Get started with the Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi logo, a trademark of the Raspberry Pi Foundation.For Adult Learners’ Week 2014, we are speaking about the Raspberry Pi. This is as part of our work with the London Borough of Redbridge Libraries. The talk will cover everything you need to know to get started with the Raspberry Pi.

It is on Saturday 14 June at Gants Hill Library. More details to follow or contact us for information and updates.

Crop a photo with GIMP

How to crop a photo or image using GIMP. This is how to do a simple crop. It uses the Crop Tool.

Good practice note: always copy your image first and work on the copy.

1. Open your photo

  • In GIMP: File –> Open
  • From your File Browser: Right click –> Open With –> GIMP Image Editor

Screenshot shows opening a document using GIMP photo editing software.

2. Choose the Crop Tool

  • Click on the Crop Tool in the Toolbox. It looks like a scalpel.
  • If it’s hard to find, hover over the icons to show the yellow tool tips.
  • You can also select the Crop Tool by clicking SHIFT + C.

Screenshot shows selecting the crop tool for photo editing.

3. Select the area to keep

  • Hold the left mouse button and drag to select the area you want to keep.
  • Highlight is selected by default. This makes the area you will keep bright and dulls the part of the picture that will be cropped.

Screenshot shows Highlight option in the cropping dialogue toolbox.

4. Changing the size of your selection

  • Click and drag on the sides to change the size of your selection.
  • And/Or click and drag at the top and bottom.
  • And/Or click and drag at the corners.

Screenshot shows adjusting the size of cropping area.

5. Using the cursor or mouse pointer

  • Look at the mouse pointer as you hover over the drag lines.
  • It will change to show what GIMP will do if you start dragging in that position.
  • (This does not show in these screenshots.)

Screenshot shows changing height and width of cropped area.

6. Using Size in the Crop dialogue box

  • Look at Size in the Crop dialogue box as you drag the drag handles on the drag lines.
  • The numbers change as you drag. You can change the measurement units that show the size.
  • You can adjust the size precisely by typing in the size boxes or by using the arrows.

Screenshot shows Size options, in pixels, in the cropping dialogue box.

7. Changing the Position of your selection

  • Hover on the bright part of the picture. The mouse pointer will change to a diamond shape.
  • Click and hold the left mouse button to move your selection over other areas of the picture.
  • In the Crop dialogue box Position works in the same way as Size.

Screenshot shows moving the postion of the part of the picture to crop.

8. Making the Crop

  • When you are happy with your selection. EITHER:
  • Double-click on the bright part of the picture (your selection) OR
  • Press Enter or Return on your keyboard.

Screenshot shows final edit selection for area being cropped.

9. Save and finish

  • Save your cropped photo or image.
  • Menu: File –> Save
  • Keyboard shortcut: CTRL + S

Screenshot shows completed cropped photograph of a tiger ready to save.

About GIMP

GIMP logo featuring Wilber, the GIMP mascot, as a wizard.GIMP is the GNU Image Manipulation Program. It is similar to Photoshop. We offer graphic design services for print and the web. We also provide training and support. For all your design wizardry contact us here or visit our main website.

Colophon for our GIMP posts: magic wand with stars on a purple-gradient background.

Why Linux Mint?

We’ve been running our Open Options sessions at Redbridge Central Library, in Ilford, for a few months now. I think it’s good time to revisit our early decisions.

We chose Linux Mint because, out of the box, it has a relatively close feel to Microsoft Windows. That gives it a familiarity for new users.

Although we have our custom-built operating system, running on the servers we supply, we work with many other systems. My personal desktop of choice, in the office and at home, is Linux Mint. This means I can provide support that is rooted in my everyday practical user experience.

Linux Mint is the 4th most widely used home operating system and is based on the 3rd most widely used. A result of its popularity is that there is a lot of online help, support and a strong user community.

What is Linux Mint?

Linux Mint is a packaged distribution. It comes with an operating system, a set of software applications, and access to add (many) more applications. When it’s installed it looks like this:

Screenshot of the Linux Mint desktop.

And with the menu open, it looks like this:

Screenshot of the Linux Mint desktop with open menu.

Operating System (OS)

Linux Mint is built on the GNU/Linux operating system. I’m planning to write a post about what GNU is and what Linux is … sometime soon. I’ll come back here and link to that post for people who’d like to know a little more. To keep things simple, GNU/Linux is equivalent to Windows 8 (Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP) or Mac OSX. You can install Linux Mint on a PC and on a Mac.

Applications (software)

When you install Linux Mint it comes with a set of applications. This is the same as buying a Windows or Mac operating system and an office suite. The office suite that comes with Linux Mint is called LibreOffice. It includes six programs: word processor, spreadsheet, presentation, drawing, database, and maths. Linux Mint also comes with a range of other applications including: web browser, media player, graphic design, and email.

Software Manager

The Software Manager is an integral part of Linux Mint. It is the main — but not the only — way of adding and removing software applications. You will find a link to it in the main Linux Mint menu. The icon is a yellow star and when you open it, it looks like this:

Screenshot of the Linux Mint Software Manager.

It links to an online repository of about 62,500 software packages. All the software in the Software Manager is free of charge. It is all licensed for commercial and non-commercial use.

More about Linux Mint

If you are local, come and try Linux Mint at one of our drop-ins. Our Open Options sessions run on the first Friday of every month in east London. They are open to all and you don’t need to book. See the side panel for more information. Visit the Linux Mint main website (opens in a new window or tab).