Saturday, September 26, 2009

GIMP: How To Install Scripts & Plug-ins To Gimp (Beginners)

Mac users read here.

To add brushes, gradients, plug-ins, and scripts to your Mac OS X follow the path as described below. Go to Users/homefolder/library/applicationsupport/GIMP.

Open the GIMP folder and find the appropriate folder…drop them into the correct folder.

Click image to enlarge.

Windows 7 & Vista users can watch a YouTube video on installing GIMP scripts here. The audio seems louder than usual, so be prepared to turn down the volume. (Note: Plugins [*.exe and *.py files] are saved the same exact way, except they go in the "plug-ins" folder)

XP Users (especially those using Internet Explorer as a browser) click here.

Linux users read here.  Also a few Ubuntu screenshots of GIMP Edit/Preferences/Folders (the correct folders for plug-ins and scripts are shown here):



At one point, I found myself on the GIMP Registry not knowing a thing about how to install scripts or plug-ins. The fundamentals of how this is done is documented on the site, located here. But before you go running off to check out that link for the information you desperately crave, stick around and view the screenshot instructions I'm posting below:

So you're browsing the GIMP Registry and you find a script or plug-in that sounds interesting and you want to try it. No problem.

If it's a .scm file, right click the actual link and choose "Save Link As". You'll see this prompt below:

Now you'll need to browse in explorer to save it to the right place. Since it's a *.scm file it needs to go in GIMP's script folder, as shown below (Vista):


In Windows Vista, the path to the GIMP scripts folder is C:\Users\Your User Name\.gimp-2.6\scripts. In Windows XP, the path is C:\Documents & Settings\Your User Name\.gimp-2.6\scripts.


The path for plug-ins are at the same location but instead of the scripts folder, you put the plug-ins in the "plug-ins" folder.

Notice that the plug-ins folder is directly above the scripts folder.

Plugins or scripts that come in a zipped file have to be handled differently, because you want to extract the files from the zipped file into the appropriate folders as shown above. Simply double-click the zipped file to extract them.

For adding new scripts, all that is required is that you refresh the scripts under Filters - Script-Fu - Refresh scripts. Adding new plug-ins, however, require that GIMP be closed and restarted. For most plug-ins, the most obvious place to find them is in the Filters menu, unless the Plug-in author instructs otherwise.

Scripts on the other hand are a little more tricky to find if the information on the GIMP Registry is lacking. One trick to finding where scripts are listed in the menus, is to open it and check out the register, located toward the bottom of the script file:

Sure enough, this script can be found under Filters - Light and Shadow, as indicated on the last line above.

Python plug-ins can be opened with an editor, but DO NOT OPEN executable plug-ins with an editor (e.g. someplugin.exe). If you cannot find a plug-in location in the menus, go to the Plug-in Browser under Help on your GIMP menu bar. (Thanks Saul!)

Most importantly, READ THE POSTS AND COMMENTS for the script or plug-in you are planning to use BEFORE you download it, and make a note of special instructions for the handling of that particular script or plug-in. Print it out, if you have to.

If all else fails, direct your comments to the author of the plug-in/script for logging errors and asking for additional instructions. The best way to get help is to clearly define your problem, including any error messages, and be specific about the problem. Don't post new comments on a new forum subject that read like this : "It's not working! HELP HELP HELP!" That fails to explain anything to anyone, and it's downright lazy and rude. Instead, run a checklist in your comments, that explain, that you downloaded the file correctly, it's in the right folder as indicated in the instructions. Specify your operating system and version of Gimp (i.e., using Vista 32 bit, GIMP 2.6.7) List error messages verbatim, and if it has a number assigned to it, include it.

We were all noobs at one point or another, so it's understandable that people are going to need a little extra help in getting started. The best thing you can do to help others help you, is be as helpful as you can, yourself.


If you use Notepad to save *.scm files, pay close attention to what you are saving it as, and where you are saving it to:

See the "Save as type:" showing Text Documents (*.txt)? That needs to be changed to "All Types"


  1. "If you cannot find a plug-in location in the menus, leave a comment with the author and ask, always."
    It would be quicker and easier to search for the script/plug-in using the Plug-in Browser under the Help menu.

  2. Hello i seem to be having a problem with putting in a plugin from here
    I am using windows vista 64-bit and gimp 2.6 as the folders that have all the info in it and gimp 2 as the starting of the program. I have no Scripts file  by the plugin file all i have is a plugin file and when i access that i see script fu and theres a scripts folder in there but when i put in the .scm file in that it didnt work. Then i put the other file just in the plugin folder. I dont know if it has to be more than 1 file for this because i saw a bunch of other files for the other plugins that it has but when i downloaded this plugin i only got 1 file.

  3. Thanks a lot for this. Now, I know how to get scripts working. Thanks again.

    I just uninstalled gimp and got the same one i got above on the same comp.  but before installing it i got python 2.6.4 and the gtk bundle like the installer asked for but when i installed it again it still would not allow me to click on the box to have python scirpting so i just installed it without it anyways..
    and i have no clue where that file loacation to put .scm files is at.....

  5. Thanks! I tried it once and it worked immediately. That was soooo easy.

  6. I noticed the link to points to a zip file with the script/plugin.  This is apparently a workalike for PhotoshopContentAware Scale and Fill.   It appears that the zip file's internal files have directory paths.  Does this mean that the zip file should be placed in the application folder and then extracted? or what?  There are ~17 files, each with a slightly different path.  Where in the GIMP application folder should I place it?  Because an experimental extraction to a dummy folder shows that the zip will place files in both the script and the plugin folders at different levels.  There are no instructions from the author(Harrison).  I hope the above makes sense, and thanks for any help you can offer.

  7. There are only 3 files, I'm aware of, that are needed for a Windows OS. I haven't set resynthesizer up for a linux/debian system.

    For Windows, resysnth.exe or resynthesizer.exe (depending on which version you are using) goes into the .gimp-2.6/plug-ins folder. There are two .scm files, smart-remove.scm and smart-enlarge.scm. Both of these files go in the .gimp-2.6/scripts folder.

    If you're on a linux system, you might want to ask the proper install for resynthesizer at

  8. Thanks Dude, This is what i'm looking for. I was totally confuse how to install the plugins, but now it works like a charm!

  9. So i recently downloaded "Layer effects" on the script-fu for Gimp. But when i have my image and i try to add the layer effects on it, only popup messages appears where its written "Plug-In '___' left image undo in inconsistent state, closing open undo groups."  or  "Error while executing script-fu-layerfx-_____:

    Error: eval: unbound variable: cadr "
    Where its ___ /blank  its written down the layer effect. Since all the layer effects ends up with these popup messages i just leaved the name of the layer effect blank/_______.   Anyway..What shall i do?

  10. ok im trying to load my scripts and plugins in gimp for my macbook pro. i have no idea how to

  11. Sorry, I don't own a Mac, so I don't have any idea what to tell you. If you could try to locate a hidden folder .gimp-2.6, you'll probably find your scripts and plug-ins folders there.

  12. Thanks for the tips. New to using gimp so you are a big help.

  13. I am using GIMP 2.6.11 on a MAC Lion. I am unable to run the lighting effects plugin. I have RGB as the type and the menu Filters - Light and Shadow - Lighting Effects... item is available but when I select it the dialog flashes on and off so fast that I cannot do anything. Other Light and Shadow filters work just fine but the Lighting Effect will not. I am stuck and do not know where to go from here.

  14. Jay, I would recommend you visit and put that question to the Mac users. Surely one of them might be able to help you. I don't use a Mac, so don't feel I can help you. But it sounds like you have a corrupted plug-in because the other options work.

  15. Can someone tell me how to open,edit,and save dds files? I used to be able to open RFactor files and paint my own cars...


  16. Hey... what do I do if it's a .bz2 file? I tried using the same method and saving it to the "plug-ins" folder and it didn't work.

    It's for the Focus Blur.

  17. Maggie, tarballs are for Linux machines, you need to get the exe version for Windows. If you actually use a Linux machine then you have to compile the focus blur plug-in.

  18. I am trying to install the Resynthesizer Plug-In and make it part of the GIMP program. I need to remove the text from a picture I have of an animal in the ocean. After I download from the Gimp Registry, and the Zip screen opens, when I click on the exe file of the Resynthesizer, I get the message that it does not work because the libgimp-2.0-0.dll is not found. How can this be fixed? I need to stress that I am not a techie and don't understand most of the terminology I have read on the blogs, so can someone explain it in layman's language, thank you.

    I need to know how to fix the problem and how to download and install the Resynthesizer Plug-In and make it a part of the GIMP program.

    I am using Windows Vista Home Basic Version 6.0, 32-bit system.

    Thank you.

    Judy Kunz

  19. I could not follow the tutorial for the Vista people because it is too difficult to see, goes much too quickly and has no sound. I have posted this message in the GIMP Registry and so far 120 people have read it but no one comes to my aid.

    Judy Kunz

  20. Judy,

    Perhaps you should utilize the pause button and HD on YouTube videos to stop and continue the video. You can even use the slide feature to rewind the video. I don't talk on my videos, never have, never will. My videos are never really that long to warrant a narrative, anyway.

  21. I have this downloaded on my computer from
    I wanna know how to install it
    please have tried everythind tried putting it in the folders mentioned here but it did not work please tell me where do i put these files

  22. I seem to have a problem installing any plug-ins. I installed mathmap and it did now show up in the menu then I got an error saying I was missing a file.

  23. I have a mac running lion 10.7.5

    I have just downloaded GIMP 2.8.2

    I would like to add the descreening filter.

    I found the scripts folder, and put the filter there, and now it appears in the list of filters.

    I found a plugin folder in the ui folder, and put the fourier plug in there.

    When I try to use the descreening filter, it tells me I need the fft plug in. (fft - fast fourier transform)

    any ideas?

  24. Can't watch u-tubes here because of bandwidth. Tried watching video at a friend's.... can't see a thing, too small. How about written instructions? Are they different for Windows 7 than other OS?

  25. Anon, did you read the rest of the blog. The instructions are there. They are so simple, they actually elude people.

  26. Mahvelous Mahvin, (blush) I did, finally, read the rest of the blog, and attempt to follow the admittedly very simple instructions. However I seem to be missing something critical. I am using Windows 7, 64-bit or 32-bit, either way is fine. I want to download and install Synthesizer. The page says do not download the newer executables because they will not work for windows.... this is from over one year ago. So I tried clicking on an older one, but only get a blank page, no executables. Surely, something as useful as this has been made available to folks who don't speak Linux? Can anyone tell me what I need to do, to get Resynthesizer to work on Windows 7? I really need to removed timestamps from my pictures!
    Thanks for your patience and help.

  27. Anon:

    See here:

  28. Runing MAC lion, installed GIMP (it opens and everything) downloaded an .abr file and tried to place into 'brushes' but it wont copy over. As in the 'paste' option isn't

  29. Jessie, abr files aren't clickable executable type files. The file should be able to be dragged and dropped into your .gimp/brushes folder.

  30. I have Windows 8; where should I save the script when I press "save link as"?

  31. Windows 8 isn't much different than Win 7 in explorer. Pretty much the same location, depending on your GIMP version.

  32. Hi Mavin,
    I have gimp 2.8.4 on windows 8. I can't see the script folder or plug-in folder in the gimp 2 folder located in programs, am i looking in the wrong place?

  33. Look in your username folder under .gimp-2.8

  34. So how do you run a script fu script from a PHP exec line in windows. I want to apply the script using php to a picture which is automatically generated.

    For example
    $session = 1;
    $filename = $session.'.jpg';
    $output = 'C:\xampp\htdocs\image\new_'.$filename;

    /*run command to apply layer to image and save it in output directory*/
    exec('script fu cartoon.scm'. $filename.''.$output);

    Thanks in advance.

  35. You would probably like to ask this question at the GIMP registry.

    I'd recommend starting a whole new post with your question. Don't be surprised if you start reading about other methods being more effective at what you are trying to accomplish.

  36. I just installed GIMP 2.8.6, and later installed GAP 2.6 for it. However, when I open GIMP again, I do not see the "Video" menu, between "Filters" and "Windows" menu.

    Could you tell me what I'm missing here?

    I have 32 bit Windows Vista.

    I downloaded GIMP from here:

    I downloaded GAP from here:

  37. NPS, it appears from your comments that you did not get the installer version of GAP. I checked Photocomix's URL and he even says he lost his original file. Go to and leave a post about your issue, there. Photocomix frequents the site.

  38. Hi
    Pls help
    I cant seem to be able to install any scripts. I have tried several times over the last months with different scripts and always given up :-(.
    Your tutorial is great. I (think) I am usually pretty good at following instructions like that. I have the script in the designated script file, but it doesn't show up in GIMP, even after "refresh scripts" and even after restarting GIMP. I then went back to the directory to double click the file, thinking it is a zip file and I get the following message:

    Opening 'C:\Documents and Settings\gaby\.gimp-2.8\scripts\elsamuko-national-geographic-batch.scm' failed: Unknown file type

    If I try to "download" and un-zip without putting it into the file as per your tutorial first, I get the same message :-(.

    I am not good at understanding computer "stuff", I just use it as a tool (that is why I like your tutorial :-)).

    I have gimp 2.8 I run on Windows XP (yes, I KNOW its old, but I love it and had a brief encounter with Vista and hated it and went back to XP). I use firefox.

    Thank you for any help

  39. You don't click to open the .scm file. Once you place the .scm file in the scripts folder, as indicated, you open Gimp and check under the Filters menu for the new script.

  40. Thanks for the tutorial.
    FYI as of December 18 2013 video link not working so perhaps textual description would also be beneficial.
    The link comes up with a "Sorry we cannot find that video" message. Using Win 7 x64 and google chrome.

  41. I put up a new tutorial for Win 7. Be prepared to turn the volume down (seemed kind of loud on the audio). I have no clue what happened to the original video, neither does YouTube. Hope it helps!

  42. Hi
    Merry Christmas and everything of the best for 2014.

    Its me again :-(.
    I HATE feeling this stupid. I STILL couldn't install the silly plug ins. I have spent most of today "trying" stuff and now I may have come across a problem, which may or may not be the cause, but I need help to "fix it" pls.

    I went to and looked at my settings. Now I have sucessfully downloaded brushes and they work just fine, but can't get plug ins to work. So, in the "edit - preference - folder" option, I have a "check box" next to the folders in the "brushes" (just like it says in the instructions). But in plugins and scripts it lists the folder, even the correct one, but it doesn't have a "check box" next to it. When I click it it will show up with a "green light" at the top, I push OK, go back to check and the folder is back to "unchosen" (I am really sorry about my bad vocabulary, I hope this makes sense). I think this may be the issue why I cant get any plug ins to work. Any idea how to fix this or where I can ask> I recently updated my Gimp and am now on 2.8.10 (?) ... whatevr the latest version is.

    Thanks for your help, I will be patient, since it is the holiday season.


    1. That sounds like a question for the GIMP developers, Gaby. If GIMP doesn't work properly right out of the box, I usually uninstall it then reinstall it. Your preferences should be sticking when change and apply the settings.

  43. Hello Thank you for the information. I've copied to plug-in folder and restarted the GIMP but I can not find the menu under filters. How do I copied it from internet is as follows: 1. save link as file without txt. 2. copied it to the plug-in folder. 3. restart it. But I can not have the menu "Android Icon batch mode" and "Android Icon". Do you know how to fix it?

  44. Did you remove the .txt from the end of, by renaming the file?

  45. Thank you for your respond, Mahvelous.

    Yes, I did. I removed .txt when I downloaded it and confirmed the name is

  46. Do you have Python installed for Windows? Or is this for Linux? If Linux, you'll need to give the py file permission to execute.

  47. Thank you very much for the information. I have OSX and It worked after giving the permission to execute.

  48. Sorry what i have isn't a comment but a question i am having problems installing Cmic on gimp 2.8 on my mac i already have maverick, i have been unable to find any tutorials or instruction on how to solve this the closest i came to an answer was instructions on opening home/application support/ gimp ........
    but gimp does not show up on application support, any idea on how i can solve this, my apologies for asking this question here but i have been trying to find an answer for days already.

    If anyone knows something please post here or send to my email:


  49. Estou trabalhando com gimp, sou novata! Quando estou usando a Ferramente de Seleção, qualquer uma delas para Selecionar não consigo cortar a imagem. Porque a mesma para de funcionar derrepente. Meu GIMP é 2.8 e o Pc é Windons XP8. Por favor ajude me. Grata

  50. Seu sistema operacional pode precisar ser atualizado. XP está desatualizado. O único outro conselho é desinstalar o GIMP e tente fazer o download novamente.

  51. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  52. Hello I updated last night my gimp from version 2.8.10 to 2.8.14 and after trying to add themes to it - I dont know what I did or have i touched any else - but all was reseted on my gimp -now i dont have any filter or themes are showing.Please help me ASAP cause I am in the middle of making web magazine.After deleting it and installing it again - nothing was working nor my pics can be uploaded on gimp.HELP !

  53. I would leave the themes alone until you have whatever work needing done, completed. Try moving back to GIMP 2.8.10 until those projects are finished before trying to load the newer GIMP to your PC

  54. I was trying to add the resynthesizer plug in to GIMP 2.8 when I found that although I only just installed the new version of GIMP, I have no plugins folder at all. I have 32, bin, etc, lib, PYTHON, share and uninst. So I have nowhere to put this plug in for it to work. Any ideas? I tried uninstalling GIMP and reinstalling it but I got the same result. I'd be grateful for any help on this.

    1. The old resynthesizer is outdated, I would recommend using the newer version by bootchk at Also, you can easily place this in your username folder of the same name for gimp2.8. It doesn't have to be placed globally in the application folder.

  55. Replies
    1. It's not broken, just that the content (page) was moved offline. I'll add a new source for macs as soon as I can. From memory, most gimp folders are found within the username application folders on macs. I'll add more specifics soon.

    2. User/Library/Application Support/Gimp/plug-ins or scripts.


If you intend to comment to complain about being unable to perform certain steps with tutorials, please explain where you are in the step process and what step you are unable to get to work correctly, instead of saying something like, "I can't do this!". Your comments will help get tutorial corrections made and help give clarification to future viewers who may have trouble in the same locations. Thank you. :)