The GIMP (The GNU Image Manipulation Program) is a program for creating and editing pixel graphics. In most aspects, its features are comparable to those of Adobe Photoshop and other commercial programs. Use it to resize and retouch photographs, design graphics for Web pages, make covers for your custom CDs, or almost any other graphics project. It meets the needs of both amateurs and professionals.
Like many other Linux programs, The GIMP is developed as a cooperative effort of developers worldwide who volunteer their time and code to the project. The program is under constant development, so the version included in your SUSE Linux may vary slightly from the version discussed here. The layout of the individual windows and window sections is especially likely to vary.
The GIMP is an extremely complex program. Only a small range of features, tools, and menu items are discussed in this chapter. See Section 19.6, “For More Information” (↑Applications) for ideas of where to find more information about the program.
There are two main formats for graphics—pixel and vector. The GIMP works only with pixel graphics, which is the normal format for photographs and scanned images. Pixel graphics consist of small blocks of color that together create the entire image. The files can easily become quite large because of this. It is also not possible to increase the size of a pixel image without losing quality.
Unlike pixel graphics, vector graphics do not store information for all individual pixels. Instead, they store information about how image points, lines, or areas are grouped together. Vector images can also be scaled very easily. The drawing application of OpenOffice.org, for example, uses this format.