The GNU Image Manipulation Program, or GIMP, is a
raster graphics editor used to process digital graphics and photographs.
Typical uses include creating graphics and
logos, resizing and
cropping photos, altering colours, combining multiple images, removing unwanted
image features, and converting between different image formats.
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
GIMP can also be used to create basic animated images in
GIF format. It is often used as a free software replacement for
Adobe Photoshop, the most widely used bitmap editor in the printing and
graphics industries; however, it is not designed to be a Photoshop clone.
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The project was started in 1995 by
Spencer Kimball and
Mattis and is now maintained by a group of volunteers under the auspices of
The latest version of GIMP, v. 2.4.6, was released on
under the terms of the
GNU General Public License, GIMP is
GIMP's manipulation tools can be accessed via the toolbox, menu paths, and
dialog boxes (which can be grouped in docks). They include filters and brushes,
as well as transformation, selection, layer and masking tools.
For example, GIMP comes with 48 standard brushes, plus facilities to create
new ones. Brushes (and brush tools) can be used in hard-edged, soft-edged, or
eraser modes, be applied at different opacities, or used with different modes
One of the wonderful features of GIMP is that it all its functionality may be
accessed through scripting. So far most of the script programming for Gimp has
been done through Scheme through Script-Fu. Unfortunately the Scheme environment
Gimp provides is very primitive, e.g. without any reasonable error handling.
Furthermore, must users are not familiar with scheme as a language. Some users
may therefore prefer to write scripts for the Gimp in Perl.
Perl as a language is probably more familiar to the web-literate users, as it
is the major language for writing CGI scripts. Now, Gimp scripts may also be
written with Perl. This tutorial will describe how to write such plug-ins and
scripts for Gimp.