Tag: tutorial

How To Remove A Selection In GIMP

How To Remove A Selection In GIMP

How do I make this selection go away? Once you’ve selected something in GIMP, it’s not super obvious how you unselect so you can do on editing everywhere on your canvas.

So how do you make a selection go away in GIMP? Simple. It only takes one little step.

Remove a Selection In GIMP

To get rid of the current selection without saving it first:

  • Go to Select > None in the Main Menu. The selection will be removed.
  • Alternatively, you can use the keyboard shortcut Shift Ctrl A on a Mac, or Shift Cmd A in Windows.

If you want to save the selection before you get rid of it, you can save it as a Path which you can turn back into a selection later.

  • To do that, first go to Select > To Path.
  • You can check that your selection was saved as a path by going to Windows > Dockable Dialogs > Paths in the Main Menu to open the Paths Dialog. You can dock this dialog to the Toolbox if you want to keep your saved paths handy.
  • Then go to Select > None to remove the active selection from the image.
  • Now, if you want to re-activate the selection, go to the Paths Dialog, highlight the correct path, then go to Select > From Path in the Main Menu. The path will be turned into a selection.


See? Making a selection go away in GIMP isn’t super obvious, but it’s not exactly hard either.


Fix Brightness and Color in GIMP

Fix Brightness and Color in GIMP

I’ll be honest. I don’t always get great photos right out of my camera. Most of the time there are two problems I have to tackle with my photos. White balance (or color problems) and exposure (or brightness problems).

Lucky for me, White Balance and Exposure are both really easy to fix in a program like GIMP.

Anyway, since I usually have to correct these two problems, and I’ve seen these problems in a lot of photos on the internet, I thought I would give you the quick run down on how I tackle them. If you sell anything online (maybe you’re an Etsy seller looking to up your photography game?) this tutorial is for you!

The Problem:

white balance problems gimp
This picture of a necklace was taken on a white background, but it’s easy to see that this background isn’t white! With a little tweaking I can correct the blue tone of the photo and make the beads stand out against the background by adding some contrast.

How to Fix Color and Brightness in GIMP:

First, open up the problem picture in GIMP. To do that, just open GIMP and go to File > Open. Navigate through your computers files to find the photo you want to open, then click Open.

Now, follow along to Fix White Balance and Exposure problems fast!

Fix White Balance (color)

color balance tool for white balance problems GIMP

Like I said before, this picture is too blue so I’ll need to balance the blue out with more yellow, and even a bit of red. I’ll do that with the Color Balance Tool.

  • Go to Colors > Color Balance in the Main GIMP Menu Bar. The Color Balance Window will pop up.
  • Start with the MidTones option checked.
  • Adjust the Blue/Yellow slider to remove some blue, and add yellow. Then Adjust the Red/Cyan slider to add some Red, and take away some Cyan. (If your photo is too yellow or orange, do the opposite)
  • Now, check the Highlights option, and do the same thing.
  • Check the Shadow option, and repeat the process.
  • Go back and forth between the MidTones, Highlights, and Shadows, tweaking your adjustments until the colors are just right. Then click OK to apply the effect to your photo.

You may have to adjust the Magenta/Green slider a bit too to make your picture perfect.

So that’s problem number one solved. My picture no longer has that blue tint, but it’s still pretty dull. It’s bright enough, but there isn’t enough contrast. So, I’ll use a tool in GIMP called Curves to make the beads and the shadows a little bit darker against the white background. The contrast will make them really pop!

Use Curves to Fix Exposure/Contrast in GIMP

fix brightness and contrast in GIMP

  • Go to Colors > Curves in the Main GIMP Menu. The Curves window will pop up.

Let’s pause for a second to take a look at this window.

There’s a grid in the middle of the window with a diagonal line going across it. That line is adjustable, you can click anywhere on that diagonal line and drag up or down to make parts or your photo lighter or darker.

Drag up to make the photo lighter, drag down to make it darker. Where you click matters. The right side of the line controls highlights in the picture, the left side controls shadows, and the middle of the line controls mid tones.

Got that? Cool, here’s how we’ll use that line to fix this photo:

  • Click the highlight side (a box or two from the right edge) and drag up, just a little bit. The highlights of the photo will start to get brighter as you drag.
  • Now, the shadow side (a box or two from the left edge) and drag down a bit.
  • The shadows and mid tones of the picture will get darker as you make this adjustment, so you can tell how far you should drag.
  • Click OK to apply the effect when you’re happy.

That’s better!

I usually only click two points with Curves to make a nice smooth S curve. That keeps the line, and therefore my picture, nice and pretty.

Bonus: Levels to Whiten Whites

levels in gimp to whiten whites
If the whites of your photo aren’t quite white, but curves it making everything too bright, try this trick. It whitens whites better than bleach!

  • Go to Colors > Levels. The Levels window will pop up.
  • In the top section of this window, there’s a chart (AKA a histogram), and if you look closely you’ll see three little arrows underneath it.
  • Click on the arrow on the right side of the histogram, and drag it just a little to the left. As you drag the white parts of your photo will whiten without substantially brightening the rest of your picture.
  • Click OK to apply the effect

That’s It!

I ended up going back to do another Color Balance adjustment after I brightened my photo because I realized there was still some blue to remove. And that’s kind of the nature of photo editing. Sometimes you have to go back and tweak things.

I hope that helps!

Turn Off Dotted Yellow Line in GIMP

Turn Off Dotted Yellow Line in GIMP

I’ve gotten a lot of visits from people who want to get rid of the yellow dotted line around their image in GIMP. So I figured, if you’re asking I should deliver, right?

This same problem drove me absolutely crazy for a long time, but it’s so easy to fix I’m almost embarrassed how long it took me to figure it out.

Without further delay, here’s how you turn off the yellow dotted line in GIMP:

  • Open GIMP
  • Click on View in the Main Menu, and click Show Layer Boundary box to uncheck that option. That’s it!

I think a lot of the issue is just knowing that yellow dotted line in GIMP is called the “Layer Boundary”. Still, after being annoyed by that little dotted line for so long, I feel like getting rid of it is cause for celebration.

I hope this saves you some money in therapy sessions.

How To Draw A Straight Line in GIMP

How To Draw A Straight Line in GIMP

There’s no “line tool” in GIMP. That might be frustrating if you’re familiar with image editing programs that have a tool like that. But, once you know how easy it is to make a straight line in GIMP without having to grab a different tool as you paint, you’ll never look back.

How to Draw A Straight Line in GIMP

  • Grab a painting tool like the Pencil, or Paintbrush.
  • Choose the appropriate tool settings for the brush in the Tool Options Dialog.
  • Click the starting point of the line on your image, then hold down the Shift button on your keyboard, and move your mouse to over the image to the point you would like the line to end.
  • You’ll see a straight “guide” line appear as you move your mouse to let you know where the line will be drawn.

drawing a straight line in GIMP with the help of the shift key

  • Now, click the end point of the line. The line will be drawn on the picture between the start and end points that you clicked.

how to draw a straight line in GIMP

See? Click, hold Shift, Click again. Super easy.

How To Open Images in GIMP

How To Open Images in GIMP

GIMP isn’t like an online editing program. You don’t have to upload photos before you can edit them. And it’s not a photo organizing program like iPhoto or Picasa. You don’t have to import photos into GIMP. You can use GIMP right out of the box to open and edit any photo that’s on your computer.

To open photos with GIMP do the following:

  • Start GIMP, then find the Main Window. It’s the one with the menu bar across the top.
  • Go to File > Open. The Open Image window will pop up (see the image below).
  • se this window to navigate through your computer’s files, and find the image you want to open. You can also use the Search function on the left side of this window to search for files by name.
  • Once you find your image, click it to highlight it, then click Open. The image will open in GIMP’s main window, and you can start editing.

There’s obviously a lot more to using GIMP than opening your photos. But it’s a really important first step! I mean, if you couldn’t open you photos, you wouldn’t get very far.

You can use GIMP to do just about anything to your pictures. From small tweaks to contrast and color, to creating web banners, ‘Photoshopping’ people onto different backgrounds, GIMP’s got it all.

So tell me, what do you want to do with GIMP? Do you want to retouch portraits, or spruce up your product photos? Make a web banner, or a Valentines card? Do you want to correct funky colors, or create photographic works of art? Pick your poison, and let me know in the comments below.

How to Install GIMP

How to Install GIMP

You’ve decided to come join the fun in GIMP land, and we’re excited to have you! Now the question is, how do you get GIMP up and running on your computer?

It’s really easy to Install GIMP. Here’s the basic idea:

  • First, you’ll need to know just a little information about your computer. Basically, you’ll need to know what operating system you’re running, and if GIMP is compatible with it.
  • Then, you’ll find the correct version of GIMP for your operating system at GIMP.org.
  • Last, you’ll download GIMP, and run the installer.

Now that you have the basic idea, here are the instructions in more detail.

Install GIMP For Windows:

At the time of writing, you’ll need Windows 7 or newer to run the latest stable version of GIMP.

If you’re on Windows, and you don’t know what operating system you’re using (ie Windows 7, Windows XP, etc.) follow these instructions to find out which operating system you’re running.

Now, go to the official GIMP repository and click the Download link at the top of the page to download GIMP. This version of GIMP will work with any version of Windows, as long as it’s Windows 7 or newer.

While GIMP is available from a lot of sites (since it’s free and open source software), I recommend only downloading it from the official repository at GIMP.org to make sure you don’t get stuck with any malware.

When the download is complete, open up the package, and run the installer. Follow any instructions on the windows that appear.

That’s it! You’re finished installing GIMP! The first time you start GIMP, it may take a few minutes to get going, because there’s a lot of new stuff to load. Just be patient, it will start eventually.

Install GIMP For Mac:

To install the latest version of GIMP on a Mac, at the time of writing you’ll need OS X Yosemite or newer.

Not sure which version of Mac OS you’re using? Follow these instructions to find out.

Now, head over to the official GIMP download page, and click it’s link to download GIMP to your computer.

When the files are finished downloading, open up the Zip file, then open the installer to begin installing GIMP. Follow any directions you’re given in the windows that pop up.

GIMP will now be installed on your computer! The first time you start GIMP, it may take a few minutes to get going, because there’s a lot of new stuff to load. Just be patient, it will start eventually.

Have Fun!

Now that GIMP is installed, you’re ready to get started editing! You can use GIMP to open and edit any image file that’s on your computer.

There’s plenty more GIMP help where this came from. I mean, literally, where this came from. HowToGIMP.com has a growing library of easy to understand, plain English GIMP tutorials and videos to help you learn GIMP faster.