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Exploring GIMP's tools

From: Preparing CMS Web Graphics and Layouts Using Open Source Tools

Video: Exploring GIMP's tools

Go ahead and open up GIMP, if you haven't opened it already. Your desktop should look similar to mine. Over on the left-hand side of the page, you'll see our Toolbox. The Toolbox is full of all kinds of tools that you'll apply to working with images. The big tools we're going to use today are the Zoom tool and note that you can see a little tooltip that comes up anytime you hover over any of these icons. It describes what the tool is and it includes the keyboard shortcut, if you prefer to work with keyboard shortcuts.

Exploring GIMP's tools

Go ahead and open up GIMP, if you haven't opened it already. Your desktop should look similar to mine. Over on the left-hand side of the page, you'll see our Toolbox. The Toolbox is full of all kinds of tools that you'll apply to working with images. The big tools we're going to use today are the Zoom tool and note that you can see a little tooltip that comes up anytime you hover over any of these icons. It describes what the tool is and it includes the keyboard shortcut, if you prefer to work with keyboard shortcuts.

The Zoom tool of course will zoom in and zoom out of your particular image that you're working with. The Move tool of course moves layers around and we'll be using that today to move some guidelines. There is many other tools here in the GIMP palette, but for the most part in this movie we'll just be using the Zoom tool and the Move tool, but feel free to play with these other tools and get to know them. I'm going to go ahead and open up. I'm going to File > Open, from our exercise_files, which are located in my case on the desktop.

In Chapter 2, you should have a file called Hansel&Petal-inside.psd. For those of you who are familiar with Photoshop, this is a Photoshop document, the native Photoshop file format. This is what the graphic designer delivered to me to work with. Fortunately, GIMP does read the PSD format. Click Open to open the file and you'll see it here on the webpage. The first thing I'm going to do is maximize this window, and we're still not zoomed in quite all the way.

So I'm going to click on my magnifying glass and then click on the image, and that'll zoom us into 100%. The box that you see here is actually outlining one of the layers in this comp. You can see that the layers over here on this side, it's called the background gradient. If I switch to another layer such as the Header background, you'll see that the box moves up there instead. For those of you who are not familiar with layers, this design is a series of images stacked on top of each other, and all of those images are visible over here in the Layers palette.

The little eyeball turns on and off the layers. So this one labeled top nav, as I click on the eyeball, I can make that navigation disappear or appear. That's very helpful in the slicing process. Slicing is the process of taking this one large graphic and turning it into the smaller graphics we'll need to power our webpage. If you haven't had a chance yet, go ahead and try that magnifying glass and click on the webpage. You'll zoom in and you'll notice things get quite large and very pixel-y as we zoom in.

To zoom out, you can hold down the Ctrl key. Note that the icon turns from a plus to a minus and that will zoom you out. Alternatively, when the magnifying glass is selected in the Toolbox, look underneath in the Zoon window. And you can see that we have a button to change between zoom in and zoom out. So it's now set to zoom in and by clicking on the image, I'll zoom in. I can change it to zoom out and now by clicking I can zoom out.

Which way is right? Whatever way works for you is just fine. Go ahead and take some time to try out the Zoom tool. The Move tool is another tool that we'll make a lot of use of today. Click on the Move tool and you can click again on that navigation bar and you can move it around on the webpage just by clicking and dragging. Now keep in mind, if you move around things on this comp, they aren't in the same place that they were. So make sure that when you're done moving them around, go to Edit > Undo Move Layer, so that it will go back to its original position.

Go ahead and work with the Zoom tool and the Move tool little bit to get comfortable with them before you go on to the next movie.

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