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GIMP Save/Save As versus Export

Oct 21, 2012, 16:48 (This post was last modified: Oct 21, 2012 19:55 by icefront.)
Post: #1
GIMP Save/Save As versus Export
This Export / overwrite feature is really annoying and introduces extra attention/clicks instead of introducing something usable.
Scenaro: basically in EVERY app when I want to save something i'll look for file->save as. But not in gimp. Because of some screwed up ideas or innovative reasons the scenario changes tho this:
Open a png, tiff or something, make the editing then export. Ok, I export (or overwrite) then when I want to close the file it asks me if I want to save the canges...
Hey I just saved the file!!! To make it more annoying, extra attention is needee to deal with the dialog: text on buttons isn't the standard Yes No Cancel, also the letter keys doesn't push the buttons (I guess need to press Alt-letter). Not to mention that the default Ctrl-F4 doesn't works. (regarding ctrl-f4, it's a very simple code to install gimp with ctrl-f4 on windows).

So the extra data is not saved with the tiff/jpg/png/etc... file? I don't care. I don't even expect! Nobody cares. Just want to save the file and that's it. In most of the cases the file is saved just once without ever opening it again...

The correct way is this:
Save - overwrites the currently opened file. (for lossless formats, when first saved after opening, the compression dialog may appear)
Save As - asks for filename and then an another dialog warns for compatibility (put here your warning that extra data is not saved. A "don't show this dialog again" checkbox is absolutely needed). When the operation finishes with success, change the actual file name/path and dont bug anymore the user with unsaved files and new save as dialogs.
Export - Save As dialog, saves the given file (no compatibility or extra data loss warnings, jus the format-specific settings dialog). When finished, leave the currently opened file's name/path/saved-unsaved state as it is.
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Oct 21, 2012, 19:55
Post: #2
RE: GIMP Save/Save As versus Export
(Oct 21, 2012 17:09)ofnuts Wrote:  No, you didn't... what you saved is a flattened image, without any selection or path that could be useful later to continue work.
Except a long artistic painting session, in many cases a file is JUST resized, cropped, color-modified, rotated, etc. There's no need of paths, selections or other useful stuff.
Also, jpeg's support paths, tiff's support tags, gimp can save in tiff it's extra editing data easily.
(Oct 21, 2012 17:09)ofnuts Wrote:  ... it's a bit like if you could "save as PDF" in your usual word processor. It would be had to further edit the PDF, wouldn't it?
There's an elegant solution for this:
"The format you selected doesn't support bla bla bla"
[Save anyway] [Save a Copy] [Cancel]
It is invented and applied since early days of computing... Why isn't this good enough???
(Oct 21, 2012 17:09)ofnuts Wrote:  So, you aren't the first to complain, the developer's mailing list has been deluged with such complaints from irate users, some started forking Gimp to reinstate the previous behavior, others are using scripts for same...
It means that it's really annoying for many. Why this doesn't count?
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Oct 22, 2012, 14:17 (This post was last modified: Oct 22, 2012 14:19 by marcsimple.)
Post: #3
3 little steps that will save you lots of time and hair
Personnaly i don't understand the new save/export behavior,
for me it is really unintuitive/confusing (+ it is a HUGE behavioral change so i feel it should be revertable or accepted as a reasonable/needed change by the whole community):

What makes sense to me is:
-When you open a jpeg, you'll save it as jpeg (or may exprot it to another format),
-When you open a xcf file, you'll save it as xcf (or may exprot it to another format).

I was about to revert to an older gimp version but finally found a better solution:

1) get
2) copy it in your plugin directory
3) bind ctrl-s to 'Save/export clean'

notice: is part of a collection of GIMP scripts and plug-ins by Akkana Peck.
These are all licensed under the GPL v2 or (at your option) any later GPL.
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Oct 22, 2012, 14:44 (This post was last modified: Oct 22, 2012 14:57 by marcsimple.)
Post: #4
RE: GIMP Save/Save As versus Export
(Oct 22, 2012 14:26)ofnuts Wrote:  Should be called "" Smile

id rather call it ""

(or "")
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Oct 22, 2012, 15:46
Post: #5
RE: 3 little steps that will save you lots of time and hair
(Oct 22, 2012 15:19)paynekj Wrote:  how to you go about pleasing everybody at the same time Huh

i don't know, by making it user-configurable? (instead of forcing the change)
Fortunatly it is still user-extendable/scriptable

(but i still beleive it was faster and more intuitive to 'save as...' and confirm you might loose data than the new behavior.
plus, if gimp was intended for professionals, why infantilizing them? i mean they know how to work safely i guess?)
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Nov 4, 2012, 17:32
Post: #6
RE: 3 little steps that will save you lots of time and hair
(Oct 22, 2012 19:49)ofnuts Wrote:  Configuration was envisioned, but:
- the main consequence would be all the beginners (who seldom use layers) would start using it,
- then they would forget that they have that setting
- then they gain experience and start using layers
- ... and get burned because they have that setting left over.

A safety belt isn't infantilizing pros. On the contrary. They don't have to waste brain power worrying about saved-or-not-saved. Pros use layers, or use another software.
Childish speculations...
With this save/export step GIMP is developed in a wrong direction...

And yes, it's infantilizing pros. Like walking, saving a file doesn't require brain power.

Until developers think like this, GIMP will be nothing more just a toy. Also tiff would be a very good placeholder for the extra layer and other data, this is the why tiff was originally developed. Why don't you use tiff??? Just define your own gimp tag... And you'll be compatible with others. Today I'm saving the xcf and what will I do with this since there is no software that opens it.

Open a file and then save the original format with Save or Save As. Don't speculate, don't build theories and don't change things that work well. Forget about what a user can lose. It's the user's problem.
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Nov 12, 2012, 13:11
Post: #7
RE: GIMP Save/Save As versus Export
Personally, I only use GIMP for processing photos. They happen to be jpegs which are 8-bit straight off the camera so GIMP was ideal for this. I far prefer the old system of Save/Save As... covering the lot.

Using the old GIMP, if I created something using layers, I saved it as an xcf file and when I resaved it, by default it would remain an xcf file. If I saved something as a jpeg by default any later save would be as a jpeg. I think splitting Save/Save As... into the current xcf only and export for anything else is using a sledgehammer to crack a nut. I use separate noise reduction software which means that rather than saving a file as a jpeg and then having to import the noise reduced file as a separate image before finishing my processing I would rather just use File > Revert like I used to do.

OK, it doesn't take a lot of learning to figure out but it adds time, even if you know what you are doing, when I don't necessarily have a lot. I don't like this direction the new GIMP has taken at all.
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Feb 15, 2013, 12:12
Post: #8
RE: GIMP Save/Save As versus Export
I find this new "protective" feature super annoying, enough to create an account to complain about it. While I understand all the different semantics between exporting and saving, users should not be exposed to those in such an intrusive way. If you were to apply the rules in a more generic manner, you would end up with a few different entries in the menu, like different one to save (or export, I am confused) to a lossy, when meta data are going to be lost etc.

A unified open/save menu is a brilliant idea, especially for people who just want to work with images, not deal with the technical details. I liked it and never lost a single layer with it. It was also super easy to explain to any non computer savvy person that I usually introduce to gimp, now I have an extra step to try to explain. The warning (and preferably with a checkbox "don't show this again) used to work great.

Btw, GIMP is great! We just complain to help make it better.
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Feb 18, 2013, 16:21
Post: #9
RE: GIMP Save/Save As versus Export
Despite the heated language in this reply-chain, this is a really annoying issue for "regular" users.

For instance, I'm a high school teacher (and *not* a technical wizard) trying to teach the GIMP to my students, as an alternative to Photoshop. Maybe the GIMP is the wrong tool for this, but I've been happy with it for ~10 years.

Those people that fought to make the Export this way (in 2.8) may be technically correct (aka "winning the battle") but find themselves frustrating and turning away their loyal users (aka "losing the war").

It wasn't broken, but now it's been "fixed". Very strange. The basic workflow of software shouldn't change, especially for something like saving files. And especially between a 'minor' revision number (2.6-2.8).

If the technically-correct folks care about the rest of us, maybe they could build in an install option to choose which setup we'd prefer. ("Use 'Save' for all filetypes" vs. "Use 'Save' for only XCF and 'Export' for the rest")
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