How to mirror an image in GIMP [Flip Tool]

Matthew Adams
by Matthew Adams
Windows & Software Expert
Matthew is a freelancer who has produced a variety of articles on various topics related to technology. His main focus is the Windows OS and all the things surrounding it. He is passionate about the...
Affiliate Disclosure
  • GIMP includes a nifty Flip Tool with which you can flip your images vertically or horizontally.
  • This guide tells you how GIMP users can add mirror reflection effects to images with the Flip Tool.
  • Our GIMP webpage includes some extra details for this useful image editor.
  • You can check out other image-editing software articles at our Digital Photography hub.
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GIMP 2.10 is among the best freeware image-editing applications for Windows. It includes an abundance of image-editing utilities.

The Flip Tool is one of GIMP’s handy utilities that enables you to turn a picture upside down vertically or left or right horizontally.

You can add a mirror reflection effect to an image object by utilizing GIMP’s Flip Tool with duplicate layers of the same picture.

All you’ll need is an image of an object with a transparent background. Then follow the steps below to mirror a transparent image in GIMP.

How can I mirror an image with GIMP’s Flip Tool?

1. Expand your image’s canvas

  1. If you don’t already have GIMP, click the Download 2.10.22 button on that image editor’s webpage.
  2. Install GIMP with the downloaded setup wizard.
  3. Open the GIMP 2.10 image editor.
  4. Next, click the File menu and select Open.
  5. Select an image with a transparent background to flip.
  6. Click the OK button to open the image.
    A transparent image flip tool / mirror image gimp
  7. Click the Image menu.
  8. Select Canvas size to open the window shown directly below.
    Set Image Canvas Size window flip tool / mirror image gimp
  9. Expand the width and height of the image’s canvas by increasing the values in the Width and Height boxes. You’ll need to expand the canvas so that you can fit a duplicate image within it.

2. Flip a duplicate image layer

  1. Press the Resize button.
  2. Right-click the image object within your canvas and select the Layer submenu.
  3. Select the Duplicate layer option.
  4. Click the Move Tool button if it’s not already selected.
    The Move Tool button flip tool / mirror image gimp
  5. Then hover the cursor over the selected image object layer and hold the left mouse button to drag it down the canvas.
  6. Position the image object just beneath the top object as shown directly below.
    A duplicate image layer flip tool / mirror image gimp
  7. Click the Flip Tool button in the snapshot directly below.
    The Flip Tool button flip tool / mirror image gimp
  8. Select the Vertical radio button.
  9. Then left-click the duplicate image object layer on the bottom half of the canvas to flip it as in the snapshot below.
    A flipped image flip tool / mirror image gimp
  10. If you need to, click the Move Tool again so that you can better align the mirrored image along the bottom of the one in the top half of the canvas.
  11. You can add some optional opacity to the flipped image reflection by selecting its layer on the right of the window and reducing the Opacity value to something like 50. Then the flipped reflection will be faded.The opacity effect flip tool / mirror image gimp

Note: To add a horizontal mirror image, you’ll need to drag the duplicate layer directly to the left or right side of the object it’s mirroring. Then select the Horizontal option on the Flip sidebar.


3. Export the new image

  1. Click the File menu at the top left of GIMP’s window.
  2. Select the Export as option to open the window shown directly below.
    Export Image window flip tool / mirror image gimp
  3. Click the Select File Type box.
  4. Choose PNG image on the menu.
  5. Enter a title for the image file.
  6. Choose a folder to save the picture to.
  7. Click Export, and Export again, to confirm.
  8. Thereafter, open your finished mirror image in Photos or Paint.
  9. If you open it in Paint, you can fill out the background with its Fill with color option. Your final mirrored image will have the same effect as the one directly below.A mirrored image flip tool / mirror image gimp

So, that’s how you can apply a groovy mirror reflection to transparent image objects with GIMP.

Our GIMP guide provides details on how you can add transparent backgrounds to image objects and apply other effects with that software.

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