Using the GIMP

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The GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP) is the premiere bitmap graphics program for Linux. It's very close to Adobe Photoshop in power, although of course the two programs have different strengths and weaknesses. The GIMP supports only the red/green/blue (RGB) color encoding used by monitors, whereas Photoshop also supports the cyan/magenta/yellow/black (CMYK) color encoding system used by printers. On the other hand, the GIMP supports a powerful scripting tool, Script-Fu, to help automate complex transformations.

This chapter describes some of the GIMP's basic features, including initial setup, loading and saving images, adding elements to images, working with layers, and applying filters. The GIMP is powerful enough that entire books have been written about it. If you need a more complete reference than I can provide here, read a book such as Bunks' Grokking the GIMP (New Riders, 2000), or consult the program's online manual (http://manual.gimp.org).

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