User interface

The layout of GIMP 2.6.11 is very much similar to that of Adobe Photoshop, and actually consists of many docks (Tool box, Tool option, Layer, Histogram windows are called docks in GIMP) that you can move around as per your convenience. From the window menu you can customize the number of docks which would remain open or closed. These docks are fully customizable and can be hidden or expanded by dragging their edges. Although the separated windows may disturb those users who are used to Photoshop layouts, your comfort level would grow as you discover how pain-free the program is. Tool box and Tools option docks are usually placed to the left in the user interface and layers, histogram and other windows are placed in the right of the workspace but their position can easily be changed according to your choice. At the bottom of the workspace you will find the status bar which provides a little information about the opened image, and also provides a short tool tip about the active tool. The location area which is on the extreme left of status bar gives a precise readout of the current mouse position, if your mouse is in the window (otherwise it is blank); the menu button next to it lets you display the mouse position in any unit you find most Comfortable, such as pixels, inches, or points. Die scale menu next to it, shows whether the image is currently being displayed at the actual size, smaller size, or magnified to a larger size. There are lots of ways to zoom an image, too. You can use the View > Zoom menu, or use the + and - keys to zoom in or out. You can activate the Zoom tool (in the Toolbox, click on the tool button that looks like a magnifying glass), then click the image to zoom in (Ctrl +click to zoom out). If you have a mouse with a scroll wheel, you can also zoom by using the Ctrl key combination with the mouse wheel. The navigation control at the bottom right lets you "pan" around the image instead without using the scrollbars .For images that are too big to fit in the screen, panning can be quicker than scrolling. You can also pan by dragging anywhere across the image window while holding down the middle mouse button, or by holding down the spacebar while dragging in the ¡mage with the left button. Open any image and use different zoom and navigation controls described above to see how they work, it will familiarize you with GIMP's interface.

RAW Support

RAW support is indispensable for a photographer but the downloaded GIMP will not support RAW files. Don't be disappointed. Let us say that you need RAW file support for standalone or from within GIMP? After installing the UFRaw, you just need to open a RAW file normally using File> Open or open the file directly. If you ever used camera Raw from Adobe you will rnd some similarities. You have a few interesting controls here. Curves, Levels, a noise reduction option, white balance, etc. For Nikon users UFRaw has the advantage of reading the camera's tone curves, zven if you don't own a Nikon, you can still apply a Nikon curve to your images. Thousands of people use DCRaw without knowing it, as Bibble, Breeze Browser, IrfanView, Conceiva, and the Adobe Camera Raw plug-in all contain source code from DCRaw.

your camera in GIMP. Simply download UFRaw (http://ufraw. and install. It reads raw images using Dave Coffin's raw conversion utility - DCRaw. This plug-in supports Adobe Digital Negative, Canon, Nikon, Sony, Fuji, Olympus, ?entax and Minolta RAW file formats. Did I mention that it is also free? And that you can run it

GIMP Variants v. Several variations of GIMP exist because GIMP is released under the GNU General Public License; the GPL specifically allows anybody to take the i, source code and use it as they see fit. For example, GIMPshop is a derivative of GIMP that re-arranges the user nterface it to mimic Adobe Photoshop

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