6 GIMP Tricks Everyone Should Know!

[Image]Having used both GIMP and Adobe Photoshop I must say I personally believe GIMP is much better for common folks like you and me who need a relatively simpler set of tools to make quick edits to our Vacation pictures. Photoshop is undoubtedly more useful graphic designers, however for making quick tweaks, nothing beats GIMP. Recently GIMP 2.6 was released, so I decided to make this tutorial for those who still haven't discovered the magic of GIMP and don't know how to use GIMP productively.

1. Rounded Corners: There is something about Rounded corners which make Photos look very cool. So here's how you can give your photos rounded corners:
Open up the image you want to apply rounded corners effect.


Now select the 'Rectangle Select Tool'. It is in the GIMP Tools window. Now select entire image or the part of the image you want to round off. Now go to menu Select > Rounded Rectangle.... A box would pop up asking you to specify the radius in percentage. 50 is the default value. I'd recommend something like 15-20.


Next right click on the image and go to 'Select' in the menu and then click on 'Invert'. Now hit the delete button. Now hit Ctrl+S to save your creation. Here is an example.


2. Crop an Image: Many times it is necessary to cut out those boring parts of a picture, like say that happy picture of of your husband in the backyard, in which a dog could be seen peeing in the background. So here is how you can 'Crop' that dog away:
Open up the image in GIMP and use the 'Select Tool' to select the part you want to keep in the image. In this case, it will probably be your husband.


Now this is VERY important. After selecting the proper image part, you should right click on the image and click on 'Select' in the right contextual menu. Now click on the 'Invert' in the sub menu. Now hit delete button on your keyboard. Cool, You have successfully kicked out the dog! But still there is the ugly white space around the part the dog once existed. So go to the menu, Image > Autocrop Image. This will get rid of the white space.

simply use the Crop Tool from the Tools, it is above the 'Text Tool' it can do the work in a better way.
[Thanks Borge]
3. Red Eye Removal: May times the downside of using flash on your camera is that your subjects get Draculla like blood red eyes. So if you have couple of pictures which need to remove Draculla eyes here is how it:
Open up the image, select one eye at a time and then go to menu, Filters > Enhance > Redeye Removal... you will get an pop up box which will allow you to set the amount along with a live preview.

Adjust the level and now select the other eye.
I have used the bright red Opera icon to illustrate my point. Here are the two images. Before and after using the Redeye Removal tool.

4. Change the size of an image: You may want to change the size of the image so here is how you can do that.
Open the image in GIMP and go to menu, Image > Scale Image...

Here you can specify the size of the image. But wait, the size is in pixel and normal human beings like you and me don't know how to use pixels, so click the small box with pixels and change it to inches. Now you can change the image to something like 4X6 inches. Click on the link connecting the X and Y size boxes to resize them individually instead of having them changed in unison.

5. Reduce the file size of images: Many times you have to send your images to someone (like your grandmother)as mail or upload it on sites like Flickr. But your digicam takes pictures as small as 4 Mb per image, so sending your entire European Vacation images will be a nightmare for your grandmother. So here is a tip to reduce the file size of your images without reducing the size:
Open up the image you want to reduce, now go to menu, File > Save As...
Now if the image isn't in JPEG format click the 'Select File Type (by extension)', and hit 'Save' button. Now drag the slider in the pop up box to any level you want. Check mark the file preview box to get a live preview. The less size you want the less this number should be. But remember that lower size means less quality.
Adding text

Use the text tool to add some text. You will get a new text layer which you can also see if you look at the layers dialog. You can use the move tool to move the text where you like to have it. Then merge it with the white layer below by choosing Merge Down from the Layer menu. You should now have one layer with black text on white background. Using Layer -> Colors -> Invert you will achieve something like the picture above.

So now that you have learnt a bit about GIMP hit anyone who says that Photoshop is better with a big fat book! For home use GIMP rocks!
Please Digg This if you liked this article. Do you know have any such GIMP tricks? Please add them in the comments.
Here are some web sites which you can use to learn GIMP:

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