How to Use GIMP to Edit Photos

Step by step
How to Use GIMP to Edit Photos

So you want to start editing photos? Whether you are a photographer by trade or just  interested in starting a new hobby, GIMP is a great option to get you started. This free open source software has enough features to get you started and it is relatively simple to learn how to use. With just a few hours of playing around and some research on the internet, you will be editing photos like a pro in no time. Here are some tips on how to use GIMP to edit photos.

Download GIMP

GIMP Download Page

In order to use GIMP to edit photos, you must first download the software because there isn’t a browser based version of GIMP at this time. You can do this easily by going to the GIMP official website, gimp.org.

Install GIMP

Installation Wizard

After you have downloaded GIMP, you can simply “run” the application and follow the steps as instructed by the installation wizard. Its basically a few clicks and some waiting. Then you are ready to get to editing photos.


GIMP Desktop Icon

Locate the GIMP icon on your desktop on in your start menu. Click on it to launch GIMP. Once the program is open, you are ready to begin editing.

Open Picture

Open Window

To get started editing, click "File", then "Open" and navigate to the picture that you want to edit. Once you have selected the picture that you want to edit, click "Open" and you picture should open in the center window of GIMP.


Zoom Menu

For easier editing and viewing of small details or specific sections of the picture, you can use the "zoom" option. It is located at the bottom of the center window, just below the picture you are editing. Click the arrow to open the drop down menu and select the zoom percentage. Zoom ranges from 12.5% to 800%.


Paint Tools

On the Left side of the screen in the "Tool Box" options, there are a variety of tools that are used for painting or drawing. Tools like the paintbrush, pencil, smug, and even a color selecting option allow you to paint and edit in many different ways so you can reach your desired outcome.


Crop Tools

Also in the "Tool Box" options, there are different tools used for cropping your pictures. You can crop with circular or rectangular shapes, you can cut, and even just use the crop tool to select a specific section of the picture.

Menus Galore

Different Menus

At the top of the center window of GIMP, there are 11 different menus to choose from, each with multiple options and submenus with other tools and features that you can use for editing your pictures. Here you can choose editing options, saving options, layering options, colors and filters and more. You can also find the "Help" menu here in case you stuck or want to dig deeper into using GIMP to edit photos.

Professional Level Editing

For being a free open source photo editing program, GIMP is relatively easy to use and it is loaded with features that give you the ability to do professional level editing, even on a limited to non-existent budget. Of course it doesn't have all of the features are the more expensive professional editing programs but it is definitely worth giving a try due to the price and the fact that it is user-friendly.

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