Aligning Imagesthe Alignment Tool

So far you have learned to position image objects freehand with the Move tool. By measuring the surface of the monitor and applying guides, you were able to position the Easter card in the monitor. You could also use the Alignment tool for the same purpose. As a rule, you must reduce the layer to the size of the image object itself, maybe also the layer of the image object where you want to place it. Then you can align it in the next step. For example, if you create a new layer in order to insert or otherwise create an image object, the layer will be the size of the entire image, even if the image object itself is smaller. Then if you align the layer, it would be aligned in its full size. This would not lead to the desired goal.

Thus, before you align image objects, you must resize the layer to the size of the image object. You can do this by setting the desired layer to active in the Layers dialog. Then select the Layer > Autocrop layer menu item in the image window.

The Alignment tool in the toolbox can automatically align and position layers in an image. The layers can be centered in the image or correlated to each other. The layers can be aligned at the top, at the bottom, or to the sides. You will find the buttons in the tool settings under Align.

The tool settings under Distribute work in the same way as the tools under Align.The difference is that you can adjust with Offset how many pixels the image object is offset in relation to the reference object. Just put a minus sign in front of the value if you want it to be a negative value.

In the drop-down menu under Relative to, you can choose the image content to which the layer is to be arranged:

• First item: If the Alignment tool is active, the cursor turns into a hand. You can then click in several layers in the image by holding the Shift key, thereby selecting one after another. You can recognize the selected layers by the markers at the corners of the enclosing rectangles. Therefore, you can align the layers to the layer you first selected.

The tool offers the possibility to select several layers at once with the rubber band function. (With the rubber band, click in the image while holding the left mouse button and drag a rectangle around the objects you want to select.) If you select this method, there is no first item.

• Image: The layers that you want to line up will be aligned with the image borders itself.

• Selection: The layer will be aligned according to the enclosing rectangle of the existing selection.

• Active layer: The layer will be aligned according to the active layer in the Layers dialog.

• Active channel: The layer will be aligned according to the active channel in the Channels dialog. This still hasn't been fully implemented in GIMP 2.6.

• Active path: The layer will be aligned according to the active path in the Paths dialog. This also still hasn't been fully implemented in GIMP 2.6.

CHAPTER 3 USING MASKS AND L AY E R S — PA I N T I N G, FILLING, AND COLOR TOOLS

Here is an exercise to show you the essential functions of the Alignment tool:

• Open the image align.xcf in the SampleImages folder on the DVD.

• Then successively activate all layers in the Layers dialog and resize them to the outline size of their image object with the Autocrop Layer function (Layer > Autocrop Layer).

• Select the Alignment tool in the Toolbox. Click on every image object in align.xcf with the tool. Take note that the markers appear at the corners, enclosing the frame. Alternatively, you can select the objects by using the previously mentioned rubber band function.

• Activate the Background layer in the Layers dialog.

• Select Active layer from the Relative to drop-down menu in the Alignment tool settings. Then align the image horizontally and vertically by clicking the corresponding buttons in the tool settings.

• Set the Square layer to active in the Layers dialog. Select Active layer from the Relative to drop-down menu. Using the tool, activate the layer with the green triangle. Align it vertically at the top.

It is not very likely that you will be using this tool for usual applications in image editing or collages. The tool's strengths lie rather in creating logos, graphics, and navigation buttons used for designing web pages. You will appreciate the tool when positioning text layers in navigation buttons.

Figure 3.84 3.

Adjusting the Square layer in the image

Figure 3.84 3.

Adjusting the Square layer in the image

Digital Cameras For Beginners

Digital Cameras For Beginners

Although we usually tend to think of the digital camera as the best thing since sliced bread, there are both pros and cons with its use. Nothing is available on the market that does not have both a good and a bad side, but the key is to weigh the good against the bad in order to come up with the best of both worlds.

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