The GIMP (The GNU Image Manipulation Program) is a program for creating and editing raster graphics. In most aspects, its features are comparable to those of Adobe Photoshop and other commercial programs. Use it to resize and retouch photographs, design graphics for Web pages, create covers for your custom CDs, or almost any other graphics project. It meets the needs of both amateurs and professionals.
Like many other Linux programs, The GIMP is developed as a cooperative effort of developers worldwide who volunteer their time and code to the project. The program is under constant development, so the version included in your system may vary slightly from the version discussed here. The layout of the individual windows and window sections is especially likely to vary.
The GIMP is an extremely complex program. Only a small range of features, tools, and menu items are discussed in this chapter. See Abschnitt 16.7, „For More Information“ for ideas of where to find more information about the program.
There are two main types of graphics—raster and vector. The GIMP is intended for working with raster graphics, which is the normal format for photographs and scanned images. Raster graphics consist of pixels—small blocks of color that together create the entire image. The files can easily become quite large because of this. It is also not possible to increase the size of a pixel image without losing quality. The GIMP supports most common formats of raster graphics.
Unlike raster graphics, vector graphics do not store information for all individual pixels. Instead, it uses geometrical primitives such as points, lines, curves, and polygons. Vector images can be scaled very easily. There are many specialized applications for vector graphics, for example Inkscape. The GIMP has only a very limited support for vector graphics. For example, the GIMP can open and rasterize vector graphics in SVG format or work with vector paths.