hopefully helpful How-to
(Q.) How can I install GIMP on my mac?
(Q.) There's 4 different packages. Which one do I need to download?
(Q.) What's the difference between Gimp.app, Wilber Loves Apple and macports builds?
(Q.) What is X11? Do I really need it? Is a non-X11 version planned?
(Q.) I'm trying to install X11, it says I already have a newer version.
(Q.) Can I run gimp on 10.3.9?
Integration with OS X
(Q.) I must click windows to activate them before I can use them, is there a way I can spare myself
all those clicks?
(Q.) Can I use Command key instead of Control, just like in all other mac apps?
(Q.) I can't use the native mac clipboard with GIMP.
(Q.) Are tablets (wacom, etc.) supported?
(Q.) GIMP won't open at all.
(Q.) GIMP opens, but crashes as soon as I try to paint.
(Q.) Importing postscript files does not seem to work.
(Q.) I get little squares instead of text in the windows.
(Q.) I can't export .xpm files.
(Q.) How can I install brushes?
(Q.) How can I install fonts?
(Q.) How can I install plug-ins?
(Q.) What about GAP?
Building and contributing
(Q.) How can I compile GIMP and provide packages?
(Q.) How can I install GIMP on my mac?
See the following guides:
for mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger) : here
for mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) : here
(Q.) There's 4 different packages. Which one do I need to download? ↑
It depends on your system version and architecture. Check "About this mac" in the "Apple" menu at the top-left corner of the screen.
(Q.) What's the difference between Gimp.app, Wilber Loves Apple and macports builds? ↑
macports will build everything from source. Gimp.app and Wilber Loves Apple both provide GIMP packages for mac in a very similar way, the main difference being that Wilber Loves Apple usually provides more up to date versions of GIMP and also provide support via forums and documentation. If all you want is to use GIMP on mac for free, Wilber Loves Apple is currently probably the easiest way.
(Q.) What is X11? Do I really need it? Is a non-X11 version planned? ↑
X11 comes from the Linux world, just like GIMP. X11.app is a way for mac computers to run many linux applications. Currently, X11.app is required for GIMP to run. However, there is a native version that is being worked on, that will not require X11. We do not yet know for sure when it will be ready for casual use but it's coming.
(Q.) I'm trying to install X11, it says I already have a newer version. ↑
Don't download from the apple website, it's an outdated version. Use the one on your install disk instead.
(See install instructions)
(Q.) Can I run gimp on 10.3.9? ↑
Wilber Loves Apple currently does not have a 10.3.9 maintainer. So you can :
1) Build using macports (it still supports 10.3.9. you may need to get help from them though about bugs you could meet along the way)
1.1) Make a package using macports and the instructions provided in the Development area of the forum so we can publish it
2) Search for an older GIMP version, perhaps from the sf.net/projects/gimp-app project
3) Commercial product MacGIMP offer versions that work on older systems.
(Q.) I must click windows to activate them before I can use them, is there a way I can spare myself all those clicks? ↑
While Gimp and X11 are closed, open /Applications/Utilities/Terminal, and paste the following commands in it and press enter:
For MacOS 10.4 Tiger and MacOS 10.5 Leopard:
defaults write com.apple.x11 wm_ffm -bool false
defaults write com.apple.x11 wm_click_through -bool true
For MacOS 10.5 Leopard with updates from XQuartz:
defaults write org.x.X11 wm_ffm -bool false
defaults write org.x.X11 wm_click_through -bool true
If you are not sure, just try both ways.
(Q.) Can I use Command key instead of Control, just like in all other mac apps? ↑
Sure, you can read a how-to here
(Q.) I can't use the native mac clipboard with GIMP. ↑
If you wish to copy or paste with native clipboard, you need to use a special procedure. You have to (for example) :
1) copy the image in any mac programm: command+C
2) open Gimp
3) Use menu file -> get -> from clipboard
(Q.) Are tablets (wacom, etc.) supported? ↑
Unfortunately, X11 does not currently allow the use of tablets therefore, as far as we know, there is at this point no way to use tablets with GIMP on mac. It is however planned that the native version, when it's ready, should eventually support it.
(Q.) Gimp won't open at all. ↑
(on OS X 10.5 Leopard)
make sure that you are running at least MacOS 10.5.2, and your X11 version is recent enough (make sur you read this
. You'll need either XQuartz 2.2 or the Apple X11 packages updated to OS X 10.5.2 version).
(on OS X 10.4)
make sure you have X11 installed (see our install guide above). Also make sure you have the X11 version 1.1.1 or better, if you installed X11 when you were on 10.3 and later upgraded to 10.4, your old X11 won't work. You also may need to install updates through Software Update. Do not install X11 packages from the Apple website, they are outdated.
(Q.) GIMP opens, but crashes as soon as I try to paint. ↑
This usually happens on mac OS X 10.5 Leopard only. If you installed XQuartz 2.1.4
, try upgrading to 2.2 or even downgrading to 2.1.2, their update contains a bug that affects GIMP. You can also install the Apple X11 packages (see install instructions). In any case, if you get bugs with the XQuartz packages it would be a good idea to report it to them so they can fix it.
(Q.) Importing postscript files does not seem to work. ↑
This appears to be a random bug with macports (the tool we use to compile GIMP).
We have found a fix and it should be slowly making its way into new builds. Meanwhile, if you got a build where it doesn't work, you can convert them to another format like png using Preview.app and then import them in GIMP.
(Q.) I get little squares instead of text in the windows. ↑
You probably put GIMP in a directory or a path containing special characters like & or /, try moving it to /Applications or even your desktop.
(Q.) I can't export .xpm files. ↑
This is due to a bug in X11 for Tiger. This is fixed in Leopard, but for now we are not aware of any fix for Tiger.
(Q.) How can I install brushes? ↑
See tutorial here
(Q.) How can I install fonts? ↑
You must add your mac's font directory in Gimp's font search paths :
File -> Preferences -> Folders -> Fonts (unfold the little triangle to see this item).
(Q.) How can I install plug-ins? ↑
Scheme (.scm) scripts can go in [your home]/Library/Applications Support/Gimp/scripts (create directory if necessary)
Python (.py) scripts can go in [your home]/Library/Applications Support/Gimp/plug-ins (create directory if necessary)
C plugins, on the other hand, are more difficult since they usually need to be built from source first. Look at this thread if you feel brave.
(Q.) What about GAP? ↑
GAP is very hard to compile and package on mac, because it depends on a lot of libraries. Furthermore, it does not really help for the average animation, it's more for using movies. Also, you can do animated gifs in GIMP without GAP (put one image of the animation in each layer, then export as .gif and check the "Animation" option in the export dialog).
(Q.) How can I compile GIMP and provide packages? ↑
See the compilation and packaging guide
. Also make sure to visit the Development section of our forum, there will be more resources there, and we always need people to give us a hand :)