How to Change the Size of an Image in GIMP

GIMP (GNU Image Manipulating Program) is among the best open-source editing tools for adjusting image dimensions and file size without compromising quality. Although changing an image’s size sounds like an easy task, you might need guidance when doing it on GIMP. Otherwise, you’ll distort the image’s attributes and visual appeal.

How to Change the Size of an Image in GIMP

If you’re unfamiliar with image resizing on GIMP, this article will explain the process.

Resizing an Image on GIMP

To enhance visual storytelling, each digital platform recommends the image dimensions and aspect ratio users should adhere to. As a result, most people end up cropping images, leading to un-unified and unprofessional-looking photos. Luckily with GIMP, you can access the features for changing your image to any size while maintaining resolution and aspect ratio.

Resizing an Image Size on GIMP Using the Scale Image Feature

Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Go to your device’s home screen and launch your GIMP application. When it opens, select the “File” option in the menu bar at the top.
  2. Tap the “Open” option in the drop-down menu to pick the image you want to edit from your device.
  3. After selecting the image, hit the “Open” option in the bottom right corner, and your image will be added to the editing dashboard. Navigate to the menu bar at the top and tap the “Image” option.
  4. Select “Scale image” from the drop-down menu to open the scale image dialogue box.
  5. Before changing the image dimensions, move to the “Interpolation” section and select “Cubic” or “Sinc (lanczos3)” from the drop-down menu. This will help retain the image quality when you alter the size.
  6. Go to the “Image size” section and enter your image’s width value in the appropriate box. Alternatively, select the “Width” box, tap the drop-down arrow beside it to the right, and select your desired size.
    • If the chain icon beside the dimension boxes is locked, the height dimensions will auto-change to a size proportion to the width. This happens to maintain the image resolution. If you want to input your height value, tap the chain to prevent GIMP from automatically updating the size.
    • To change the dimensions units from pixels, tap the drop-down menu beside “Px” and select your desired unit.
    • Beneath the image size section, there is an X and Y resolution section, which is for printing purposes. If you intend to print your image, adjust both values to 300 pixels, which is the typical print resolution.
  7. When you finish, tap “Scale” at the bottom of the dialogue box, and your image will be ready.
  8. Tap the “File” option in the menu bar at the top and choose “Export as.” Select “JPEG image” and set the image quality at 100.
  9. Hit the “Export” button to save the image on your computer.

Resizing an Image on GIMP Using the Scale Tool

Instead of inputting the image dimensions, this method involves uploading your image and dragging the scale outwards or inwards to achieve your desired size. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Launch your GIMP app and upload your image in the editing dashboard, as explained in the above method.
  2. When your image is ready, navigate to the “Tool palette” in the top left corner and select the “Unified transform tool.” It’s the sixth option in the first row. This will add a scale with square boxes around your image.
  3. Move to the “Constrain (shift)” section and check the “Scale” option.
  4. Scroll to the “From pivot” and also check the “Scale” option.
  5. Go to the square boxes on the sides of your image and use the mouse or touchpad to drag them outward toward the window edges to enlarge the image. Conversely, drag them inward to reduce the image’s size. You can monitor the image size by checking the pixel percentage in the bottom left corner of the window.
  6. Once your image is ready, tap the “File” option in the menu bar at the top and select the “Export as” option. Choose “JPEG” and set the image quality to 100.
  7. Tap the “Export” button to save your resized image on your device.

Note that when you drag the resizing boxes, the changes happen simultaneously and proportionately in the width and height by default to maintain the image aspect ratio. If you want to change the width or the height alone, press “Shift” when dragging the scale boxes.

Resizing an Image with Layers in GIMP

If your image has layers such as another image, text, objects, or shapes, resizing each element individually is crucial to creating an aesthetically pleasing overall composition. It also helps you to emphasize and de-emphasize image details.

Here’s how you resize image layers in GIMP:

  1. Open your layered image on GIMP editing dashboard.
  2. Tap the layer you want to edit and tap the “Layer” option in the menu bar at the top.
  3. Select “Scale layer” in the drop-down menu.
  4. Go to the “Layer size” section, input the layer’s width dimension, and hit “Enter.” If the chain icon to the right is locked, the length dimension will auto-change when you adjust the width.
  5. Tap “Scale,” and the layer’s size will automatically change. Repeat the process for other layers.
  6. When you finish, tap the “File” option in the menu bar at the top and select “Export as.” Choose “JPEG” and tap “Export” at the bottom to save the file on your computer.


Can I resize my image on GIMP without changing it permanently?

Unfortunately, once you edit an image on GIMP, it becomes permanently altered. If you want to keep the original image, save a copy on your device before editing. Alternatively, you can duplicate the image and edit the layer on top of the original image.

Does adjusting my image file size affect the quality of my image?

Decreasing your image file size decreases its quality. The smaller the image file size, the poorer the quality, and vice versa.

Do I have to edit image layers each at a time?

You can select your image layers as a group from the Layers panel and apply a uniform size to all of them. However, this isn’t advisable because you’ll affect the proportions and alignments of each layer. The best practice is to edit each layer at a time.

Resize and Maintain Your Image’s Quality

At first, GIMP’s cluttered interface might scare you away when you want to resize your image. However, once you learn how to navigate it, you’ll be glad you have access to all the features. You can resize your image dimensions and size on different operating systems and modify the settings to retain its sharpness.

Do you use GIMP to resize your images? If so, which is your preferred resizing method? Let us know in the comments section below.

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