GIMP Basics
Posted by Tyler Roberts, Last modified by Erika Rydberg on 27 September 2018 01:19 PM
Starting a New Project in GIMP:

To create a new file in GIMP, go to File/New. A window will come up asking for how large you would like the file to be, if known this can be entered now, otherwise it can always be changed later on. After the size is set, clicking Ok will create the file.

To create a new file in GIMP, go to File/New. A window will come up asking for how large you would like the file to be, if known this can be entered now, otherwise it can always be changed later on. After the size is set, clicking Ok will create the file.

The Interface:

By default GIMP 2.8 does not have single window mode enabled, the toolbar and other tool panels will be in their own separate windows that can be moved around, to enable single window mode:
  • Go to Windows
  • check Single-Window Mode

If single-window mode is enabled the interface should look something like this:

 

If not then the interface may look more like this:

 
 
Whether in single-window mode or not, the interface is very similar. The major benefit to the single window mode being it is much harder to accidentally close the toolbox for example. 

Default Dialogs:

By default GIMP will have 3 dialogs, the main canvas or image you are working with, the toolbox, and the layers dialog. If any of the dialogs get closed, they can be reopened from the windows/Dockable Dialogs menu.

Resizing an Image:

There are a few ways to change the size of an image, all of them are under the Image menu.

To change the size the image will print at, go to Image/Print Size. A dialog will pop up asking for the width, and height, the x and y resolution will auto adjust when the size is set. This will not change the actual size of the image within GIMP however, just how big the image will print from GIMP.

To change the actual size of the image, go to Image/Scale Image. Again a dialog will pop up that looks very similar to the previous method. Here you can change the width and height as well. This will physically change the size of the image in GIMP.

 

 

Saving an Image or Project:

Saving in GIMP is similar to saving in Photoshop, you can export the image and have the image, and also save the file in its own format so that you can reopen it later to continue working. GIMP does this in .xcf files. To save a project file, go to File/Save  or File/Save As and save as normal, to export the picture, go to File/Export or File/Export As, select the location and save the image.

 

Common Tools:

Select By Color:

The Select by Color tool allows you to click a color within the image, and all of the areas in the image with the same color will be selected.
 

Rectangular Select:

The Rectangular select tools allows you to drag a box over an area in the image, and everything within the box is selected. 

Fuzzy Select:

The Fuzzy Select tool works similar to the select by color tool, except that it only will select a continuous region, instead of all of the same color in the image, useful for selecting only part of an image based on color, rather than all of the color in the image.

Dropper Tool:

The Dropper tool allows you to click anywhere on an image and the tool will change the foreground color of your pallet to that color.

Scale Tool:

The Scale Tool will scale up or down a selection, to use the tool, select the area to scale with one of the selection tools, click on this tool, then click within the selection to bring up the dialog. After adjusting the selection to be the correct size, click OK in the dialog to confirm it.

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