In this tutorial, I’ll be showing you how to split or slice your images for Instagram in order to create an Instagram grid. With GIMP, this task is super easy and doesn’t require any third-party plugins. All the features for this tutorial come with the GIMP program by default.

I’ll be showing you two different methods – the first method is for an Instagram grid that has an even number of rows and columns (i.e. a 3×3 grid), and the second method is for an Instagram grid that has an uneven number of rows and columns (i.e. a 3×1 grid).

If you prefer watching a video version of this tutorial (in English), you can do so below. Otherwise, you can read the Help Article version below the video, which is available in a variety of languages.

Let’s dive in!

Method 1: Even Instagram Grid (3×3 grid)

Step 1: Open Your Photo

File Open How to Split Images for Instagram in GIMP

You’ll of course need to start this process by opening the image you want to work with into GIMP. To do this, Go to File>Open.

Open Image Window Instagram Slices Tutorial

This will open the “Open Image” dialogue, allowing you to search your computer for your image file. You can use the “Places” column (red arrow in the image above) to navigate your computer until you find the folder that contains your image.

Once you have navigated to your desired folder (in my case, my image is in the Downloads folder – you can download the image I used on Pexels), click on your file (green arrow) you want to open (this will generate a preview of the image – denoted by the blue arrow). Click “Open” to open the image into GIMP.

Step 2: Crop Your Photo to Your Desired Aspect Ratio

Now that the photo is open in GIMP, I’ll need to crop it to match the final aspect ratio I want all of my images to have before I upload them to Instagram. Because our final Instagram grid will be even (3 rows, 3 columns for a 3×3 grid), I can crop the starting image to be the same aspect ratio of the final images that will be created from this process.

Instagram typically recommends a 4:5 aspect ratio for images uploaded to the platform, so this is the aspect ratio I’ll use for my crop.

Setting the aspect ratio for your crop instagram tutorial

Grab the crop tool from the Toolbox (or hit shift+c on your keyboard – red arrow in the image above). Under the tool options, check the “Fixed” option (make sure the dropdown is set to Fixed Aspect Ratio – green arrow in the above photo) and type 4:5 in the field below (blue arrow). Also, before you draw your crop, make sure the “allow growing” option is unchecked. I also recommend setting the guides for the crop to “Rule of thirds” (purple arrow in the image above).

Next, click and drag your mouse across the image to set your crop area. The “Rule of thirds” guides inside the crop will show you where your image will be split or sliced (as you can see in the image window in the photo above).

Image crop applied Instagram Split in GIMP Tutorial

Reposition the crop until you have it set in the desired location. Click inside the crop area to apply the crop (cropped image shown above).

Step 3: Divide Your Image Using Guides

Next, we’ll need to divide the image up based on where we want to split the image. To do this, I’ll create guides to divide the image based on the final grid size I want (in this case, a 3×3 grid).

New Guide by Percent GIMP 2020 Tutorial

I’ll start by going to Image>Guides>New Guide by Percent (red arrow in the image above).

New Horizontal Guide 33 Percent GIMP

I’ll start with the “Direction” option set to “Horizontal” (red arrow in the image above), and will set the “Position (in %)” to 33.33 (blue arrow). This places our first guide at 1/3 of the total height of the image. Click OK to add the guide.

I’ll repeat this step for the next guide – once gain going to Image>Guides>New Guide by Percent.

New Horizontal Guide 66 Percent GIMP

For this second guide, however, I’ll set the Position to 66.66 (red arrow). This will place the guide at 2/3 of the total height of the image.

With the placement of this second guide, our image is now divided horizontally into three equal parts.

Next, I’ll divide the image up vertically in the same manner.

Once again, go to Image>Guides>New Guide by Percent.

Vertical Guide for Instagram Split GIMP Tutorial

Click on the Direction dropdown and select “Vertical” (red arrow in the image above).

Vertical Guide 33 Percent GIMP 2020

For the Position value, set it to 33.33.  Click OK to add the guide. You now have a vertical guide that splits the image at 1/3 of its total width.

Vertical Guide 66 Percent GIMP 2020

One last time, go to Image>Guides>New Guide by Percent. Change the Position value to 66.66 (red arrow in the above photo). Click OK.

Your image should now be evenly split into 9 different sections by four guides – 2 vertical and 2 horizontal.

Step 4: Split Your Image and Save the Results

Next, we will split the image based on the position of our guides.

Slice an Image using Guides in GIMP Instagram Tutorial

To do this, go to Image>Slice Using Guides (red arrow in the above photo).

Split Image for Instagram Using GIMP 2020 Tutorial

This will create 9 new images in GIMP based on the placement of the guides (a new tab will open for each new photo created from the split/slice, outlined in green in the above photo). The last image generated from this process will be the first image you upload to Instagram (red arrow in the above photo). The first image created will be the last image you upload.

File Export to Export Slices to Instagram GIMP

Of course, to be able to upload these slices to Instagram to create the grid effect, you’ll need to export each image. To do this, go to File>Export.

Exporting Instagram Slice as JPEG in GIMP

I recommend exporting the last image that was created as “Slice 1.jpg” (red arrow in the above photo) so that you know this will be the first image you upload (it is the bottom right corner of the original image). I also recommend saving each file as a JPEG – you can do this simply by ending each file name with the “.jpg” extension. There are 9 slices total – so make sure you export them all.

 

Method 2: Uneven Instagram Grid (3×1 Grid)

The first method works great whenever you are creating an even grid with 9 different images – but it won’t work quite the same if you are creating a smaller, uneven grid such as a 3×1 grid with only 3 images. This method shows how to complete the task for a 3×1 grid.

Step 1: Open Your Photo

Method 2 Split Pictures for Instagram in GIMP

The first step for this portion is the same as Step 1 in Method 1. Go to File>Open and find the file you are looking for on your computer using the Open Image dialogue. Click the file you want to use, and click the “Open” button to open the file into GIMP. (See Step 1 under Method 1 for pictures for this step). I’ll be using this image from Pexels for Method 2 (shown in the photo above).

Step 2: Crop Your Photo

Here is where Method 2 stray from Method 1. Rather than simply cropping your image using the same aspect ratio as your final images will all contain (4:5 aspect ratio), you’ll have to do a little math to determine how to crop your original image for a 3×1 grid to ensure each photo will contain the 4:5 aspect ratio.

For starters, take a look at the dimensions of your image (you can find them at the top of the GIMP image window). For my particular image, the width is 3500 pixels and the height 1914 pixels. In my case, I know I want to keep the width the same, so I’ll have to calculate the new height of my image.

When performing this calculation, I need to keep in mind that I’ll be splitting the image into 3 equal parts, and that each part will contain an aspect ratio of 4:5. Since my final grid will be 3×1 (3 rows in a single column, or 3 images total), I can simply multiply my aspect ratio by the grid size.

So, I’ll multiply the width in my aspect ratio (4) by the number of rows in my grid (3) to get my new width (12). I’ll do the same with the height (5), though I’ll multiply it by the number of columns in my grid (1) to get my new height (which happens to still be 5). So, the new aspect ratio of my image must be 12:5 before I split it into 3.

Setting a Custom Aspect Ratio for Crop GIMP Tutorial

With this information, I’ll now grab my crop tool from the Toolbox (red arrow in the photo above), and under the tool options I’ll check the “Fixed Aspect Ratio” option. In the field below, I’ll type “12:5” for the aspect ratio (green arrow). I’ll also ensure the “allowing growing” option is unchecked.

Next, I’ll click and drag my mouse from the far-left side of the image to the far right. I’ll use the handles within the crop area to make sure the crop extends to each side of the image. I can also click and drag my mouse inside the crop area to adjust the position of the crop. Once I have the crop area where I want it, I’ll click inside the crop area once to apply the crop.

Step 3: Divide Your Image Using Guides

Our crop is set, so it’s time to move on to placing our guides. This step will be a little shorter than Method 1 because we don’t need to place any horizontal guides.

New Guide by Percent Image Split for Instagram

To start, I’ll go to Image>Guides>New Guide by Percent (red arrow).

Vertical Guide 33 Percent GIMP instagram split tutorial

I’ll make sure the direction is set to Vertical and the Position (in %) is set to 33.33 9 (red arrow). Click OK to add the guide.

I’ll repeat this step (Image>Guides>New Guide by Percent), but will make sure the Position is set to 66.66. Click OK to add the second guide.

The image should now be split into 3 even sections by 2 vertical guides. These sections will be our final slices.

 Step 4: Split Your Image and Save the Results

GIMP 2020 Slice Images Using Guides Instagram

With my guides in place, I’ll go to Image>Slice Using Guides (red arrow).

Instagram Grid 3 Photos GIMP Tutorial

This will create 3 new images (outlined in green in the image above), each with a 4:5 aspect ratio. The last image (which is the far right of the original picture – red arrow) will be the first image you upload to Instagram, and the first image (which is the far left of the original picture) will be the last image you upload to Instagram.

To export each image, go to File>Export (blue arrow in the above image) and name each image ending with the “.jpg” file extension.

That’s it for this tutorial! If you enjoyed it, you can check out my other GIMP Help Articles, GIMP Video Tutorials, or GIMP Premium Classes and Courses! You can also become a Premium Member for unlimited access to articles and exclusive content not found no YouTube.

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