The Image Window Your Workspace

The image window is the main window that appears when you open an image. This is your actual workspace. Although initially the window will show your image in full size, you can decrease its size so you can use the remaining space in the window for your palette and tools.

Figure 2.19

The image window is maximized and now also serves as the background window of the program.

Figure 2.19

The image window is maximized and now also serves as the background window of the program.

Figure 2.20

A second image has been opened in a new, free image window, laying on top of the maximized image window in the background.

Figure 2.20

A second image has been opened in a new, free image window, laying on top of the maximized image window in the background.

The title bar displays the image's filename, color mode, the number of layers, and the original size in pixels.

In GIMP version 2 and higher, the image window features a menu bar where you will find familiar menus such as File, Edit, View, and so on. We will discuss the items on each menu one by one later on. You will also find these menu items in the image window's context menu (right-click the image window to open it). The full menu as context menu of the image window is a speciality of GIMP. In earlier versions of the program, this was the only way to access the menu. Some users find that it's quicker to work within the context menu.

The image window is bordered at the top and left by rulers. By default, the rulers measure pixels. However, if you hover the cursor over a ruler and then left-click, hold the left button down and pull the mouse, you can drag guides into the image. Guides are very helpful for checking an angle or selecting an area you want to crop from the image.

The image windows in the screen shots in this book show an additional menu, Video. This is because GIMP's animation package GAP has been installed. A normal installation of GIMP will not show this menu.

If you click the Zoom button (Zoom image when window size changes) in the upper-right corner of the image window, you will notice that the image inside the window will automatically adapt to the size of the window.

The button at the bottom left toggles the view between selection and mask modes (more about using these later).

Clicking the Navigate the image display button will reveal a small preview image of the open file. This is particularly helpful when you have zoomed into the image and want to see how a change affected the entire image without having to zoom out. Click on the area you want to view, then hold the mouse button down and move around the image. You'll notice that the larger image in the window will move in correlation with your movements on the preview image. If you leave the preview window or close the Navigator window, the chosen section remains visible in the image window.

The status bar at the bottom of the main window also supplies useful information:

• The left corner of the status bar reveals the current cursor position in pixel coordinates, if you point with the mouse to the image itself.

• The next field from the left displays the unit of measure for the rulers. The default is px (or pixels), but you can opt to display the rulers in inches, millimeters, etc.

• Next, there is a drop-down-menu for the zoom factor so you can quickly enlarge your image. You may also click in the box and type in a value.

• The next field displays the name of the current layer as well as the uncompressed file size of the image. When the image has to be rendered newly, for instance after applying a change that requires a new calculation of the image, a progress bar appears in the status line. In addition, a Cancel button may appear so that you can stop the process.

• In general, the status bar is also used to output various values, such as for the Measure Tool.

The image window (and all other windows in GIMP) behaves like a typical Windows window. If you move the cursor to the border or to a corner point of the window, the cursor will morph into a dual arrow, enabling you to manipulate the window size by dragging it while holding the left mouse button down.

To move windows on the desktop, click the title bar, and while holding the left mouse button down, pull the window to the desired position.

All program windows feature the three familiar buttons on the upper-right corner that minimize, maximize, and close the window.

2.3 EDITING IMAGES IN GIMP

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