GIMP ~ What Is It?

There are quite a few different programs you can use for digital scrapbooking.  There are the big photo editing programs; Photoshop, Photoshop Elements and Paintshop Pro come to mind first.  These have lots and lots of features and you can do just about anything with them.  There are also a lot of tutorials in digi-land to show you how to digi-scrap with them.  Those features though come with a fairly high price tag.

There are also the dedicated scrapbooking programs.  MyMemories Suite and Memory Mixer are the two bigger ones.  These are easy to use and the price tags aren't so high on them.  With them you can create great pages quickly and without needing to take classes!  The problem is, they do have their limitations on what they can do.  There are many techniques that you just can't accomplish with a dedicated scrapbooking program.  {Side Note: I use & love MyMemories Suite and recommend it to anyone wanting to get started with digital scrapbooking. If you've never scrapped before, MMS makes it easy to learn the ropes!}

What if though, you are ready to move on to tougher techniques and want more features in your scrapbooking software but you just can't afford the price tags on the big name photo editing programs?  Or maybe, you are new to digital scrapbooking but can't even afford the smaller price tags of the scrapbooking programs?  Or, you might just like a challenge!

Enter GIMPThe GNU Image Manipulation Program. GIMP {sometimes also referred to as The GIMP} is  photo/image editing software.  It is just as powerful and full of features as Photoshop.  All the little techniques and tricks that you can't do with MyMemories or Memory Mixer you can do with GIMP.  Yet the cost of PS is not there.  How much is it you ask? Here is the best part. It's Free. Yep, zero dollars and zero cents.  It's an open-source program with many people working on it to make it the best it can be.  There are also many plug-ins and extensions that people create to give it even more abilities.  Are for all of you on either side of the PC/MAC debate, it's available for both!! 

There is a lot more to GIMP than I deal with.  For an overview, check out the introduction page on the GIMP website.  Here on this blog I'm going to focus on how to use it for digital scrapbooking.  There are loads and loads of tutorials available for photo editing and manipulation.  You can start right on the GIMP website. You can also try doing a Google search for whatever it is you are trying to do.

What there aren't loads of are scrapbooking tutorials.  There are a few, but most are older and aren't done using the latest version (2.8).  That's where I come in.  I'm going to put together some basic tutorials on how to use GIMP for scrapbooking.  I will also start doing some more advanced techniques as *I* learn how to do them.  But don't be afraid of the program.  There is a LOT in it, but just play with it.  Not sure what a filter or button does? Give it a try.  Just make sure you are using a copy of an image so you don't accidentally destroy the original!

To get started with GIMP, just download it here and follow the instructions! If you already have GIMP, make sure you are updated to version 2.8 (released in May 2012) and get ready for some FUN!

Do you have GIMP already? How proficient with it are you? I'm curious where my readership is starting out. (I will start at the VERY beginning for those that are just downloading it today!)


  1. Hi Dianna,
    Very good start on using GIMP, very clear and precise! As a user I would say that I'm probably intermediate in scrap booking, in photo manipulation I am a complete novice. I wish you well in your endeavor and I hope you will continue to do the tutorials as most of the ones I've looked at have been from 2008 and backwards instead of forwards, so of course I have to figure things out on my own. If you find any more recent sites please list them so I can avail myself of them.
    shirley klein.

  2. oh oh oh! Very interested in this!! I use GIMP and would definitely be considered a novice! Our techie friend who started us on Linux programming introduced us to GIMP and he would be ever so grateful to you for "tutoring" me, lol! I think he's pretty tired of my scrapbooking questions. He did find a tutorial for me, a way to 'clip/mask' like in PS so I can use templates with relative ease (though it is a process with several steps.)


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