File: gimp_tips.txt

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# This is a list of tips for the GIMP.  Every time the GIMP is
# started, one tip will be selected from this file and will be
# displayed in the "Tip of the day" dialog.
#
# - Lines starting with '#' are comments.
# - Blank lines or comments separate two tips (they are not ignored).
#   Multiple blank lines are treated as one.  If you want to have a
#   blank line in a tip, put a space or tab in it.
# - Text will appear in the dialog as it is in this file.  This is
#   done on purpose in order to have more freedom in the layout of the
#   tips than with automatic word-wrapping, but this also means that
#   you have to avoid excessively long lines in this file.
# - Tips should be concise: 3 lines or less.
#
# Tips in this file have been contributed by Zachary Beane, Mo Oishi,
# Raphael Quinet, Sven Neumann and other people on the gimp mailing 
# lists.
# --------------------------------------------------------------------

# The first tip should be a welcome message, because this is the
# first thing that a new user will see.
#

# FIXME: re-write this welcome message:

                            Welcome to the GIMP !
      
Nearly all image operations are performed by right-clicking
on the image.  And don't worry, you can undo most mistakes...    

# Tips for beginners start here
#

The GIMP uses layers to let you organize your image.  Think of them 
as a stack of slides or filters, such that looking through them you 
see a composite of their contents.

You can perform many layer operations by right-clicking on the text
label of a layer in the Layers dialog (Dialogs->Layers & Channels).

When trying to save files as GIF, XPM, or any other indexed 
color format, you need to convert the image to indexed using 
the Image menu.

You can get the Tool Options menu to open by double-clicking 
any button in the toolbar.

You can change the name of a layer by double-clicking 
on its name in the Layers dialog box.

The layer named "Background" is special.  You can't add 
transparency or a layer mask to it.  To add transparency, you 
must first "add alpha" to the layer by right-clicking in the 
layers dialog and selecting "Add Alpha Channel". 

When using a drawing tool (Paintbrush, Airbrush, or Pencil), 
Shift-click will draw a straight line from your last drawing 
point to your current cursor position.

Most plug-ins work on the current layer of the current image.  In 
some cases, you will have to merge all layers (Layers->Flatten Image) 
if you want the plug-in to work on the whole image.

Most file-formats can't handle layers and for that reason only 
the active layer is saved.  Use XCF, the GIMP's native file format 
to keep layers, channels and guides when saving.

Not all effects can be applied to all kinds of images.  This 
is indicated by a grayed-out menu-entry.  You may need to 
change the image to RGB, add an alpha-channel or flatten it.

# Tips for intermediate users start here
#

The file selection dialog box has command-line completion with 
Tab, just like the shell.  Type part of a filename, hit tab, and voila!
It's completed.

You can reassign shortcut keys on any menu by bringing up the menu,
selecting a menu item, and pressing the new shortcut key combination.
This is dynamic and is saved when you exit GIMP.

All the old channel operations have been replaced with the more
powerful and flexible Layer and Layer Mode operations.  They may 
take getting used to, but they are simply a better way to operate.

You can use the middle mouse button to pan around 
the image, if it's larger than its display window.

Click and drag on a ruler to place a Guide on an image.  All 
dragged selections will snap to the guides.  You can remove 
guides by dragging them off the image with the Move tool.

The GIMP supports gzip compression on the fly.  Just add 
'.gz' (or '.bz2', if you habe bzip2 installed) to the filename 
and your image will be saved compressed.  Of course loading 
compressed images works too.

Pressing and holding the Shift key before making a selection allows
you to add to the current selection instead of replacing it.  Using
Ctrl before making a selection subtracts from the current one.

You can press or release the Shift and Ctrl keys while you are
making a selection in order to constrain it to a perfect square 
or circle, or to have it centered on its starting point.

# Tips for advanced users start here
#

You can adjust the selection range for fuzzy select 
by clicking and dragging left and right.

Shift-click on the eye icon in the Layers dialog to hide all 
layers but that one.  Shift-click again to show all layers.

Ctrl-click on the layer mask's preview in the Layers dialog 
toggles the effect of the layer mask.

Alt-click on the layer mask's preview in the Layers dialog 
toggles viewing the mask directly.

You can use Alt-Tab to cycle through all layers in an image 
(if your window manager doesn't trap those keys...).

Shift-click with the Bucket Fill tool to have it use 
the background color instead of the foreground color.

Control-drag with the Transform tool in rotation mode 
will constrain the rotation to 15 degree angles.

You can adjust and re-place a selection by using Alt-drag.

If your fonts turn out blocky, that's because they're not scalable
fonts.  Most X servers support scalable Type 1 Postscript fonts.
Download and install them.

# FIXME: The next tip should disappear once we have solved the
#        problems of stale pluginrc files and plug-in directories.
#        All other files in ~/.gimp can be kept after an upgrade.
#        In particular, we should try to preserve gimprc.  --Raphael

When installing a new version, be sure to 
delete your ~/.gimp directory first.

Using Edit->Stroke allows you to draw simple squares or circles by
painting the edge of your current selection with the active brush.
More complex shapes can be drawn with Filters->Render->Gfig.

To create a perfect circle, hold Shift while doing an ellipse select. To 
place a circle precisely, drag horizontal and vertical guides tangent to 
the circle you want to select, place your cursor at the interesection
of the guides, and the resulting selection will just touch the guides.

# (end of tips)