How to Print a Grid From GIMP

Updated April 17, 2017

The open source image manipulation program Gimp has a command that displays a grid to help users align their photos and other images. Users can't print this grid; it's a resource that exists only on Gimp's digital canvas. Gimp does have a filter for creating a grid that users can print, however. Using this filter lets users apply grids as aids for aligning the printed parts of overlarge pictures, for example. In Gimp, users overlay the grid on such a picture, then print the picture in small pieces, like those of a jigsaw puzzle. They then assemble these pieces by aligning their gridlines to re-form the larger picture.

Click the "Filters" menu, then select the "Render" sub-menu.

Click the "Pattern" item, then click the "Grid" command to display the dialogue box for creating printable grids.

Click the button that appears to the far right of the dialogue box. This box determines the units with which Gimp is currently measuring the thickness of the grid lines. These units include pixels, inches, per cent, points and millimetres.

Click the units you want to use for thickness. For example, if you're accustomed to working with inches, click the "inches" item. Gimp will update the text in the "width" text boxes to reflect the conversion to the unit you chose.

Click the up or down arrows of the text boxes labelled "vertical" or horizontal," in the row of text boxes labelled "width." Gimp automatically redraws the sample grid as you click. Clicking the down arrows for either the "vertical" or "horizontal" controls makes the lines thinner on the sample grid. Clicking the up arrows has the opposite effect.

Repeat Step 4 to select the units with which Gimp measures the width of each square in the grid. The dialogue box labels this width as "spacing."

Click the up or down sliders in the controls within the "Spacing" row to make the sample grid's squares larger or smaller.

Repeat Step 4 to select the units Gimp uses to refer to the distance between the grid's origin and the upper left corner of the drawing canvas. The dialogue box labels this distance as "Offset."

Click the up or down arrows of the controls in the "Offset" row to move the grid as a whole in relation to the canvas's upper left corner.

Click one of the black buttons at the bottom of the grid dialogue box to open the colour palette for the grid's vertical and horizontal lines.

Click the colour you want for the horizontal or vertical lines, then click "OK" to return to the dialogue box for the grid's settings.

Click "OK" to complete the grid's settings. Gimp paints the grid with the settings you chose.

Click the file menu's "Print" command to print the grid.

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About the Author

Darrin Koltow wrote about computer software until graphics programs reawakened his lifelong passion of becoming a master designer and draftsman. He has now committed to acquiring the training for a position designing characters, creatures and environments for video games, movies and other entertainment media.