Thursday, July 8, 2010

Basic Gimp - Scale (Resize) a Picture

Gimp is a free, open source program, which allows you to edit photos and images. It's available at the following website: http://www.gimp.org/

The Gimp website does contain extensive intructions, but I found it difficult to find answers to my beginning, basic questions about Gimp. As a consequence, I spent a great deal of time researching the internet and watching YouTube videos of how to do basic Gimp functions.  By the way, there are some fantastic YouTube videos out there, and I highly recommend them. GimpKnowHow does a particularly fine job.

Here is how to do the most basic functions in Gimp:

Undo Last Command - Ctrl Z
Redo Last Command - Ctrl Y

Scale/Resize a Photo or Picture Image to a Smaller size:

1.  Open the picture or image you would like to resize.
2.  In the Toolbox, click on the Crop tool.  (It looks like a square with a little square flying out of it.)
3.  Click on the picture or photo you would like to resize. A dialogue box will appear. To make the image scale proportionately, click the chain links object (next to the width and height boxes) so they link together. Type in the width or height dimension you need. Press "Enter," and the other measurement box will change accordingly.
4.  To actually scale the picture, click the "Scale" button.
5.  Now your picture is resized.   Only now you will see a lot of checkered gray area surrounding your picture. How to get rid of it?
6.  At the top of the Gimp task pane, click "Image," and then "Fit Canvas to Layers." Now all of the checkered gray is gone.

To Save Your File:

To save as a native Gimp file (and keep all layers separated), click "File," "Save As," and then type your new file name in the pop up dialogue box and add the extension .xcf.  For example, yourfilename.xcf

To save as a JPEG or TIFF File, you will first need to flatten the image before you can save it.
1.  In the layers panel, 'right click' in the white area below the tiny thumbnail of your picture
2.  Click "Flatten Image."
3.  Now you can save.  Go to "File," "Save As," and in the pop up box type in your new file name with either the extension .jpg or .tiff   Click "Save" (my version of Gimp requires me to click "Save" twice. I'm not sure why). In the pop up box you can choose the quality (or compression, if it's a TIFF file) of the final file. After this, click "Save," and you are done!

Check back for more tutorials for learning basic Gimp. Other areas we will cover include:

1. Cropping a picture
2. Cut with transparency
3. Layers
4. Cloning
5. Delete bits of a picture and make them transparent

Have a great day!

"Fear of man will prove to be a snare,
but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe." ~ Proverbs 29:25

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