BeeRef lets you quickly arrange your reference images and view them while you create. Its minimal interface is designed not to get in the way of your creative process.

Screenshot of BeeRef


Get the file for your operating system (Windows, Linux, macOS) from the latest release.

Linux users need to give the file executable rights before running it. Optional: If you want to have BeeRef appear in the app menu, save the desktop file from the release section in ~/.local/share/applications, save the logo, and adjust the path names in the desktop file to match the location of your BeeRef installation.

MacOS X users, look at detailed instructions if you have problems running BeeRef.


Screenshot of BeeRef over other program

Regarding the bee file format

Currently, all images are embedded into the bee file as png files. While png is a lossless format, it may also produce larger file sizes than compressed jpg files, so bee files may become bigger than the imported images on their own. More embedding options are to come later.

The bee file format is a sqlite database inside which the images are stored in an sqlar table—meaning they can be extracted with the sqlite command line program:

sqlite3 myfile.bee -Axv

Options for exporting from inside BeeRef are planned, but the above always works independently of BeeRef.