Digital Image Editing

Everyone has a digital camera these days, and people’s hard drives are overflowing with image files, some of which (in my case) aren’t the world’s greatest photographs. What is needed is a digital image editing program to crop the image in order to frame the picture nicely, adjust the exposure, remove the dreaded “red eye”, etc.

In the good old days (i.e. a couple of versions ago!), Ubuntu had a great image editor – GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) – built right into the distro. One reviewer called this program “One of the most powerful general-purpose image editors around… eminently comparable to Photoshop.”

Now, while GIMP is no longer part of the initial installation of Ubuntu, it is readily available from the Software Centre. Navigate to: Applications – Ubuntu Software Centre – Graphics – Painting & Editing. Now, just click on GIMP Image Editor and then the Install button.

The program is fairly intuitive to use, but it does have a lot of functionality, and hence a large number of menus and controls. Fortunately, there is lots of good advice on-line. Google is your friend in locating how-to’s and tutorials on just about anything that you might want to do to edit your edit digital images.

One little annoyance that I have with the current version is easily fixed. By default, the GIMP’s two default toolbars are now docked (fixed) on the left and right sides of the screen, rather than being “floating” as in earlier versions of the program. It turns out that you can change this behaviour; however, procedure is not very intuitive.

You need to go to Edit – Preferences – Window Management and change the options for both “Hint for the toolbar” and “Hint for other docks” from “Utility Window” to “Normal Window”. Now, check “Save window positions on exit”. Arrange the windows the way that you wish them to appear and close GIMP. Next time your start the program, the window layout will be customized to your preference.

References:

GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP)
http://www.gimp.org

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