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How to Make Greek Symbol Images using Gimp Software

Greek symbols are prominent fixtures in mathematics and science as well as in less noble pursuits such as in sorority and fraternity names. They also happen to be wonderful derivations of the universal alphabet commonly used in substituting somewhat identical letters for a more interesting look that Greek symbols are known for.

These symbols are not readily found in a normal keypad but can be acquired through Unicode. You can make Greek symbols quite easily using a graphics software that has text-to-image capabilities such as GIMP, a freely distributed imaging program having the same features as most commercially sold software.

Creating Greek Symbols

At the menu bar, click FILE->NEW and specify the dimensions of your working canvas. Activate the Text tool at the Toolbox dock or click TOOLS->TEXT at the menu bar then draw a text box along your blank canvas. This will open the GIMP Text Editor which you will use to type in your Greek symbol or any other text.

In adding symbols or Unicode characters, you need to press CTRL+SHIFT+U first which will give you an underlined “u” before typing in the Unicode. The Beta symbol, for example, has a Unicode of 03B2 which you will type right after the underlined “u” making the series 03B2 underlined as well before hitting the Enter key.

You can change the appearance of your Greek symbol by adjusting the Font, Size, Color and other available settings at the Text tool options. Make sure the text layer is activated in order for you apply the changes that you want. While the text layer is active, click CTRL+C then SHIFT+CTRL+V to create a working image copy of the symbol.

Customizing Greek Symbols

Once you have an image copy of your text, customizing the look of the text or symbol will now be easier to do since GIMP is primarily an image manipulation program. You can change the color of your symbol using the Colorize command provided that your text or image color is neither black or white.

You can also add other effects that you can find at the Filters menu such as FILTERS->ARTISTIC->OILIFY for a painted look and other effects under Artistic. You can also add lighting effects using the different options under FILTERS->LIGHT AND SHADOW such as DROP SHADOW to give your image more depth.

The background of images made out of text layers is usually transparent. But if your background turns out be something other than transparent, you may need to use the FUZZY SELECT Tool to highlight only the text or symbol before applying certain filters to achieve the desired effect on the text itself instead of the entire image area.