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Saving JPG files in GIMP

by Alan German

One of my favourite public-domain software tools is the GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP). This free digital image editor is extremely powerful (having been compared to Photoshop), yet can be very simple to use, and has a wide range of web-based how-to’s and video tutorials.

I mainly use it for simple cropping and resizing of digital photographs and screenshots but, on occasion, have used some of the more obscure tools, such as the “magic scissors” to extract part of an image from its background. One of the reasons that I use this software is that it is available on multiple platforms so I can use essentially the same procedures on both Windows and Linux. However, this isn’t always so.

For some inexplicable (to me) reason, the developers of the Windows’ version chose to “update” the program’s features so that, by default, saving an image results in a .XCF file. This doesn’t work for me since, if I load and edit a JPG file, I generally want to save the result as a JPG file, and usually the same JPG file.

The official solution is to “export” the edited file and specify the extension as .JPG; however, this requires: (a) remembering to use the Export command, and (b) completing a number of dialogue boxes before the file is actually stored. Oh, for those simpler days of File-Edit-Save!


GIMP plug-in


But, all is not lost. One of the powerful features of GIMP is its ability to accept plug-ins. And, wouldn’t you know, a very kind user - a somewhat modest Paul Sherman* - has created and made available a Python script that plugs into the File menu and provides a “Save as JPG” option.

Now editing and saving a JPG file is simple. Open the file, make the edits, and select File – Save as JPG. A single dialogue box asks what output quality (file compression) is required and the edited file is saved with its original name – and its original JPG extension!

So, thanks Paul. This little utility is a really useful adjunct to a really useful program.

* “Paul” doesn’t include authorship details on his web site, but his E-mail address is

Bottom Line:

Script to save as JPG, more easily... (
Version 1.1
Paul Sherman

GNU Image Manipulation Program (Open-source)
Version 2.8

Originally published: April, 2015

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