That last article was a doozy, but this one will be a little shorter now that you know some of the basics of GIMP.

When we last left our heroes we were learning to resize images to work well on Etsy listings. You may have noticed that when you upload an image to Etsy, the first preview it shows you is the tiny square image that will show up in searches. It’s zoomed in on the center of the image you uploaded. That zooming-in is called cropping — cutting off extra space from the sides of the image.

Chances are you can’t zoom in far enough with your camera (unless you have a fancy telephoto lens) to really fill the field of view with the item you’re photographing. Here are some before and after shots to show you what I’m talking about:

Open up GIMP and open a raw, uncropped image from your camera.

Notice that GIMP has two windows — one with the image in it and some toolbars across the top, and one vertical window with lots of buttons and controls. At the top of the vertical window, in the upper left corner, is the Rectangle Select tool (put your mouse over any of the little icons to find out what the different tools are called — the important one right now is that little grey rectangle). Click it and the bottom part of that window will change to show you the options for that tool.

For this, you don’t  need to pay attention to any of those options at all. Click somewhere on your image and drag the mouse, and then let go of the button. It will draw a rectangle on the screen. The object of this game is to make a rectangle that contains the important stuff in your image, and excludes the extra space and clutter on the outside.

If you draw a rectangle and want to start over because you don’t like the framing, just hit Ctrl+Z on your keyboard to undo it.

Once you’ve got the rectangle you want, click on Image on the top menu bar of the other window, and choose Crop to Selection. That will get rid of everything outside of the rectangle.

The dimensions of your image, in pixel, will be stated on the top title bar of that right-hand window. If it’s still larger than 1000 pixels in either dimension, click Image again and choose Scale Image to make it smaller (just like we did in the last tutorial).

Now  you’ve got a cropped and resized image for your Etsy listing! Click on File -> Save As to save the image under a new filename (if you just click File -> Save, the original raw image will be lost, so if you want to keep the original as well as the cropped image, use Save As).

Next time: use cropping, resizing, and some other cool tools to make a banner and an avatar!

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