Articles, Blog

GIMP in Less Than 10 Minutes: Beginners Guide

November 12, 2019

Hello and welcome to yet another
tutorial by Davies Media Design, my name is Michael Davies, and in today’s
tutorial I’ll be going over GIMP in 10 minutes what beginners want to know. if
you’re looking for a more in-depth look at GIMP I recommend watching my two hour
GIMP 2.10 basics video which is on our channel, and of course I’ll link that in
the description, but let’s get started. So GIMP, which stands for GNU Image
Manipulation Program, is a powerful raster based open-source software that
is developed by a small community of developers. This software, which is
primarily used for photo editing, but is also used for graphic design, is
available completely for free at Despite having a relatively
small team of part-time developers behind it, GIMP is actually a very
powerful program and it rivals and is most similar to Photoshop – which is
another raster based progra. The main difference, of course, between GIMP and
Photoshop is that Photoshop can cost between $10 and $60 dollars a month if
you have the subscription program, whereas GIMP of course is absolutely
free. So GIMP rivaling Photoshop has become even more true over the past year
because it recently updated GIMP with its first major update in over six years
and that was GIMP version 2.10. At the time of this tutorial GIMP 2.10.6 is
the most up-to-date version of GIMP and the GIMP team says that GIMP 3.0, which
may completely change the game and possibly break the Internet, is supposed
to come out either later this year or in early 2019. So let’s get a little bit
into how to use GIMP, and, as I mentioned earlier in this tutorial, I do have a
full two-hour length video that shows a little bit more in-depth look at the
GIMP basics. But of course before we get into all that I want to direct you guys
over to my website at as always we have tons of
GIMP video and text tutorials on here as well as Project Translate. You can watch
one of our GIMP playlists, support us on Patreon, or view our Poll of the Week
results – so definitely check those items out. You can enroll in our GIMP Photo
Editing Course: From Beginner to Pro Photo Retoucher on Udemy, and you can
support our channel and help us grow by becoming a Patron on Patreon – and you’ll
get some really awesome rewards in return. I’ll include a link to this as
well as all the relevant links from this tutorial in the description of the video.
Once you’ve installed GIMP on your Windows, Mac, or Linux computer, open it up
and go to File>New to create a new composition. Here you can set your new
image dimensions or expand your options to set things like the resolution,
precision, or background color of your image. Click OK to create the new image.
The GIMP layout looks complex at first but can be understood as five main
sections. The “Toolbox” contains all your tools, the “Tool Options” contains the
settings for the tool you have selected, the “Canvas” will display your image or
composition, the “Layers, Channels, Paths, Undo” panel will display the items
mentioned in its name – displaying the layers panel first by default – and the
“Brushes, Patterns, and Gradient” panel will display those items mentioned in its
name. Starting with the Toolbox – GIMP’s tools are broken up into four main
groups – Selection Tools, Paint Tools, Transform Tools, and Other Tools.
Selection Tools allow you to select an area of your image using various methods,
and you can then make edits to those isolated items that are in the selection
area you specified. Paint Tools allow you to freely draw or paint on your image or
composition, and you can use colors, patterns, or transparency to paint or
erase with these tools. Transform Tools allow you to transform
an active layer, selection area, or path – for example you can scale something up
or down, or change its perspective, among other transformations. The Other Tools
allow you to perform various functions such as zooming in and out of your image,
selecting your foreground and background colors, drawing curves, and adding text.
Above the five main areas of GIMP is your main menu. This menu allows you to
access everything within GIMP. However, if you want to look for something a little
bit more quickly, simply hit the forward slash (“/”) key on your keyboard to bring up
the search feature and type what you’re looking for. You can then click on the item to jump
to it if it’s a file or use it on your composition – for example, if it’s an
effect. Going back to our main menu, I’ll highlight the two most important menu
items, in my opinion. These are the “Colors” menu and the “Filters” menu. The Colors
menu allows you to access important image adjustment tools. These tools are
great for photo editing and include common image adjustment tools such as
color balance, hue/saturation, shadows- highlights, brightness-contrast, levels,
and curves – to name just a few. I use these image adjustment tools often
throughout my tutorials and in my GIMP Photo Editing Course. Unfortunately,
unlike Photoshop, GIMP currently does not contain adjustment layers, which means
your image adjustments are typically made directly on your image layer.
However, the GIMP team says they have made steps towards making this feature
available in the near future. Lower in the Colors menu are some auto
adjustments and adjustment filters that aim to speed up your photo editing –
though I do not typically recommend using these except in specific cases. The
filters menu contains many important filters that you can use throughout your
compositions. Some of them will apply to the entire image, while others will only
apply to a selected layer or are overlaid on top of your compositions as
a separate layer. The most popular filters in my experience include Blur>Gaussian Blur; Enhance>Sharpen (Unsharp Mask), Light and Shadow – and there’s a few
popular filters in here – including, Drop Shadow, Long Shadow, and Vignette; Map>Little Planet; and Animation>Playback when working with
animated GIFs. So these are just a few of many useful filters found in this
program. Heading back to the layers panel, note that everything you do in GIMP will
be on a layer. When creating a new composition. like we did earlier, you’re
going to start with a background layer. You could then add or remove layers as
you work with layers containing things like text, transparency, graphics, or
images. You can also change the modes of layers, which allow the layers to blend
and interact with other layers in the Layers panel. I have an entire tutorial dedicated to
layers, which I recommend you watch to learn more about the layers concept. You
can open new images into GIMP by going to File>Open, which will open images into
their own new composition. Simply navigate to the folder where your file
is located and click on the file to select that file. Click the Open button
to open the file into GIMP. You can also go to File>Open as Layers
to open your file into your current composition as a layer. You can also go to File>Open Recent to
open an image file you recently opened into GIMP.
You can save your work at any time by going to File>Save or File>Save As using
the native .XCF file format in GIMP. I’ll rename my file, then select the location where I want to
save it. Saving your file as a .XCF will
preserve the layers in your composition, allowing you to come back and work on
your project at a later time. You can also export files to other common file
formats by going to File>Export As. Here, you can click the Select File Type (by
extension) drop down and choose from file types such as GIF, JPEG,
PSD or PDF. I’ll select JPEG as my file type since this is the most common file
type to export images to. You’ll see the file extension after the name of my file
will automatically update to “.jpg” once I click this. I’ll then click “Export”
to export my file, select the quality of my JPEG, and will click “Export” again. I’ll
delete my active layer that contains the image we opened as a layer into the
composition by clicking the “Delete this Layer icon. So that’s it for this
tutorial – hopefully you guys liked it. If you did, please subscribe to our YouTube
channel at On there you can check out
our to our GIMP 2.10 Basics video. You can also visit our website at You can enroll in our GIMP Photo Editing Course: From Beginner
to Pro Photo Retoucher on Udemy, and you can support our channel and help us grow
by becoming a Patron on Patreon – and I’ll include a link to those items as well as
all the relevant links from this tutorial in the description of the video.
So thanks for watching, and we’ll see you next time!!!


  • Reply Amanda Smith October 13, 2018 at 1:34 pm

    I would of never figured out how to work gimp if it hadn't been for your videos!

  • Reply Gerardo Zuccalà October 13, 2018 at 1:44 pm

    Thank you! great video

  • Reply Thomas Cahill October 13, 2018 at 3:27 pm

    Great videos!

  • Reply Tom Ormiston October 13, 2018 at 5:28 pm

    Excellent roundup 👍

  • Reply Shubham Nishad October 13, 2018 at 7:03 pm

    how to learn graphics design and photo editing if someone is a total beginner? I need to not just learn how to use the tools but also need to learn that under what conditions we need to use certain tool/setting.

  • Reply ricky todd Botelho October 13, 2018 at 11:16 pm


  • Reply Rice Y October 14, 2018 at 9:26 pm

    It'd be awesome if you could make a video explaining all the layer modes for beginners.

  • Reply NaturalHealth tips October 15, 2018 at 12:48 pm

    please make tutorial about psd to html using Gimp

  • Reply Roland Keen October 31, 2018 at 12:57 am

    Something about the way you explain things really clicks with me. Keep it up ! 🙂

  • Reply Dane Ellis November 3, 2018 at 10:55 pm

    I am a web developer and started using Photoshop about 14 years ago. I've also been using Linux for many years and have become a big supporter of free, open source software. After seeing some major improvements to GIMP recently I've decided to attempt switching over full time. It's videos like yours that encourage and help me transition. Thank you!

  • Reply Vasquez Beardoracci November 9, 2018 at 2:59 pm

    What, Gimp 3? They must keep the dark theme and the dockable menus.

  • Reply Abu Omar November 27, 2018 at 5:05 am

    Can I use gimp and inkscape to work as a freelance?

  • Reply sunny 1111 January 23, 2019 at 3:44 pm

    Another great video!!
    Do you know if the fonts that come wit Gimp are free for commercial use?

  • Reply Zeeshan Khan January 29, 2019 at 9:07 pm

    How to get canimatic look

  • Reply Soprano Musings February 7, 2019 at 9:24 am

    New subscriber here! Thank you so much for these awesome tutorials. I was wondering if you had a tutorial that would help me with resizing photos? Many thanks again!

  • Reply Peter Riley February 17, 2019 at 11:23 pm

    Most of us are here because we need to forge a document, just show us how to zoom cut and paste

  • Reply Eric Hamm March 12, 2019 at 2:30 am

    Your website is slow to load. Get some optimization help dawg.

  • Reply max April 2, 2019 at 4:38 pm

    How do the GIMP developers earn money? Do they work for free?

  • Reply Lesk May 7, 2019 at 6:48 pm

    Rivals Photoshop of ten years ago.

  • Reply Aston Martin July 24, 2019 at 8:46 am


  • Reply Bay Babe August 17, 2019 at 7:47 pm

    Maybe u can help , I tryed using transparent images from google but when I open them in gimp they are no longer transparent ,all the white and grey boxes show up ..Idk what I’m doing wrong

  • Reply ssccrreeaamm August 28, 2019 at 7:48 am

    Thanks. I can now create a Minecraft resource pack.

  • Reply Jo jo September 1, 2019 at 1:45 am

    Wait, then when is gimp 3.0 coming? Cause it's way past beginning of 2019

  • Reply A01209627 itesm September 1, 2019 at 8:50 am

    Great video, it is encouraging to continue learning !

  • Reply M E September 12, 2019 at 9:05 pm

    This was SO helpful because I had no idea where to begin! Thank you for making this!

  • Reply Mace Windu September 19, 2019 at 9:18 am

    As a gimp myself, i can say that this has helped me become more of a disappointment than before

  • Reply xfdccd sr2dctd October 6, 2019 at 2:32 pm

    and here it is almost end of 2019 and still no gimp 3.0 🙂

  • Reply Swapnil Jadhav October 6, 2019 at 2:36 pm

    Thank you, man, you are doing a really good job I really like your videos, I also like your Inkscape videos, God Bless You Bro….

  • Reply Sharon Poon October 7, 2019 at 2:17 pm

    Not sure if you could help but as I was sourcing for some help I came by your video. Can I know if I would like to edit the double chin of a model, which tool should I use? I tried to use wrap tool but nothing seems to be change.. so not sure if I have done any mistakes. Please advise if you could. Thank you in advance.

  • Reply Mr Pi October 14, 2019 at 9:12 pm

    Lemme guess..
    Graphics image manipulation program

    Wow first try
    Totally didn't use the video…

  • Reply Len E. October 19, 2019 at 6:05 pm

    OK, so I'm almost as confused as I was before I watched this video. It says for beginners but you go so fast that there is no way to digest all that you just covered while trying to switch back and forth between the tutorial and the actual application and understand what you are trying to convey. Basically all I'm trying to do is make some quick improvements in the shots I"ve taken before sending them out to my friends. I'm talking about contrast/brightness improvement, clarity, sharpness etc. Many of the applications I've used previously made these improvements easily available as one-touch accessible. For some of us, you need to talk to us like we are 2 until we get a "basic/beginner's" idea of how the app. works and where the tools are. Not trying to criticize necessarily, just trying to get the point across. Please slow down.

  • Reply Aykut Yıldız October 20, 2019 at 2:16 pm

    thank you very much for this great tutorial

  • Reply TheCreative Oven November 9, 2019 at 7:27 pm

    10 min of the video it's you saying nothing dude

  • Leave a Reply