Sunday, 30 October 2011

To make your greencard passport photo 600 x 600 pixels on Ubuntu/Linux using Gimp

Do you use the good ol' Ubuntu? Have you tried to make your photo 600 by 600 pixels (you and I know what it's for!) without success? I have made a simple video, unfortunately it has no sound, but unless you are dumb you will follow the easy steps. You will need to install Gimp image editor from your software centre for Ubuntu. Just type “Gimp” and when it comes you know what to do. Gimp is the equivalent of Photoshop (may be they are not even equals). I find Gimp easier to work with. This is my first tutorial, and I hope it helps you.

  1. First know what photo you're going to use, a photo that can make a passport photo. This means that when you take your passport photo you should not first crop it elsewhere, or using any other program (like Shotwell image viewer). Just leave it as it is. Also, make sure your background is plain, and that there are no objects behind you. It is always advisable to make a copy of that. You can place the copy in the desktop or wherever is convenient for you. Right click on your photo so that you specify what program you want to open with. I am using Ubuntu 11.04 Natty N. so on the options that come, “Open With . . .” comes second. Hover your pointer over it (“open with”) so that the options on the arrow can be shown. If you installed Gimp already then you should be able to see it. So 'open with' Gimp. Wait until it loads and your photo appears. It will open two windows, one named “toolbox”, and the other containing the name of you photo. Remember we said that you should not have cropped this photo before. Here we are not resizing but we are doing the real cropping which will give you that 600 by 600.
  2. On the Gimp “toolbox” window on the third row of those small icons representing the different tools, you will see the “crop tool”. I am using Gimp 2.0 so if it is not on the third row in any other version just hover you pointer over the icons until it shows you the crop tool. Click on the crop tool and move to your photo. Click on any point in the workspace of your photo that you would like to start. It can be anywhere inside the window containing you photo. The most important thing is to make a square 600 X 600 which you can later drag to cover any features of your photo that you need. So click on a starting point. Then, holding down the right button, drag your pointer to size your rectangle while reading the bottom of that window, where the pixels are shown. (The video shows me doing that so it should not be a problem). On the left of that you see two figures separated by a comma (,) moving with px after those figures, e.g. 345, 765 px. That is not what you should check. On the right of the same figures it says Rectangle: 700 x 427 (0.176:1), something of the sort. Now that is what you check for. Size and resize your rectangle until you make it a “rectangle” of 600 x 600, that is until it shows that it is Rectangle: 600 x 600 (1.00:1). (These figures are not visible the moment you release your mouse but to see them you just go to the edges of your rectangle and click on the lines.) It then tells you to “Enter” to crop.
  3. Do that and after your photo is cropped right click and choose file and then “Save As . . .” not “save”. After that choose “Save” on both windows that appear, including the second which asks to save in JPEG. There you go! And photos cropped in this way rarely cross 80 KB so do not worry about the size. After saving, right click and select “properties” down at the bottom. The window opens on “basic” at the top. On Basic, you see the basic properties of your photo including its size, and on the “Image” option, you see the size and all . I hope this helps.


  1. In case you miss it, the word VIDEO wherever it appears is a hyperlink. click on it to watch the "video"


What do you think about it?