I have an 8.5×11 PDF which has some stuff on it and an image I want to crop turn it into a 4×6 format. I used GIMP to crop the image, made a new template, pasted it (it just sits in the center, but I want it to fill the entire 4×6 background), rotated it counterclockwise 90 degrees. I don’t know what to do from there.

I try to resize it to 400×600 pixels but it rotates the image back to the way it was before and it’s obviously too big. I’m thinking the image isn’t sized right and neither is the template.

  • Welcome to Graphic Design SE. Can you please edit your question clarify whether the part you want to crop already has the desired aspect ratio or whether it needs to be transformed. It would also help if you can some screenshots to illustrate where you are stuck.
    – Wrzlprmft
    Jun 24, 2019 at 18:10
  • Hi there! I’ll try to get a picture when I’m at my computer, but yes, the part that I want to crop needs to be rotated and transformed (at least I think so; 99% sure). Basically, I’ve got a label printer and it prints in 4”x6”. It works flawlessly. But every once in a while, a website will give me a label that’s formatted in 8.5”x11” with other text around the label (“cut here”, insert slip, etc). So id like to crop out the actual label and flip it and print it in my 4”x6” label printer. Thank you!
    – chart
    Jun 25, 2019 at 10:09

1 Answer 1


Partial answer, too long for a comment:

Rule #1: Gimp works with pixels, because the real data in your image is in the pixels. Everything else can be set/reset easily. However, modifications to pixels are final. With this in mind:

When you load a PDF the default print definition is 100 PPI. This is usually too low for printing; you can set the print definition to 300 PPI when opening the PDF, and aim for a 1200×1800 px image to be printed in 4"×6" format.

The image as displayed by Gimp on your screen is not the size of the printed image. By default, Gimp maps one pixel in the image to one pixel on the screen (aka "dot for dot" view). So the image is displayed with the definition of your screen and not with the "print definition" set in the image. This can be toggled with View → Dot for dot.

When you copy to a new image, Gimp copies pixels. But the print definition is the one of the target image. You can reset the print definition of an image using Image → Print size, keeping in mind that this doesn't change the size in pixels, only how big it is printed (and displayed if not using dot for dot).

There are are several way to rotate an image (or parts of it). The Rotate tool requires to “commit” the rotation when you are happy with what the preview shows (otherwise it resets the rotation when you switch to something else). But in your case you likely want one of the Image → Transform → Rotate 90° CW|CCW actions.

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