Using GIMP 26 About This Book

If you are reading this book, you are probably interested in learning how to touch up your digital photographs or create your own graphics or logos. However, before investing hundreds of dollars on expensive software, you may want to make sure that manipulating digital photographs is something you truly enjoy. That's where GIMP 2.6—a free digital image editing program— comes in. You most likely want to learn how to use this free software to improve your photographs.

This book is designed to facilitate your entry into the world of digital image editing with the help of GIMP 2.6. Using hands-on examples, this book will provide solutions to common problems encountered when editing digital images. The instructions are structured in a step-by-step fashion. Each editing tool and function of GIMP 2.6 will be explained in simple language. You will learn the fundamentals of digital editing, familiarize yourself with common image editing tools and their functions, and acquire a working knowledge of the GIMP 2.6 program.

This book is not a reference guide for GIMP 2.6. It was created to provide you with a set of "learning-by-doing" instructions that will explain how GIMP works, what the program's most important functions are, and how to easily locate and use these tools.

Since GIMP was born of the Linux world, it is free. On the CD that accompanies this book, you will find GIMP 2.6 along with several plug-ins (add-ons) for the application. You'll also find copies of the sample images used in the exercises contained in this book.

Digital image editing programs often seem more complex than the more common software programs, such as word processors. Sometimes you must perform a number of preparatory steps before you can see a result on the computer screen. However, if you're experienced with computers, certain commands should be familiar to you.

Whether you're a Windows, Linux, or a Mac OS user, GIMP works essentially the same way, with the exception of the installation process. GIMP is often distributed with Linux. If you use Windows or Mac OS, you will have to install the program. This book will show you how.

Once you have explored GIMP and learned how to use it, you may not need—nor want—to buy another image editing program. If you do decide to migrate to another program, you will have to familiarize yourself with a new interface. However, you'll quickly discover that the basic commands, functions, and tools of alternative digital imaging software programs are similar to those of GIMP 2.6 in more ways than you might think.

GIMP 2.6 also contains a built-in help system. In addition, there are many existing books about the software, including several free online texts. Please refer to this book's appendix for a list of references regarding GIMP.

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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