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Home - Linux - Gimp - FAQ

Nathan (aka RockWalrus) is organizing a re-write of the gimp developer faq.
I made a few contributions...

I am in now way attached to the comments that I wrote.  Feel free
to change/steal/sell/dowhateveryouwant with the answers I have made to these

So far the comments are made without reference to any other documents (ie from memory!) 1. What is the GIMP? The GIMP is a program for manipulating and creating images. 2. What does GIMP stand for? It stands for GNU Image Manipulation Program, it used to stand for General Image Manipulation Program, but the authors were approached and convinced that GNU was a better choice for the "G". 1997 Intervew 3. What features does it have? Almost all standard image manipulation features are available in the GIMP, and there are non-standard ones as well. In addition there are some great features to create logos and buttons with just the entry of a few parameters. Features include, layers, transparency, logo creation, fuzzy select, patterns, gradients, ... 3a. Does it support CMYK? 16-bit per channel images? Floating-point channels? No, kinda and no. 16 bits gimp is available at FilmGimp 4. What are the minimum system requirements? 4a. What operating systems is it available for? 5. Where can I get it? The latest version is available from www.gimp.org/download/ 5a. There are some binary versions on the GIMP website. Should I download them or build GIMP myself? 5b. Where can I get non-official gimp packages for foo? 6. What version should I get? The current stable version is 1.2.3. Download it from here 7. What documentation is available? There are a lot of tutorials, a few books and plenty of help available for the gimp. A good place to start is the Documentation on the GIMP web site: http://www.gimp.org/docs.html. Some notable sites are:

8. Where can I find other GIMP stuff? 9. Is GIMP a true GNU program? 10. What is the history of GIMP? 11. What is the relationship between GNOME and GIMP? 12. Easter eggs are fun. Does GIMP have any? Of course, but if we told you about them, that would be no fun. 13. Does GIMP support digital cameras? 14. Does GIMP support scanners? 15. Does GIMP support Wacom tablets? 15a.How about other drawing tablets? 16. Is there a GIMP mailing list? Yes, there are several: There is also a gimp user Group. http://gug.sunsite.dk/ 17. How about an IRC channel? Some of the gimp developers can be found at irc.gimp.org port 6667, on the channel #gimp. 18. Ok, I'm trying to compile gimp, and this `./configure' program complains about missing or old libraries. What gives? 18a.But I know I have the right version of libfoo! Why can't configure find it? 19. How do layers work? 20. Channels? 21. Paths? 22. Selections? 23. How can I draw basic shapes (straight line, circle, square, etc.)? There is a powerful plug-in called gfig (based on the program of the same name). Right Click Image -> Filter -> Render -> Gfig. 24. How can I change the color I draw in? In the bottom left of the gimp tools window (the main one), you will see two overlapping rectanges (probably the top one is black, and a white one undernearth). Click on the top one. A color selector will appear. Click on a region in the left, and one in the right. Notice how the colour changes. You can also change any of the sliders, or type in values on the right hand side. Now when you use the pen or other tools, it will appear with this foreground color. 25. How can I make what I have selected into a separate image? Right Click Image -> Script-Fu -> Selection -> To image 26. How can I add what I have selected into a new image? Right Click Image -> Edit -> Copy Click on the new image. Right Click Image -> Edit -> Paste 27. How can I make part of my image transparent? 28. How can I change keybindings? 29. How can I do gamma correction? 30. What are plug-ins? Plug-ins are modules that are added to the gimp to extend it's functionality. 31. Where can I find new plug-ins? You can find new plug-ins are registry.gimp.org 32a.How can I add them to my GIMP? Most plugins are required to be compiled. So compile the plug-in, and then add the resulting executable into HOME/.gimp-1.2/plug-ins/ and restart the GIMP. 33. EEEK! I downloaded the latest version of gimp, and my favorite plug-in has dissappeared! Plug-ins are occasionally removed because of instability. This is usually due to lack of resources, so if you would like to contribute, you can grab the latest version of that plug-in (probably at registry.gimp.org), and fix whatever bugs may remain. You can send your patches back through bugzilla 34. Are Photoshop Filters/Plugins supported? On the PC version there is the ability to load photoshop plug-ins. But it is somewhat problematic. You may be on your own. 35. What is Script-Fu? Script-Fu is a module that allows you to script operations that are performed multiple times. Script-Fu scripts can be found in files ending in .scm, these are located in SHARE/gimp/1.2/scripts/ and HOME/.gimp-1.2/scripts/. 36. Where can I learn more about it? The best place to learn is from the current scripts. However, it is also good to get a basic understanding of scheme first as well. 37. How can I call a plug-in in Script-Fu? How about another script? 38. What in the world is a "Procedural Database Error?" 39. Is there a macro recorder that automagically creates Script-Fu scripts for me? It's on the wish list. This would be a great feature, and several people have thought to start on this. But it's quite a huge job, especially to do it right.

Interestingly filmGIMP has it scheduled for release Q1, 2003. 40. Can I add my own brushes? Certainly. Brushes are files with the .gbr or .gih extension. To make a brush, simply save it as a .gbr file, and place it in your HOME/.gimp-1.2/brushes/ directory.

Alternatively, you can save a selection as a brush, by selecting the required region, and Choose: Right Click "-> Script-Fu -> Selection -> To Brush..."

If the brush is a "multi-layer" brush, you can save it as .gih, and similarly place it in this same directory. Each Layer of the image is a different brush. Try the brush "Sparks" (hsparks.gih) for an example. 41. Can I add my own patterns? Certainly. Patterns are files that end in .pat, and typically these images will tile (meaning that when place in a tile format, you can't see where one tile stps and the next the tile starts). Load the image that you would like to save as a pattern, and Save it as a .pat file, and place it in your HOME/.gimp-1.2/patterns/ directory. 42. Can I give a copy of this gradient or palette I've created to a friend? Sure, just send the file to them. And tell them where to put the file (HOME/.gimp-1.2/gradients for gradients, and HOME/.gimp-1.2/palettes for palettes) l 43. My fonts are ugly. 44. What font formats does GIMP support? 45. Where can I get more fonts? 46. The font that the GIMP uses for its menu text is nappy. How can I change it? 47. What is this "XCF" file format? Why should I use it? This is the native format for GIMP. You should use it because it is the only format that will save all the information about your image. Including all the layers, channels, paths etc... 48. What other formats does GIMP support? 49. I can't save my file as a GIF or TIFF. 50. I can't save my file as some other file format. 51. How can I add support for the foo file format to GIMP? 52. What languages does GIMP support? 53. Does GIMP support XInput? 54. Why doesn't text in my native language render correctly with the Text tool? 55. Does GIMP support bidirectional output? 56. How do I use batch mode? 57. Do I have to use an X server to run GIMP even in batch mode? 58. How can I call a Script-Fu script using batch mode? 59. How can I connect my web server to GIMP like flamingtext.com? :) Don't bother, pay flamingtext.com gobs on money to do it for you :-) 60. GIMP is slow. How can I speed it up? 61. How can I see which bugs have been reported? There is an extensive bug tracking database. It is called Bugzilla. If you would like to search for a bug, you can use the search page: http://bugzilla.gnome.org/query.cgi?product=GIMP. 62. How can I report a bug I've found which hasn't been reported yet? Once you have checked that the bug is not already in Bugzilla, you will need to Create an Account, and then Submit the bug report. Try to be clear and consise. Mention all the information that you have, and it is particularly useful if you can reproduce the bug every time. 63. I get an error about "MIT-SHM" or "XShmAttach." (does this still happen?) I don't think this happens any more. 64. I'm using <pick os and distribution>. What problems specific to it do you know about? 65. I'm using <pick X Server>. What problems specific to it do you know about? 66. Who wrote GIMP? Spencer Kimball and Peter Matthis originally wrote the gimp. Since then many, many people have contributed. Goto the about screen to see the list of people that have contributed (Help -> About...) 67. Who has contributed to the FAQ? Cameron Gregory, FlamingText.com 68. Who wrote the included plug-ins? 69. Who wrote the Script-Fu scripts? 70. Who made the brushes and patterns included with the GIMP? 71. Who made the gradients and palettes incluced with the GIMP? 72. Who created the artwork? The splash screen and about screen were created by "tigert". Visit his web site at tigert.gimp.org. He also has a history of all the gimp splash screens. 73. Who is the GIMP FAQ team?

74. Who has contributed to the FAQ? REPEAT QN. (see 67.) xx. Are there more patterns and gradients available? Yes, there is an addition data pack available that contains some new brushes, and many new patterns. It is called gimp-data-extras-1.2.0, and is available from ??? xx. How do I draw a straight line? Click the mouse on the start point of the straight line, then hold the shift key down (you will see the line appear), and click again. This works for the pencil, paint brush, eraseer, airbrush, blur/sharpen tool, dodge/burn tool, and smudge tool. xx. How do I draw a square? Use the select tool, and click and drag out a square or rectangle. (if you hold the shift key down, the area will be square). Now Right Click Image -> Edit -> Stroke. This uses the current brush settings to draw the rectangle, so you might want to choose a different brush. xx. Is there a version available for windows? Sure is: www.gimp.org/win32 xx. Is there a version available for the mac? Sure is, but might be a bit of a pain to install (since you need X windows and bunch of other stuff to get it going). Apparently, a straight forward way is to use a program called fink. You can get fink from fink.sourceforge.net. Then run "apt-get install gimp". This should automatically install an X server. However, for more info on X (aka X11), see here.

The user guide for fink is available at http://fink.sourceforge.net/doc/users-guide/index.php

There is a step-by-step guide to installing the gimp for the mac here: http://www.creativemac.com/2002/12_dec/tutorials/thegimp021231.htm (thanks jimmac).

Last Change: Monday, 10-Jan-2005 07:41:13 EST


The information provided within these pages is provided AS IS, and without any warranty. Following these directions may (but not limited to) crash your computer, delete all the information on your hard disk, open up security holes or cause your house to burn down. I made these pages to provide some information about the setup that I have done, but I did not proofread it for correctness, and in most cases did not test it. There are commands in these pages that would definately delete or corrupt all the data on your computer (especially the dualboot section). In fact it happened to me.... So you are on your own!

Cameron Gregory