How to Save Images as PNGs in GIMP

Convert any image to the PNG format with GIMP

What to Know

  • Open the GIMP file you want to save in PNG format.
  • Select File > Export As > Select File Type. Choose PNG Image, and then select Export.
  • Adjust the settings as needed and select Export again.

This article explains how to convert a GIMP image to the PNG format. It includes information for optimizing images for web use. Instructions in this article apply to GIMP version 2.10 for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

How to Save a PNG in GIMP

The regular file format for images produced in GIMP is XCF, which isn't suitable for use outside the graphics program. When you've finished working on an image in GIMP, you should save it to a standard format such as PNG.

To save an XCF file in the PNG format using GIMP:

  1. Open the XCF file you wish to convert in GIMP.

    Open the XCF file you wish to convert in GIMP.
  2. Select File > Export As.

    A screenshot of GIMP with the Export As command highlighted
  3. Click Select File Type (above the Help button).

    A screenshot of the Export window in GIMP with the Select File Type command highlighted
  4. Select PNG Image from the list, then select Export.

    A screenshot of the Export Image screen in GIMP with the PNG option and Export button highlighted
  5. Adjust the settings to your liking, then select Export again.

    Features such as layers are not supported in PNG files, so all layers will be merged during the export process.

    A screenshot of Export settings in GIMP with the options and Export button highlighted
  6. The PNG file will be saved in the same location as the original XCF file.

    The PNG file will be saved in the same location as the original XCF file.

The Export Dialog in GIMP

There are several options in the Export dialog that you can select to optimize your images for the web. For example:

  • Interlace will load the PNG progressively within a web page.
  • Save Background Color allows you to specify the background color when the PNG being displayed in a browser doesn't support variable transparency. The background color in the toolbox is the color specified.
  • Save Gamma helps browsers display colors more accurately.
  • Save Resolution, Save Creation Time, and Save Comment stores this information in the file's metadata.

The other settings are best left to their defaults.

Why Use PNG Files?

PNG stands for "portable networks graphics." These files are saved in a lossless format, which means that changing the compression level will not affect their quality. When you save an image in PNG, it's guaranteed to appear at least as sharp as the original image. PNG files also offer high capacity for transparency.

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