How to Edit .GIFs in Gimp

By Darrin Koltow

Understanding how to edit GIFs in the open source image manipulation program GIMP lets you crop, rotate, resize and perform other edits for this image type found on pages throughout the Web. You can also edit animated GIFs with GIMP. When working with GIFs, note that this format can only store 256 colors. If you want to add more colors, save the image in a different format, such as JPEG or PNG.

Crop

Step 1

Click the "File" menu's "Open" command, then navigate to and double click a GIF image on your hard drive that you want to crop. GIMP will load the GIF for you to edit.

Step 2

Click the tool palette icon shaped like two overlapping right angles to run the "Crop" tool.

Step 3

Click the mouse on the top left corner of the portion of the image you'd like to save.

Step 4

Drag to the lower right portion of the portion you want to save and release the mouse. Press enter to resize the canvas to the selection area you just defined.

Step 5

Click the "File" menu's "Save" command to save your image to disk.

Add Label

Step 1

Click the tool palette icon shaped like the letter "A" to run the "Text" tool.

Step 2

Click the font you want from the "Font" item in the "Tool options" panel, which is below the tool palette.

Step 3

Drag over the place on the GIF image where you'd like to place the label. GIMP will open a dialog box in which you can enter your text for the label.

Step 4

Type the text for the label.

Step 5

Click "Close" on the dialog box to install the text.

Edit Animated GIFs

Step 1

Click the "File" menu's "Open" command, then navigate to and double click an animated GIF you'd like to edit in GIMP. GIMP will load the image, placing each frame of the animation on its own layer.

Step 2

Click the item in the "Layers" window corresponding to the animating frame you want to edit. For example, if you want to edit the second frame of the animation, click "Frame2" in the "Layers" window.

Step 3

Click the tool palette icon shaped like a paintbrush to enter painting mode, if you want to repaint the image on the layer you chose. Click the "Eraser" tool if you want to erase an element of the image.

Step 4

Drag the mouse over the canvas to apply the tool you chose in the previous step. For example, if you're erasing an element of the image, drag the mouse over the element to erase it.

Step 5

Repeat steps two through four to edit the other frames of the animated GIF.

Step 6

Click the "File" menu's "Save" command. GIMP will display a dialog box offering you the option of saving the GIF's layers as animation frames. Click this option, which is labeled "Animation," then click "OK" to save the animation.

Step 7

Open your Web browser, then click the browser's "Open" command under its "File" menu. Navigate to and double click the animated GIF you saved in step six to display the animated GIF in the browser.