you use to display the image must either have the grid function built-in or allow add-ons/plug-ins that would provide the function. I know practically nothing about Windows Photo Viewer, so I could be wrong about this, but I don't believe that it has an add-ons/plug-ins feature (and it certainly doesn't have the grid function built-in).

So if you resign yourself to using a different program, then I think that IrfanView is a reasonable choice, and then you can use the PlugIn I mentioned above. But now we come to your desire to make it a one-click solution that asks you for the number of vertical and horizontal lines and the color. My first thought was that it could be done easily with a keyboard macro mapped to a single key, such as F10 or Alt-G (for Grid) or whatever you want (that doesn't conflict with something else), but based on some experimentation with AutoHotkey (my favorite keyboard mapping program), I came to the conclusion that it's not easy, due to both the IrfanView implementation of the Adobe 8BF filters and Rosenman's implementation of the grid generator...neither is conducive to keyboard macros.

So my next idea is to enhance an existing open-source image viewer. You mentioned something programmed in VB or C++, but I'm not aware of one in either of those languages. However, there's a very good one written in AutoHotkey called AHK Picture Viewer. Here's the source code for it at the AHK forums site:

And here's the author's site:

It would be relatively easy to add a menu pick, such as [File>Apply Grid], which could be mapped to a single key, such as F10, looking something like this:
apply gridIt would prompt for the number of vertical and horizontal lines and the color. The new code would leverage the AHK GDI+ standard library (probably the Gdip_DrawLine function), which is already used by AHK Picture Viewer:

The new code would also leverage the AHK ChooseColor function:

ChooseColor produces a color picker like this:
ChooseColorAll-in-all, due to the bulk of the code already being written and available as open-source, it shouldn't be difficult. Regards, Joe
nobusAuthor Commented:
well - i'm flabbergasted about the complexity of  answers my "simple tool" generated
so you all know nothing of superposing a grid on an open jpg? - like an "overlay"  (i assume you all know what i mean by now)

i thought thsi would have a very simple solution, but it looks i'm wrong on that part

Be assured you all gave very good answers -  and will be credited for it
Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
> very simple solution

Well, then, back to the Gimp's a Windows installer:

The only problem with the built-in Grid feature is that you can't specify the number of horizontal and vertical lines as you want to need to specify the Spacing of the Height and Width:
gimp configure gridBut there's a grid plug-in that does what you want:

After you copy [guides-grid.scm] to the Gimp [scripts] folder, it's pretty much a one-click operation...a single menu pick, anyway...Image>Guides>Grid...which gives you this dialog:
gimp grid plug-inHere's the result of setting 10 horiz and 20 vert parts:
mona lisa gimp grid pluginBut you can't control color, transparency, or line width with this plug-in.

It's always something, isn't it? :)   Regards, Joe
nobusAuthor Commented:
Joe & All thanks for all these ideas
i suppose i can close this now with points for all three
Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
You're welcome. Let us know which way you go. Regards, Joe
nobusAuthor Commented:
well - that may take some time to test all
right now i'm testing a script - if it works, i'll post it here
nobusAuthor Commented:
Joe -i have a very nice solution.
Thanks to Idle Mind
look here :
Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
Hi nobus,
Thanks for posting that here. I didn't see your new question (it didn't hit one of my Saved Searches), so without your post here I would not have known about this solution...really appreciate it! Regards, Joe
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