GIMP is image-editing software that is open-source and works on Windows, Mac and Linux systems.

If you are full-time Missouri State faculty and staff, you have access to Linkedin Learning. You will have access to videos that will help you get started, and grow your skills, using GIMP.

Potential compatibility issues
There have been some compatibility issues between MacOS Big Sur and GIMP. If you encounter this, you may want to choose an alternative option such as Pixlr available for both the PC and Mac platforms.

Creating a GIMP template

If you know you will be using a particular size image on a regular basis, you may save them as templates in GIMP.

  1. Select File > New.
  2. Input the width and height for the desired image.
  3. Select Ok.
  4. Select File > Create New Template.
  5. Input the Name of the new template to finish.
  6. The next time you create a new image, you will be able to select your named template from the template drop down list.

Working with your image

  1. Select File > New (from the top menu)
  2. Add your desired image’s width and height or select from the template drop-down menu
  3. Click Ok.
  4. Simply drag and drop your image into this predefined area.
  5. An import dialog box may appear. You will want to select GIMP built-in sRGB.
  6. You may be asked to select a rendering intent. Rendering intents are used for print reproduction so there is no need to change. Click convert.
  7. You may need to scale this image to fit the space. To scale your image, select the image > right click, select tools > transform tools > scale.
  8. Grabbing a node, scale your image to fit the predefined space. Depending on the size of your image, you may need to allow some of the image to crop outside of the pasteboard. It is very important that you scale the image proportionally.
  9. You may click on the move tool to release the image.
Best practices
  • Do not include text over images. Unless this text is part of the image’s alternative text, a screen reader will not read this.
  • Although creative filters are available within GIMP, we highly discourage their use. If you have experience with the sharpen filter you may use it to bring more clarity to an image.

Optimizing your image for web

If your image does not require a transparent background, you will want to optimize your image as a jpg/jpeg.

  1. To export, go to file > export as > click export > add the jpg extension as a suffix to the image name, if saving as a jpg.
  2. Choose the quality. Select show preview in the image window.
  3. With the jpeg preview you can drag the quality slider and observe how much quality is lost. A value of 70 or 80 will give you a useful image with a good file size.
  4. You may also choose “use quality settings from original image” if your image was a jpeg to begin with. This may give the best results.
  5. Export.
Visit LinkedIn Learning and learn more about exporting a web-optimized jpeg in GIMP. You will be required to login with your university email.

Optimizing your image for web (with transparency)

If your image requires a transparent background (e.g. a logo), you will want to optimize your image as a png.

  1. Open graphic in GIMP.
  2. File > export as.
  3. Manually add the png extension to the file name or choose from the dropdown. You may also choose it from the Available file export formats.
  4. Can use maximum compression with PNG because it won’t affect the image quality at all.
  5. Click export.