I apologize for the very general nature of this question but I do think it's something a lot of people could use tips on.
I've used Photoshop for about 10 years and don't have access to it now, so I'm trying to get used to Gimp. There are some very common things one would want to do in a graphics editing program, that at this point have very universal and thus intuitive ways of being done, not just specific to Photoshop, that when I try to do in Gimp I feel like I'm being tortured. I was hoping an experienced user who has made the transition might be able to give me some general pointers. I've included below a list of specific issues, but any general ideas like "what on Photoshop is this, is interpreted this way on Gimp," would be very appreciated.
- I import a new layer into Gimp. The new layer is smaller than the document. I want to move stuff around, incorporating it into my entire image, but Gimp crops out the image the moment it leaves the frame of the layer it was in. Every time I encounter this, I have to look up again how to change the size of the layer. It seems so counterintuitive and useless for this to be necessary! There must be an easier way.
- I want to copy and paste a selection. On every other application I've ever heard of, you can do this with command-C and command-V. Not here. I still have yet to find a straightforward way to just copy and paste. I feel like I have to trick the program into doing something that any user would clearly want to do.
- I want to delete a part of a layer, revealing the stuff that's behind it. Before I can do this, I need to control-click the layer, go to layer properties and tell it to add an alpha channel. Of course I want it to have an alpha channel! It's a layer!
- I select a layer in the layer window, one that is mostly transparent and has smaller images in it, for example text on a transparent background. I then go to click on it to do something, but if I click on a part that's transparent, it automatically switches me to a layer behind it. Is there any way to tell the program I want to work in the layer I selected, and stay there until I select a different one? Meanwhile it has no problem letting me, say, erase an accidentally selected hidden layer, with no warning.
- Every time I switch out of the application and then switch back in, my tools and layers windows are gone, and I have to re-open them. I don't think you can really do anything in the program without at least one of these windows open. Do I need to go into the preferences and set something saying that I have the program open because I intend on continuing to use it or what?
- Photoshop has something called "free transform," where you can resize, move, stretch, skew and rotate with various mouse movements, without having to finalize your decision until you're done. In Gimp, it seems you can resize and move via shift-t but otherwise you have to do and finalize each thing separately. Sometimes I don't know how I want it resized, for instance, without seeing how it looks under another change. Is that not possible here?
- I want to export an image of my picture. Let's say I want a .jpg. I go into the window for doing that and select my image format from the list. Then I have to manually change the file extension in the file name to the one that matches my choice, or get an error message. !?!
I realize I'm being a little ranty and complainy -- try to understand this post is a result of many long frustrated sessions trying to adapt to the program. I'm just looking for some general guidance and would rather not hang on to my current attitude about Gimp. So maybe you can get an idea of my perspective from the stuff I listed above and help me out ey?
Thanks in advance.