How to Make Seamless Tiles

especially on Linux

using the ImageMagick 'convert' command
and an image-editor, such as 'mtpaint'

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Below are links to some web pages on how to make seamless tiles that can be used as backgrounds on web pages.

First you need to select an image suitable for making into a seamless tile. A portrait of a person (or animal or insect or ...) would ordinarily not be a good candidate. But a picture of the surface of polished marble or granite, for example, would probably be a good choice.

A popular technique involves quartering the image, re-arranging the four pieces (switching them diagonally), and 'smudging' the NEW, non-matching boundaries to make them blend together.

    To make it easy to create a seamless-tile from an 'arbitrary' image file, there is a Linux/Unix shell script in an 'IMAGEtools' category of utility scripts --- in the 'feNautilusScripts' package at

    You can see sample shell-script code (perhaps somewhat out-of-date, but workable) on the 'IMAGEtools' CODE-SAMPLES page at

    The script uses the ImageMagick 'convert' command to do the quartering and switching and joining-together.

    Look for the string 'MAKEpreSmudgeTILE' on that code-samples menu page.

Tutorials on making seamless-tiles

It is not easy (in early 2010) to find tutorials on how to make seamless tiles in Linux --- and the links to tutorials that one does find typically go 'dead' within a few years.

So here is a link to try a WEB SEARCH for tutorials on making seamless-tiles:

Instructions for Linux :

Some initial WEB SEARCHES based on keywords like 'how to make seamless tile linux' did not reveal many outstanding tutorials using Gimp, mtPaint, ImageMagick, or other Linux image processing tools.

Below, labelled 'Linux-1', is one brief guide for Linux.

As I find any 'promising' instructions for Linux (even if they are very sketchy), I may add them, starting at 'Linux-2' below.


A thread on the Ubuntu forums provides the following (sketchy) description of how to make a seamless tile using Gimp.

    Load an image into Gimp that you want to make tile-able. Go to Filters > Map > make seamless [Tile]. To preview the tiled image, go to filters -> map -> tile, then increase the number by about 5 times or so.

    In Gimp:

      ctrl+shift+o > alt+2 > alt+o

    brings the edges into the center. Use the clone brush, healing brush, or the blur tool --- depending on what gives the best results.

    Repeat the keystrokes to return the center to the edges.


If I find another set of Linux instructions (hopefully better ones), I plan to put the instructions (and link) here.

Some Sources of seamless tiles :

If it sounds like making seamless-tiles is more work than you want to expend, you will probably prefer to find some 'pre-made' seamless-tiles.

So here is a link to try a WEB SEARCH for sites that provide seamless-tiles --- for free:

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Page was created 2010 Mar 26.

Page was changed 2011 Jun 06.

Page was changed 2018 Nov 07. (Added css and javascript files to try to handle text-size for smartphones, esp. in portrait orientation.)