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GIMP Basics – Screenshots

April 21, 2008 1 comment

One of the main programs I use is Photoshop, I use it mostly for simple image editing / cropping and resizing for my blog. I am trying to move over from Windows to Linux for blogging and as such, I decided to finally get to grips with the Gnu Image Manipulation Program (The GIMP) which is the GNU photoshop equivalent for GNU Linux. Whilst the Wine project have made great leaps forward in recent years to the point where Photoshop can be run inside Wine, it is still not an ideal solution.

In this post, I just want to very briefly explain how to do something simple : take a screenshot, crop it, shrink it and compress it using the GIF interlaced format.

1 ) Download and install GIMP. On Windows this is done via a download from the GIMP site, on GNU Linux it is done via the distribution specific package manager.

2 ) Once it is installed, lets assume we have a screen we want to capture. Fire up the program and goto “File>Acquire>Screen Shot”. This will bring up the WinSnap dialog which will allow you to take a screenshot of the entire screen (after a defined pause) or a specific window. The specific window feature didn’t work particularly well so I recommend taking a snapshot of the entire screen. (If you have pressed the Print Screen button, you can instead use the “Past as new image” option.

3) Now we have the entire desktop, we need to use the select tool to highlight the area we want to capture.

4) Next we goto the menu, select “Image > Crop to Selection”

5 ) Finally, I tend to scale the image to 80%, this is achieved by going to the menu “Image > Scale Image” and selecting 80% width and 80% height. If you constrain the proportions of the image (the chain icon) then selecting a 80% width will automatically select 80% height.

6 ) Now simply goto “File > Save As..” and append “.gif” to the end of the filename. This will launch the GIF exporter.

7 ) You will be told that the GIF exporter can only handle Greyscale or indexed images. Select “Convert to Indexed” and click “Export”.

8 ) Check “Interlaced” and uncheck the “GIF Comment” field and click “Save”.

And thats it! :) When I get some time to play with GIMP’s more advanced features I will write more on the subject.

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