On Fri, 2008-09-05 at 10:16 -0400, Gene Heskett wrote:
> Darnit, I want to see the crosshatch indicating no data at all exists in that 
> area once I have selected it and cut it away.  If I can do it in the darkroom 
> on an enlarging easel & a pair of scissors (and I can and have many times in 
> the last 60 years), why can't I do it in gimp?

Cuz you're not doing it right, apparently.  

To learn how to do this, try these steps (using GIMP 2.4 on Linux):
1. Choose the crop tool from the Toolbox - be sure it's the crop tool
and not a selection tool.  The crop tool is the one that looks like an
exacto knife.
2. Drag your outline around the area you want to keep in the canvas.
The outline is a solid line with drag boxes at each corner and along
each edge (you can ignore the drag boxes for this tutorial).  The
selected area should look normal.  The unselected area is darkened.
3. Hit the ENTER key to apply the crop.  The mouse (of course) musts be
in the canvas for the ENTER key to apply to the crop operation.

As an added step to verify the cut:
4. In the Layers dialog drag the layer into the Toolbox.

You end up with a new image that is the cropped area of the original.
Note that the original is also cropped.  

You're problems are probably that you're not using the crop tool
correctly or not using the crop tool at all (using a selection or
similar instead and cutting out the stuff you don't want in a layer that
does not have an alpha channel).
Michael J. Hammel                                    Principal Software Engineer
[EMAIL PROTECTED]                           http://graphics-muse.org
Christian Fundamentalism: The doctrine that there is an absolutely
powerful, infinitely knowledgeable, universe spanning entity that is
deeply and personally concerned about my sex life.

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