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Is it sensible to ask for a short statement of the basic operating procedure for GIMP?

I am thinking something like this:

For existing files:

Open the file. Create a copy layer to work with keeping the original there untouched at all times. Create a background layer that all cuts get pasted to. Work on your copied layer...

That sort of thing?

I have stumbled through a few operations at various times guided by web advice but I'm thinking this is the bit I'm missing that stops me figuring it out for myself....

kinda lost... when looking at 'how to' manuals they always quickly get too specific and never give me this basic outline design philosophy if that's what I could call it...

asking too much? or asking the wrong thing? or possible?

closed as too broad by Billy Kerr, Scott, Paolo Gibellini, Lucian, Luciano Jan 3 '18 at 9:25

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    To learn GIMP, look up beginner tutorials. There are thousands on youtube. – Billy Kerr Dec 24 '17 at 22:28
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    The only basic procedure for any application would be .. open image or create new document... work on it... save the document. Beyond that, there are no universal common procedures. – Scott Dec 25 '17 at 2:25
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GIMP and many other image edit and creation software provide too many features to be able to condense "the basic operating procedure" into a few paragraphs.

That aspect that makes these programs useful also make them complex enough that specifics are usually the only way to accomplish a task. As an example, a friend desired to have step-by-step instruction for green screen compositing using GIMP. Together we created a document with example images which would enable almost anyone to perform an entertaining image creation.

To prevent confusion, it was a rather verbose document, not unlike my replies. When completed, it spanned fourteen pages in 12 point type in MS Word! That was to accomplish a single specific goal.

GIMP is far more capable than that one task and would require volumes to cover everything.

Like you, I desire often to have a good overview of a particular program in order to better grasp the possibilities. Such an overview might provide for easier learning as well, but I've found these overviews to be non-existent.

It is typical for online tutorials and published documents/books to present a project for practice, covering the specifics of the task. From performing each individual step of the project, one is expected to learn how the step interacts with the project, but also one is expected to expand from this understanding and apply it for future projects.

That aspect of documentation is lacking in most instances. I would like to see, in the above described example, what happens if something goes wrong, but also how one might apply a particular feature to a different project in a different form.

Of course, such a document or tutorial quickly becomes excessively large and impossible to absorb.

Thanks to internet resources with respect to tutorial videos and supporting posts, one should be able to find an answer to a task, using specific directions, but then it's up to the viewer to learn to apply such information in the future.

  • Point in case: just count the number of posts beginning with "I started with gimp but how do i just this one simple thing [complicated subject that has never been asked before]". – usr2564301 Dec 24 '17 at 22:58
  • @usr2564301 This questioner makes it better. He hasn't even an image of which to ask "how do i replicate this". He wants the real Philosopher's Stone. It's not a dumb goal. I would really appreciate it if I had one. I'm not really sure if that stone exists. – user287001 Dec 25 '17 at 12:27
  • So the answer is 'No'. It is not "...sensible to ask for a short statement of the basic operating procedure for GIMP..." But I'm not sure the answer, correct as it is in what it says, really addresses the question. Rather it makes more of it than was put. '... provide too many features to be able to condense "the basic operating procedure"......' – arthur brogard Dec 25 '17 at 23:50

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