Image Editing

The GIMP's main use is for the creation and editing of bitmap images. This ranges from the touching up of digital photographs to the creation of digital art or the authoring of logos.

File Formats

XCF: The native file format of The GIMP When saving images that are not yet complete and there is intent to continue working later, the most appropriate file format to choose is XCF. This file format is the native file format that The GIMP uses. XCF supports many features including compression. While XCF is an excellent choice in file format, it is not as portable as one might like. It is wise to save images that are not for use exclusively from within The GIMP using a differing format. PNG: Portable Network Graphics PNG can preserve all the transparency and color of an image and uses powerful lossless compression to reduce file sizes. In particular, computer-generated images usually compress very well. PNG supports smooth 8-bit transparency which can make for exceptional zero loss web graphics, but a caveat. Some browsers do not fully support all of the features that PNG offers. As always, check compatibility between the viewer and the format before commiting to a particular format. JPEG: Joint Picture Expert Group Photographs and other images from the real world (which include most images taken with digital cameras and color scans) can be compressed very effectively with JPEG. JPEG images are compressed using a semi intelligent lossy algorithm that is very good at fooling the human eye. This format is excellent for saving on space and preserving viewable quality, but there are many situations where JPEG is an unsuitable format to choose. If the image contains broad bands of single color or is mechanical in nature (many broad straight single color areas), JPEG is a bad choice of format. Another note to make is that repeated saving of images that are JPEG encoded will result in degredation to quality over each save. As with any powerful option, be aware of this format's lossy compression method, and ensure the choice of JPEG is not made lightly. The JPEG filter used by The GIMP utilizes JFIF compression for compatibility with most existing software. It allows you to adjust the quality of the image and see immediately how the saved image will look and how big the file will be. GIF: Graphics Interchange Format Unlike all the other file formats described here GIF requires the use of a colormap. This means that a maximum of 256 different colors will be preserved in the saved image. The GIMP can perform the conversion automatically, but the results may sometimes be disappointing due to this limitation of GIF. Despite the poor compression and limited number of colors, there are two desirable features of GIF for web designers. GIF is non lossy, so no image data is lost over saves, and GIF supports animation and transparency. The GIMP supports both of these features fully.


New File Options

Image Window(with Background)

Image Window(Transparent- No Background)

Layers Dialog

Brush Dialog

Color Selection Dialog