Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Tech Tip Tuesday: Got Gimp?

This is my official disclaimer.  I am NOT a tech expert and I do NOT know official terms for things!  I know how I do things and I explain them in steps I can understand.  Do not expect this tutorial, or any future tutorials, to be professionally done!  I like to say I make them Wendy-proof.  If you worked with me, you'd understand...  That said, I like to make a lot of flip charts, worksheets, pamphlets...  Just about anything.  But I want them to look professional.  The biggest improvement I've been able to make in anything I'm creating with graphics, is to make the image background transparent.  I'm not sure where or when I originally stumbled across this, but it works, and here it is in 10 easy steps.

Step 1:
It's a lot like Photoshop, but it's free!  Download it here.

Step 2:
Once it's downloaded, open the program and the folder with your image.

Step 3:
There are many ways to do this, but the easiest way is to just find your image, click on it, and drag it over into your Gimp screen.

Step 4:
Then go to the Layer tab at the top and drop down to Transparency.

Step 5:
Once you're on Transparency, slide over to Add Alpha Channel.  That's your transparent layer.

Step 6:
Then you will need to use the correct tool.  Click the Tools tab at the top of the screen and drop down to Selection Tools.  It's the first one!  And slide over to Fuzzy Select.  It looks like a magic wand.

Step 7:
Using your magic wand, click the area that you would like to make transparent.  It should look like its outline is moving.  Then hit Delete on your keyboard.  The area should become checkered.  You can do this more than once, if you need to, to get the entire area selected.

Your're almost done!
Step 8:
Now to save it, go to the File tab and click Export - NOT Save!

Step 9:
At the bottom, you'll see a + beside the Select File Type.  Click the + and scroll down to png.  That's the file type you'll want your image to be.

Click Export and when another little dialog box pops up, click Export again.  That's it.  Now just find your image in your folder and it will be transparent.  Oh - your old image may still be there if it wasn't originally a png.  Make sure you delete that one so you don't get confused!

Hope it helps!

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