I LOVE photographs! When I run into family that wants to show me photos of my ancestors, I’m just in heaven!
I recently had an email from a “cousin” who asked me if I knew how people were adding text to digital images because sometimes extra information – sometimes called “metadata” – we add to a photo with a photo viewer on the computer gets lost when we share the photo with someone else – especially if their computer is not using the same operating system that we are.
There are a lot of photo editors out there and many of them are quite pricey! And let’s be honest, if we’re spending money, we’d rather be getting access to new records or perhaps ordering a new dna test for a relative! We don’t want to have to spend a lot of money to do basic tasks like adding a border or text to a photo or document.
I thought this would be a good opportunity to make some video tutorials. I’m planning to start with very short videos showing very basic things that I think everyone would like to do including adding a border to a photo and adding text to a photo. I’m thinking of building toward a nice Christmas project, so if you’d like to try to learn some basic photo editing tools, I hope you’ll join me. I promise to keep the videos short and simple!
So I want to talk about a program that is available for Mac as well as PC and is FREE. I wanted something robust enough to do some major editing to photos if a person knows how to do that but is also easy to find tutorials for if you’re a beginner who wants to learn how to do more. The program I recommend is called Gimp.
Gimp is open source software and it is pretty much a duplicate of Photoshop except that most of the icons look different. If you go to YouTube and look for videos on using Gimp, the list is quite long! So for really heavy photo editing, you’ll want to look for tutorials on that. And if you see a tutorial for something on Photoshop, chances are really good that you’ll be able to figure out how to do the same thing using Gimp once you are familiar with their icons.
If you’d like to work along with me, you’ll need to download Gimp from their site. Once you are on the downloads page, the website will automatically determine if you are on a Mac or PC and will give you the link for the download. If they are not correct, there are options to select the version that you need. I used the “download directly” button.
Once you have downloaded the file, you will need to find the .exe file – probably in your downloads folder.
Click (or double click) the .exe file and the program will open. Click on the “Install” button.
The process of installing and starting the program did not take long, but don’t be alarmed if it seems to take a while as it looks for fonts and other assets that you already have on your computer.
If you use multiple monitors, like I do, you may find that there are different parts of the program on different screens. This allows the user to have as much work space as possible. I have 3 monitors and found a “dock” on each of my two side monitors. I pulled them onto my main monitor to take this screen shot.
If you’d like to bring everything onto one screen, go to the “Windows” tab at the top of the screen and select “Single-Window Mode” from the drop down menu. Once selected, this option will remain enabled until you turn it off, even if you close the program.
And now, we’re ready to begin! So if you’d like to give the program a try, I recommend that you download it and get ready to do a little editing. The options available with the program are incredible!