Free Software: Image-Editing with GIMP

Free Software: Image-Editing with GIMP

GIMP, which stands for GNU Image Manipulation Program, has all the main features of Adobe Photoshop but is available for free under the GNU Public License. With GIMP, you can create or open images and manipulate them by cutting, pasting, zooming, shrinking, flipping, cropping, and more. You can adjust color balance, saturation, brightness, etc. to make your colors more vivid and picture more attractive. GIMP offers many filters for many effects. You can add layers to your photos with GIMP to create new and unusual creations. GIMP also has a drawing and coloring program, plus you can create animations with each frame as a new layer and export them as an animation. And this is just the beginning!

Navigating the interface
GIMP has an unusual interface because it doesn’t have a single main window that fills the screen. Instead, GIMP has three main floating windows that you can resize and move around the desktop as you like:

Main Toolbox: This box contains the buttons and controls for image processing tools. When you open GIMP, by default the Main Toolbox is the only window that appears. When you click a tool, the options for that tool appear in the pane under Tools.

You can undock the tool options pane from the bottom of the main toolbox; However, restocking may not be easy to do, and having too many windows open gives a sense of confusion and clutter on your desktop.

Image window: This window, of course, contains your image. To display an image window, choose File -> New or File -> Open from the menu in the main toolbox. You can open as many picture windows as your computer’s memory fits. (See the next section for instructions on creating and opening images.)

Layers window: This window allows you to add new layers, choose which layer you want to activate, hide and close layers, or apply transparency to any layer. If you want to use parts of images to create other images – for example to copy and paste someone’s face into another – you will probably want to use a separate layer for each image in your image. To display the Layers window, go to the main toolbox, then choose File -> Dialogs -> Layers.

Open an image file in the image window
To open an image, choose File -> Open and specify the file name in the Open Image dialog. GIMP can open more than 30 types of image files, including Photoshop files.

Create a new image window
You may want to cut and paste an image from another application into GIMP, or you may want to create a new image using the drawing and painting tools. Either way, choose File -> New. The New Picture dialog box appears. In it, you can set the following options:

From Form: Choose from standard resolutions, including standard screen sizes, paper sizes, logo sizes, CD covers, and NTSC or PAL

Image size: Size in pixels appears as the default size, although you can choose other units of measure from the Unit of measure list box. If you choose a unit of measurement other than pixels, you may also want to select a resolution in Advanced Options, since resolution is measured in pixels and not inches or other units of measurement.

If the image is on the clipboard, you may find that the image size in the Create New Image dialog is automatically set for that image, but this is not always the case.

Portrait or Landscape: Click the Portrait or Landscape button to change the width and height, if you want. Horizontal makes the width larger while portrait makes the height larger.

Advanced Options: Click on “Advanced Options” to reveal more options.

• X Resolution and Y Resolution: These options are set automatically if you choose a template, if you choose the size of your image in pixels, or if the image is copied to the clipboard. You may want to adjust the resolution, for example, if you set the size of your image in inches and want to print your image at a higher resolution, such as 600 dpi (dots per inch) or higher. You can set the precision to the values ​​you want. The image size (in pixels) changes to reflect a higher resolution. (Pixels are generally square for computer graphics work, so you’ll probably want the X and Y values ​​to be identical, otherwise the proportions of your image may be affected.)

• Colorpace: Choose RGB for color or Grayscale for black and white. (RGB stands for red, green, and blue, which when combined in different proportions can create all the colors of the rainbow.)

• Fill with: Note that in the main toolbox there are two squares near the bottom of the top. These are the foreground and background colors. For this option, choose Foreground if you want the new image to be filled with the foreground color. Or you can choose the background, white, even transparent if you want a transparent background.
• Image Comment: Add a comment about the image, if you want. This will be embedded in the file but won’t be visible when the image is viewed.
Click OK and a new Image window appears. If you want to paste an image that you copied from another application, choose Edit –> Paste.