How to Edit DDS Files in Gimp
By Andrea Ruiz
GIMP is a full-featured graphics rendering and editing software that is available as a free download online. GIMP was designed as a professional-quality free alternative to higher-end and more-expensive graphics rendering software titles like PhotoShop. GIMP has a large developer's community online, which has collectively developed a wide array of plugins that expand GIMP's out-of-the-box capabilities. With installation of the correct plugin, you can open raster images and texture files such as Microsoft DirectX .DDS (Direct Draw Surface) files using GIMP.
Install the latest version of the GIMP software onto your computer if you don't already have it installed. Navigate to the GIMP downloads page (see Resources). If you're running a version of Windows on your computer, click on the "Download GIMP" link under the "GIMP for Windows" section. If you are running a Linux distribution or Mac OS X, click on "Other Downloads" to find the download options for your operating system. Follow the instructions for downloading and for completing the installation onto your computer.
Download the .DDS plugin for GIMP by navigating to the download page for the plugin. On the right-hand menu, click on the download link that best suits your operating system--ZIP for Windows, TAR for Mac and Linux.
Install and configure the .DDS plugin. Uncompress the file bundle using the file compression tool appropriate to your operating system, and extract all the files to your GIMP program's plugin directory. This location can vary on every machine, but in Windows, it is often C:\Program Files\GIMP-2.0\lib\gimp\2.0\plug-ins.
Open the DDS file in GIMP. Run GIMP on your machine, and navigate to the DDS file you wish to open by clicking on "File," then choosing "Open" and navigating to the file's location on your hard drive. You should now be able to open, view, edit and save DDS files in your installation of GIMP.
Andrea Ruiz has written professionally for blogs, online entertainment magazines and television network websites for more than a decade. Ruiz has also been a web and social media developer, Internet business consultant and computer programmer since 1999, and worked for four years as a professional community manager. Ruiz holds a Bachelor of Arts from University of Massachusetts, Boston.