In the Gimp, files and images are parallel realities. A file is an image and an image is a file.
New images are created in The Gimp by creating new files. Go to the File menu and choose New and not only will you create a new file, you will also create a new image.
A more direct way of doing this is to type Control-N. The letter N of Control-N means new image.
Note that there are two different File menus in the Gimp. The first File menu is associated with the Gimp toolbox window. The second File menu is associated with the the Gimp Image window.
The toolbox window is the only Gimp window on the screen when you invoke the Gimp. The image window is the second window that appears after the toolbox window when you create a new image.
To get to the second File menu, you must right click on the image to bring up the image menu.
While files and images are parallel realities, they are not necessarily synchronous realities. Images often get ahead of files.
To bring an image back into synchronization, it must be saved as a file. There are two ways to do this. Choosing Save from the File menu after right-clicking on the image is one way. A shortcut for doing the same thing is to type Control-S for save after clicking on the image titlebar to make sure it is active.
You can tell whether or not your image and file are in synchronization by looking at the title bar for the image. An image that is out of Sync will have an asterisk in front of its name in the titlebar.
As soon as you save the image to the file, the asterisk goes away.
There are many different kinds of images. Two of the most common image formats are the GIF format and the JPEG format.
In the Gimp, to create a different kind of image, you create a different kind of file. A JPEG image will have a .jpg file extension at the end of its file name. A GIF image will have a .gif file extension at the end of its file name.
To convert an image from one file format to the other, you just simply save the image a second time with the appropriate file extension. Thus a GIF image will have a .gif file extension but can easily be converted to a JPEG file by saving the file all over again with .jpg file extension.
You do this by going to the File menu and choosing the Save As function. When you do, you will be prompted for a new file name. When prompted, type over the .gif extension with a .jpg extension.
In The Gimp, you can work with as many images as the limits of your computer hardware will allow. It is not unheard of to have 10 or more images appearing on your computer screen simultaneously.
How do you work with 10 images simultaneously? Easy. Open up 10 files simultaneously.
To close down some of these images, start to close files. You can do this from the File menu choosing Close there for close file.
Or you can type Control-W which suggests you are closing an image window. To close the image window and to close its corresponding file are in fact the same thing.
©Edward Abbott 2003