How to Open Raw Images in Gimp

This article is provided courtesy of the Gimp Help Center.

What is GIMP?

GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) is a free and open source image manipulation program developed for Unix-like operating systems such as Linux and Microsoft Windows, and designed primarily to work in an X Window environment. GIMP features a user interface similar to Photoshop’s, offering many photo editing operations. It was originally developed by Spencer Kimball and Peter Mattis between 1994 and 2000, while it was still being distributed as “The GIMP” (a name inspired by the first letter of each founder’s last name). GIMP is licensed under GNU GPL.

GIMP’s development has been supported by the GIMP Developers community since its beginnings, and the project has attracted a large user base over the years. There is now also a GIMP-based product called PhotoGimp (by Corel Corporation), which is intended to be a GIMP plugin.

Why would I use GIMP?

GIMP allows you to modify digital images in various ways, including retouching, compositing, coloring and redrawing. It also offers many additional effects and special tools, such as image filters, 3D modeling and animation, text and vector drawing, color picking, digital painting, and so on. The program can import most common graphics formats, and it supports a wide range of file types, allowing you to save and/or export files of any type.

How to Open Raw Images in Gimp

The GIMP Help Center contains some useful information on how to work with raw images, along with tutorials on other topics that will help you improve your workflow.

Step 1

Open the raw image file, if it isn’t already open in your favorite image editing program. You can do this by either opening the file itself, or by double-clicking on the image file. For instance, you can double-click on a jpeg or png image file, or right-click on a raw file and select Open with GIMP. In most cases, the file will open automatically and show up in the main window. However, if you need to see the full raw file data, go to File->Show Raw Data, or press F9. This will open up the raw image data in the image editor.

If the raw data is shown, you can perform a variety of different operations on the image, such as changing the format or compression method, flipping, cropping, rotating, recoloring, and so on. The raw data is what GIMP is actually working with, and if you have edited the image, the changes will only be reflected in the raw data. If you need to undo any edits to the image, just open the raw data, and repeat the steps that you took in step 1.

The raw data that GIMP shows should not be confused with the actual image data. To get at the image data, use the Edit menu, or press the F8 key.

Step 2

Go to File->Open…

Step 3

Select Raw Image

Step 4

Open the raw image in your favorite image editing program. The image will open in a new window, and will show the raw image data as it appears in the GIMP editor.

How to Save a Raw Image

Once you are done editing the raw image, you can save it as a new file. You can also save a copy of the original image, as a copy, or as a compressed version of the original image. You can also save the raw image data as a copy or compressed version of the original raw data. To save a copy of the original, go to File->Save As, then choose a location and file format. To save a copy of the original data, press F9, then choose Save to raw data and select a destination. To save a compressed copy of the original, press F9, then choose Save to raw data and select a compression method.

Step 5

Set the Filename

By default, the new file will be called the same name as the original raw file, except with “.xmp” appended to the end. To specify a different filename, go to File->Save As, then choose a location and file format. Select the Custom… button, then enter a name for the file.