Creating a Userbar in GIMP (Illustrated)


Userbars are tiny rectangular image, animated or not and looks like a banner that you can use to tell about yourself in your blogs, websites, forum profiles, and others. This tutorial helps you how to create your own userbar.


Before creating a userbar, first make this important parts.

Create a scanline. Scanline gives your userbar a nice background effect.

First, open your Gimp program then click File then New. A dialog box with a title "Creat a New Image" will appear. On the width box, type 6, and also in the height box. Then click the "Advance Options" and a the Advance options will appear. In the "Fill with" dropdown menu, select Transparency. Then click Ok. You'll notice that your image is too small. You have to zoom it by going to the "View" menu then click "Zoom", select the 16:1 ratio or the 1600% zoom. Now in the GIMP toolbox click the Pencil tool. Then click the Brush option below the toolbox and select the "Circle(1)" brush, that's the smallest circle.

Draw something like this in the background:

After that, save it in the "patterns" folder of your GIMP directory. Name it scanlines.pat. Then Exit GIMP.

Download Visitor Font

The Visitor Font is the common font for the texts you put in your userbars. Download it at Go to the then search for the Visitor font in on their search engine. Two files will be included but we have to use only one of them. After you've download them, install them in your Fonts directory by extracting then their or by copying and pasting them there. If your using windows, it should be at C:/Windows/Fonts.

Creating Userbar Proper

After getting the parts ready, here is what to do to create your userbar.

First run the GIMP program. Then click again "File" then "New". This time type 350 in the Width box and 19 in the Height box. Click the "Advanced Options" and select "Transparency" in the "Fill with" dropdown menu.

This window should appear:

Then select the "Gradient" tool in the GIMP toolbox. Select the color combination you like for your userbar. Then hold the "Shift" button and put it in the background by clicking from the left side and at the same time dragging to the right or vice versa according to your taste. You can also put pictures as your background by clicking the "File" menu then "Open as Layer".

Here is what I've made:

Then after that, we have to apply some scanlines. First create a new layer by going to the "Layers, Channels, Patterns..." window and right click the "Background" and select "New Layer", the a new window will appear but just click OK. Then click the "Fill" tool in the GIMP toolbox. Select the "Pattern fill" in the "Fill type" options below the toolbox. You should have Pine there as the default patter, click it and a new Pattern box will appear. Select the scanline pattern.

After that, click it in the New Layer background. You should have some slanting lines appearing in the picture. Lower the "Opacity" of that new layer to 30.

You should have like this picture:

After that, create a New Layer again by right clicking any layer at the "Layers, Channels..." window and select "New Layer". Then, select the"Ellipse" tool in the GIMP toolbox. Draw and ellipse from at the top of the userbar and paint it with white. Lower the "Opacity" to 30 again. This will give a nice 3D effect on your userbar.

After lowering the opacity here is what you should come out:

Never mind the dashes, it is the path where you've drawn the ellipse. To remove it, right click the image then click "Select" and then click the "None" option.

Now, your almost finished. This time we have to add some picture that will tell the "audience" what the userbar is about. For this tutorial, I'll use the Hubpages logo as the picture.

Click, the "File" menu then select "Open as layer", find the picture's directory.

Here is what I've made:

Now that's it. The last thing to do is to put some text. To do this, Click the "Text" tool in the GIMP toolbox then select the font. You should select the Visitor font, the Bold one. Then in the font size type 10. Thats the default userbar font. Then click in the image and type the text you want there. Move it using the "Move" tool to the place where you want it to be. And now, you're done. Save your work. You may want to add the .png extension format to your file name. I prefer .png than .jpg.

Here is the finish product of this tutorial:

Click to see the original image.
Click to see the original image.

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Comments 4 comments

MrMarmalade profile image

MrMarmalade 8 years ago from Sydney

Great hub

I have printed out to read over5 a cup of coofee.

Thank you

Cashew 7 years ago

Nice tut.

AwsomeG2 5 years ago

great! this helped me tremendously. although i suggest for your tuts you have the stuff download links posted

travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 4 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

Great info. I must try this, too!

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