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Extra info for Beginning GIMP: From Novice to Professional, Second Edition
11 12 CHAPTER 1 ■ GETTING TO KNOW GIMP The Image menu contains functions that apply to the current image as a whole, while the Layer menu contains functions that operate only on the current layer. In some cases they look like copies of each other: for instance, Transform, Scale, and Autocrop appear in both menus. But they’re different in whether they affect a single layer or the whole image. This distinction will become much clearer in Chapter 3 when you start to use layers. The Colors menu contains functions related to (you guessed it) the colors of the image.
In particular, you’ll be using the Layers dialog quite a lot starting with Chapter 3, and I’ll just call it the Layers dialog— it doesn’t matter whether you keep it by itself or docked with seven other dialogs. Menu Overview You’ll learn all about the functions in GIMP’s menus as you explore later chapters, but here’s a quick tour of which menu does what. The Toolbox menu bar offers operations that don’t apply to a specific image. This includes File operations such as New and Open, the Dialogs menu, a Help menu for online help, and a menu labeled Xtns (short for “Extensions”).
This is different from the file type list right above it: it’s for unusual situations where GIMP cannot detect the format of an image file automatically. It is seldom useful: if GIMP can’t detect an image file’s type on its own, it usually means that the file has been damaged in some way, in which case the selector won’t help. However, if you have an image that you think may have the wrong extension, it’s worth a try. Besides the Open dialog, GIMP offers two more Open options in its File menu: Open Location, which allows you to paste a web URL, and the Open Recent menu, which lists images you’ve edited… well, recently.