Learning how to export a PDF from GIMP will help you to export a single page or multiple pages of PDF from your artwork. Whenever you create the artwork you want the option to export or save it in different file formats. This will allow you to maximize the uses you have for the artwork.
PDF files are very good for preserving high-quality artwork from graphic software. PDF can also save layers and some functionality depending on the software. PDF files are supported by many other software which makes them quite handy file formats to save your artwork. This means that you can get a high-quality, functional version of your artwork from GIMP. Note that to get multiple pages of PDF from a GIMP file, the artwork would have to contain multiple layers. These layers are what would be placed on the different pages in the PDF file.
How to export PDF from GIMP
- Prepare artwork in GIMP
- Go to the Export option
- Choose the PDF file type
- Export as a single-page PDF document
- Export as a multiple-page PDF document
- Reopening the PDF document in GIMP
1] Prepare artwork in GIMP
The artwork to be exported as PDF can be a previously created artwork or something that you are currently working on. The artwork can be images or text or a mixture of both. The artwork that will be used for the demonstration is a previously created GIMP artwork that is a stencil.
This is the GIMP document that will be used to export the PDF. The GIMP document contains seven layers.
The artwork is made up of a total of seven layers. The above image shows the layers that are in the artwork.
2] Go to the Export option
This is the step where the file will be exported as PDF.
Go to the top menu bar and press File then Export as or press Shift + Ctrl + E on your keyboard.
The Export image window will open and at the top, you will see the current name of the file. You can keep that file name or change it. You will also see the file format/file type after the name of the file (example.jpeg).
3] Choose the PDF file type
In the Export image window, you will choose the file format which in this case is PDF. You can write the file format after the file name at the top and GIMP will automatically know that the file will be a PDF when you press the Export button. This method can be used to export any of the other file types if you want to export as another file type other than PDF.
You can also choose the PDF file format or any other file format by clicking the file format. Go to the bottom of the Export image window and click the Plus button (+) beside the Select file type (by extension). When you click the Plus you will see the bottom of the Export image window extend showing the different file formats. Click on the one you want to choose, in this case, it would be PDF. When you have chosen the file type/format, press Export. When you press Export the Export image as PDF options window will appear.
4] Export as a single-page PDF document
This step is where the artwork will be saved as a single PDF page in the pdf document. This step works for GIMP artwork that has only one layer or in cases where you want an artwork with multiple layers to be saved as one layer in the PDF file.
The Export image as PDF is where you will choose properties for your PDF file, you will choose the option to make your file be saved as a PDF with one single page.
The first two options at the top of the Export image as PDF window are Layers as pages (bottom layer first) and Reverse the page order. These two options will control the number of pages that will be in the PDF file saved. If the GIMP file has only one layer then the two top options are Layers as pages (bottom layer first) and Reverse the page order will be unclickable. You can then make changes to any of the other options and click Export.
5] Export as a multiple-page PDF document
You may want to export the layers in the GIMP artwork as different pages in the PDF file. To do this follow the above steps (step 4). Since the artwork has multiple layers the two options in the Export images as PDF options window will be clickable. These options are Layers as pages (bottom layer first) and Reverse the page order. The Layers as pages (bottom layer first) will place the bottom layer in the GIMP artwork first in the PDF document. The Reverse the page order option will reverse the order of the layers in the GIMP artwork when they are saved as a PDF.
To export the artwork as a PDF document with multiple pages, you will need to select the first option in the Export images as PDF (Layers as pages (bottom layer first). If you click this option but not the Reverse the page order option, each layer will be saved on a different page with the bottom layer being on the first page. The Reverse the page order option will reverse the layer order in the PDF document.
This image shows what the layers look like separated in the PDF file. Each is on a different page, however, the page view was changed so that all of them can be shown on the screen all at once. Each of those layers are placed together to create the stencil effect in GIMP.
This is the image when all the layers are combined in GIMP to create the stencil effect.
6] Reopening the PDF document in GIMP
With the GIMP artwork saved as PDF, you can reopen it in GIMP and see the different layers that made up the original GIMP file. To make this possible you would have had to make sure that the PDF that was exported had the Layers as pages (bottom layer first option selected. This option keeps the layers as layers instead of flattening the image artwork and placing it on a single page.
To open the PDF file in GIMP with the separate layers, find the PDF file and right click on it, and choose Open with then GIMP.
The Import from PDF options window will appear.
Open pages as layers
You can then choose if you want to open the PDF pages as layers.
To open the PDF pages as layers go to Open pages as and click the down arrow if the Layers is not the first option. When you have Layers selected make whatever other changes you want in the option then press Import. You will see the images open up in the layers panel in GIMP as separate layers.
Open pages as images
You can choose to open the PDF pages as images.
To open the PDF pages as images go to follow the steps to reopen the PDF in GIMP then when the Import from PDF options window appears, go to the Open layer as and click the drop-down arrow and choose Images. You can choose the other options that you want or leave them as they are and click Import. You will see each of the images that were on the separate pages open up as separate images on separate canvases in GIMP.
Having the ability to export GIMP artwork as PDF is a great way to save layers separately if you need to show them separately from the combined artwork. You can also flatten the artwork if it has multiple layers yet keep the high quality. PDF files tend to keep the high quality if the source was high quality.
Read: How to Fade out Images and make them washed out in GIMP
Can the PDF file be opened in GIMP?
The PDF that you exported from GIMP can be opened in GIMP again, it will be considered as Importing into GIMP. To import the PDF file into GIMP you must find the file on your device and right-click on it, you then choose Open as then GIMP. GIMP will open and the Import from PDF options window will open, here you can choose to open the PDF pages as layers or as images. You then press Import to place the PDF into GIMP.
Can PDF files not exported from GIMP be imported into GIMP?
You can open any other PDF documents in GIMP by right-clicking on the PDF file and going to Open with and then GIMP. GIMP will open and the Import from PDF options window will open. You can then choose to open the PDF pages as layers or as images.