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Beginning GIMP: From Novice to Professional

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An extremely large amount of the information we get on a daily basis comes from what we see. Imagery is therefore very important to those who want to communicate with us. When computers had advanced enough to be able to process images in a digital fashion, the market opened up for programs that could manipulate them in many ways. While many professionals would opt for the paid programs, there is a free alternative: GIMP (Gnu Image Manipulation Program). The only stumbling block is learning how to use it properly. That is where Beginning GIMP: From Novice to Professional, Second Edition by Akkana Peck comes in.

I first attempted to use GIMP to fix a photograph or two of mine, but was quickly bogged down in the many options available in the program. That is why I was happy to get my hands on a copy of Beginning GIMP. The book is based mainly on GIMP 2.4, but the author included a preview of GIMP 2.6 in Appendix D. When I downloaded the latest verson of GIMP from, I received GIMP 2.6.0. So I used the PortableApps version of GIMP (2.4.6) on Windows XP while reviewing the book and found only minor variations from the text.

One thing that strikes you as you open the book is the extensive use of color. Most texts are black-and-white throughout, but here you are presented with a pleasantly colorful tome. To follow the examples as best as I could, I downloaded the images available on the web site. Although the images are supposed to be for the 2nd edition, several of those shown in the text for demonstrations purposes are not included. It appears that the images for the tools new to GIMP 2.4 are missing from the web site. This is surprising, since the 1st edition of the book covered version 2.4, so you would expect the images to be there.

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