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An introduction to GIMP, part 1

The GIMP is short for the Gnu Image Manipulation Program, an application for tasks like photo retouching, image composition and image authoring.  It's widely used in the Open Source community, and it's starting to catch on in the rest of the world as well.

There are a number of cool things about The GIMP, image tools typically have a very high price, GIMP however, is available for free, and it's available on a number of platforms, like Windows, Mac OS X, Linux and others.

In these articles I'll show you how to install, setup and use the GIMP.  Let's begin.  :)

Installation

The first thing you need to do, is download the application.  GIMP is based on the GTK+ library (a library is a collection of application building blocks), so unless GTK+ is installed, you'll have to download that as well.  If you open the address http://www2.arnes.si/~sopjsimo/gimp/ in your browser you should get this page:


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Click on the stable version link on the left hand side, and you'll see the next screen:


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To get GIMP installed you'll need to download two files, the GTK+ libraries, and GIMP itself.  Download those, and open the GTK+ library setup program first. If you don't have a Zip program installed, our Thunderbird articles have instructions on how to get one.  :)

Installing GTK+


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As the instructions say, close any open applications before continuing.  Press "Next."


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Read through the license.  If it's acceptable, press "Next."


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Here you've got the choice between default or custom location for the GTK+ libraries.  Unless you know what you're doing, select "Default" and press "Next."


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Select your language from the list, I'll be going with the default (English) for demonstration purposes.


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Using the current Windows color scheme is usually a good idea, check the box and press next.


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Press "Install."


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And press "Finish" to complete the GTK+ installation.

Installing GIMP

Next up is the GIMP installation.  Locate the GIMP file you downloaded, unzip it, and run the setup program.


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As the instructions say, close any open applications before continuing.  Press "Next."


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Read through the license (it's the same license as for the GTK+ libraries).  If acceptable, choose accept and press "Next."


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Here you'll see answers to Frequently Asked Questions related to the installation of GIMP on Windows.  We'll skip this for now, and if If you have any problems, you can go back to the Windows GIMP site and look through the FAQ there.


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Select the installation directory for GIMP.  Press "Next."


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Here you can select the translations that are going to be installed with the GIMP, I'll go with the default here for demonstration purposes.


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Select which menu folder GIMP should be available in.  If you don't want to add it to the start menu, tick the checkbox in the lower left corner.  Press "Next."


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Here you can select the file types you want to associate with the GIMP.  I'll associate the GIMP with .png and .jpg/.jpeg files since those are the file types we'll be working with later.  If you have any specific formats you know you'll be working with, select them.  :)  Press "Next."


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We'll just ignore this for now, PNG and JPG should cover most of our needs.   Press "Next".


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Here you can tell the installer to add a desktop icon and/or a quicklaunch icon.  This is really a personal preference, so choose what you want.  :)  Press "Next."


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Here you'll see a summary of the options selected during the install.  Take a quick look to see that everything's OK, and press "Install."


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And there we are, GIMP is installed and ready to launch.  Tick the checkbox "Launch the GIMP" and press "Finish." :) 

This is the first in a series of articles about The GIMP.  If you've got any comments, thumbs up or flames, send an email to morten@nidelven-it.no.

Go to part  1 2.