GIMP 2.6 Tips

GIMP 2.6 is out! But it has a few weird changes that may not suit everyone. Here are a few modifications to your gimprc file (see Chapter 8) to make window handling more like 2.4:

(toolbox-window-hint normal)
(dock-window-hint normal)
Window hints are now "utility" by default. While that's good for Windows people who want to minimize the number of taskbar entries, it's bad for anyone with a small screen, because it makes image windows always stay under the Toolbox and all dialogs. If you want to be able to put image windows on top, set the window hints to "normal".

(toolbox-wilber no)
Another small-screen fix: this gets rid of the empty area in the toolbox below the menus and above the tool buttons. It doesn't do anything, so it's just a waste of space.

More General GIMP Tips

Eliminate a solid background behind text or a simple figure:
For instance, if you have a solid white background with antialiased text on it, and you want to keep the text but change the background to transparent:
The Color to Alpha plug-in (in the Colors menu) will usually do a nice job, much better than Select by Color. If you need to touch up small areas, try drawing with the Paintbrush tool, with the foreground color set to the background color you want to erase and the tool's Mode set to Color Erase. (Make sure you've enabled alpha on the layer.)
Center a Layer:
Cut, then paste. The pasted layer comes out centered. (Unfortunately this loses text information, so if it's a text layer this isn't an ideal solution.)
Copy a layer, then paste it right on top of the previous version:
Do Layer to Imagesize before copying. Then copies of the layer will overlap the original.
Quick color picker:
When in a drawing tool (e.g. Paintbrush), pressing Ctrl temporarily switches to the color picker (eyedropper) tool to change the foreground color.
Make a pixmap brush that uses the current foreground color:
Before saving as .gbr, make sure your image is greyscale with no alpha channel. If you have any transparency, replace it with white, then "Flatten image" before saving.
Preview your image on top of a browser or other app:
Filters->Animation->Playback (yes, even for a single non-animated image), then click Detach. You'll get a detached window showing the image without any window borders or menus in the way.
"Autocrop all" (like the plug-in in Chapter 11):
The Crop and Rect/Ellipse select tools now offer an "Auto Shrink" option; use the "Shrink merged" option to take all layers into account, not just the current layer.
Preview some text in several different fonts:
In the font dialog (Dialogs->Fonts from the Toolbox window), right-click and choose "Render Font Map". Then give it a pattern, e.g. Script.