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Grokking The Gimp
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2.7.2 Flattening

The function Flatten Image,  found in the Layers menu, is an alternative to Merge Visible Layers. This function merges all the layers regardless of their visibility in the image window. In addition, Flatten Image applies all the layer masks to their respective layers (for more on layer masks, see Section  4.2) and deletes any remaining alpha values in the image. In fact, Flatten Image is the only function in the GIMP that can remove the alpha channel from an image. Channel masks, however, are neither applied nor deleted (see Section  4.1 for more on channel masks). Typically an image is flattened in order to save it in an image format that does not support layers or transparency. The JPEG format is an example of this.

Grokking The Gimp
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