Saving Images as JPEGs in GIMP

The cross-platform image editor can save files in many formats

The native file format in GIMP is XCF, but it is only used for editing images within GIMP. When you finish working on your image, you must convert it to a suitable standard format for use elsewhere. For example, you can export a file as a JPEG in GIMP.

Instructions in this article apply to GIMP version 2.10 for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

How to Save as a JPEG in GIMP

To save an image in the JPEG format using GIMP:

  1. Select File > Export As.

    gimp save as
  2. Use the Export As box to assign a name and location to the image.

  3. Click Select File Type to open the list of available file types.

    Select File Type
  4. Scroll down the list and select JPEG Image.

  5. Select Export to open the Export Image as JPEG dialog box.

    Export Image
  6. Select optional JPEG settings. The Quality slider defaults to 90, but you can adjust it up or down to reduce or increase compression. For most people, using the default settings works just fine.

    Check the box beside Show preview in image window to display the size of the JPEG using the current quality settings and see a thumbnail preview.

  7. Select Export to save your image as a JPEG.

    If you have a large JPEG that you intend to use on the web, checking the box beside Progressive will cause the JPEG to render more smoothly online.

Use the same method to export images in dozens of other formats including GIF, PNG, and BMP.

The Pros and Cons of JPEG

JPEG is a popular format for saving photo images. One of the great things about the JPEG format is compression to reduce file size, which can be convenient when you want to email a photo or send it using your cell phone. The quality of JPEG images is typically reduced as compression increases. Quality loss can be significant when high levels of compression are applied. This loss of quality is particularly apparent when someone zooms in on the image.