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You have a favorite image editor already. If it’s one of those online ones, still read this article and find out what you’re missing. Hey, I’ve learned from personal experience that creating visual content for online businesses falls into 2 categories; creating to sell or editing to promote. If you’re creating from scratch to sell you’re probably already using GIMP. If you’re editing images to promote your business you’re likely using a free online editor that doesn’t have features that GIMP has. Frankly, since my focus is on image and graphic editing I see opportunities for GIMP in both camps.
GIMP is such a powerful free tool that I can’t imagine not having it in my editing arsenal. Yes, Gimp obviously edits pictures and touches up images and does it without monthly subscription fees. Yes, there is a steep learning curve due to GIMP’s complexity. Yes, Gimp isn’t the most intuitive tool out there but I would advocate that learning GIMP is certainly worth the effort. Why? Granted, there certainly are a handful of much easier online editors available. However, anyone working with images and graphics on their blog or social media should consider GIMP. The simple reason is because of 5 useful features that GIMP can do. While GIMP has many other features, even a new GIMP user would find these 5 features handy. I suspect most online solo entrepreneurs look for these, need these and might even hire someone to do these for them. Personally, I use these features a lot. So let’s talk about those 5 GIMP useful features that you should know how to use.
Feature 1. Removing backgrounds with GIMP.
Yup removing backgrounds from images, icons, logos, illustrations, you name it, is pretty handy knowledge. There are only a handful of image and graphics editors I’ve used which can remove backgrounds well. There are a lot of online sites that claim to be able to do it automatically. My success rate with those sites has been disappointing and I don’t recommend that route. GIMP is a good background removal tool and it’s free. I’ve written articles about background removal with GIMP and other editors I blog about. In fact, I have an online free course about background removal techniques; (it doesn’t use Gimp but the tool I mention is free, very similar and it takes less than 30 minutes to learn which is a bit faster than learning GIMP). I think knowing how to remove backgrounds is so important when creating branded unique content from free resources. Because let’s face it, while there are really great free online image sites, (if your one of my subscribers I give you a list of 57 sites you can use), using those pictures as is might not make your site unique. Think about it. Hundreds of downloads of free images and graphics from those sites occur on a daily basis. It’s like showing up at a party with 20 other people wearing the same outfit. Do you want to stand out or look like a clone of someone else? Changing that downloaded picture, even a little is worth it. One way to do so is to remove the background and merge the remaining image into something new. Do that is a lot easier than it sounds. GIMP as with the other free editors, I use does this pretty darn well.
Feature 2. Colorize icons and graphics is a breeze with GIMP
My argument about modifying your free images, icons and graphics fit right in with re-coloring parts or all of them. In particular, I’ve created sales pages with call to action buttons, service icons, illustrations and images where I’ve re-colored with my brand colors to make the graphic look better and fit into the webpage like it belongs and was made just for my site. On a basic level, GIMP re-colors the whole image. Sometimes that works well; other times using a mask before re-coloring is a better choice.
Feature 3. Resizing and cropping images is a no brainer with GIMP
GIMP like many editors can easily resize and crop images. Not too much detail needs to be elaborated here. Frankly, re-sizing is essential when trying to make images for Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. All of these media channels algorithms optimize on different sized images to get views, so if you use too small an image or the wrong size you’re really wasting effort posting. For example, Pinterest demands 2:3 aspect ratios and works best with tall rich pins (735 x 1102). In comparision I’ve found the 1:1 aspect ratio works better on Facebook and Instagram. although Facebook on non-mobile devices works well with OG images (landscape 1200 x 630). Instagram stories and Twitter have their own particular settings. My real point is that GIMP can quickly resize and save the image in the appropriate aspect ratios and that’s important. It’s not surprising then that I’m not a big crossposting fan (“Why I Don’t Crosspost”). I do post the same 1:1 image on Facebook as Instagram because it still looks good on mobile as well as desktop, but that the extent of crossposting I do.
Feature 4. Creating text images for logos, headers, etc.
If you like making text images and word art for print on demand, Cricut, scrapbooking or simply to sell, GIMP does that. There are a couple of nice scripts that you can use with text and GIMP patterns that can make really interesting text images. The result can even be a great looking logo design. I have an article on how to use GIMP to create a text image logo in less than 5 minutes. Heck, it takes longer for me to decide what font I want than to make the logo! If you’re looking for text designs for Cricut, scrapbooking or print on demand products, this feature is definitely for you and doesn’t require much of a learning curve.
Feature 5. Converting file formats provides new free resources for use.
This last one is simply a no brainer. I’ve written an article on how easy it is to convert a file (“Convert Adobe Files With GIMP”); the exception to this is SVG formatted files (those can be converted with another free tool I blog about called Inkscape “Convert SVG To PNG”). Anyway, there are free resource files in the generic postscript eps or more proprietary Adobe formats that GIMP can covert. There are endless possibilities for using these free images, graphics and icons in your projects, blog, and social media. So even if you don’t use GIMP to do anything else, you can quickly convert these files to jpg or png and use them with any editor including Microsoft, Openoffice or Mac’s proprietary editors. This gold nut makes GIMP a handy tool to have in your content creation and editing arsenal.
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These 5 features should convince you that taking a look at GIMP is worth the time; after all, it’s free.
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