GIMP is an advanced graphic design program you can use to create multi-layer workbooks that can be compressed, as desired, into traditional picture files with extensions such as ".jpg" or ".png." You can download the editing software for free by visiting GIMP's official homepage and following the installation instructions. Launch the program and select "File" and then either "New" or "Open" to create a new file or open an existing one.
Insert the layers with which you want to work. If you have picture files you want to insert, select "File" and "Open as Layer" to locate the pre-existing images in your documents. To create a new layer, select the "Layer" tab and click on "New Layer." From the pop-up box that will appear, click on the background fill type of your choice, such as "Transparency," and press "OK."
Open the "Layers" dialog by selecting the "Windows" tab and clicking on "Dockable Dialogs" and then "Layers." The Layers window will appear, showing a thumbnail of each layer in your workbook.
Click on the thumbnail of the layer you want to reorder. To raise that layer, click on the "Up Arrow" icon and the layer will be moved one step closer to the foreground. To lower that layer, click on the "Down Arrow" icon and the layer will be moved one step closer to the background.
Hold down the "Shift" key while clicking on the "Up Arrow" icon if you want to move the layer to the very top of the layer stack. Similarly, hold down the "Shift" key while clicking on the "Down Arrow" icon if you want to lower that layer to the very bottom of the layer stack.
Save your changes by selecting "File" and "Save As." Follow the prompt to enter a filename and press "Save."
Tips & Warnings
- If you want to hide a layer, you can click on the "Eye" icon to the left of the corresponding thumbnail in the "Layers" window. To "unhide" a layer, click where the "Eye" used to sit and the eye will reappear.
- To save your workbook as a multi-layer file, use GIMP's native file extension ".xcf." If you solely save your workbook using a picture extension, the layers will be compressed into a single layer and you will no longer be able to edit the layers separately.
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
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