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Toolbox from GIMP 2.6

GIMP has a "toolbox" to quickly perform basic tasks. Toolbox is customizable, this means that you can add / remove any tool you want. To select tools for doing something, go to the "Tools" menu, and select any tool you want. To put the tool on the panel go to "Edit > Preferences > Toolbox".

But it can only be edited in a linear way, that is, while sorting it in the "options" there's no way to see where tools will finally appear on the grid. Even though the program's layout updates instantly. They push each other around. There's no way to align tools to right or other corners, or each other.

If the user later shifts the width of the toolbox' panel (to optimize space on screen), the grid gets misaligned, so there's a way to accommodate only 1 layout. If leaving a not evenly divisible quantity of tools, the lowest-right corner can't be utilized.

For that matter, it may be useful to make a screenshot of the toolbox with having activated all the needed tools, and lay out the grid in an easy raster program like Paint or GIMP itself, to make the surface look the needed way. Then start moving them in Preferences accordingly. Remember that tools go from the up-left corner, rightwise then down.

By default not all tools are shown - for example GEGL operation and colour tools are omitted. All tools can also be accessed by opening the "Tools" menu. To switch the window to toolbox, you can use Ctrl + B. Shortcuts written here are the default values - you can change them any time in "Edit > Keyboard Shortcuts" or "Edit > Preferences > Keyboard Shortcuts".

More sophisticated tools are not in the toolbox, but next to the Tools, in the Filters menu.

Tools[edit | edit source]

These tools are available by default in toolbox.

Icon Name Shortcut Description
Selection tools
GIMP-Toolbox-SelectionRectangle-Icon.png Rectangle R Select square or rectangular regions (axis-aligned).
GIMP-Toolbox-SelectionEllipse-Icon.png Ellipse E Select circular or horizontal / vertical elliptic regions. Notice that there's no ellipse drawing tool as such, only selecting.
GIMP-Toolbox-SelectionLasso-Icon.png Free (Lasso) F Free-form selecting.
GIMP-Toolbox-SelectionWand-Icon.png Fuzzy (Magic Wand) U Select by colour in continuous regions.
GIMP-Toolbox-SelectionByColor-Icon.png By Colour Shift + O Select by colour without any limit to continuous regions.
GIMP-Toolbox-SelectionScissors-Icon.png Scissors I Create paths to select shapes.
GIMP-Toolbox-SelectionForeground-Icon.png Foreground (none) Select a region containing foreground objects.
Brush tools
GIMP-Toolbox-BrushBucketFill-Icon.png Bucket Fill Shift + B Fills areas with a colour or pattern.
GIMP-Toolbox-BrushBlend-Icon.png Blend (Gradient) L Fill an area with a gradient.
GIMP-Toolbox-BrushPencil-Icon.png Pencil N Draw exact pixel-edged lines; that is, not anti-aliased.
GIMP-Toolbox-BrushPaintbrush-Icon.png Paintbrush P Paints soft- or fuzzy-edged lines; that is, the pixels are anti-aliased and/or feathered.
GIMP-Toolbox-BrushEraser-Icon.png Eraser Shift + E Erase pixels from a layer.
GIMP-Toolbox-BrushAirbrush-Icon.png Airbrush A Paint tool with a softer pressure.
GIMP-Toolbox-BrushInk-Icon.png Ink K Paint anti-aliased with a simulation of a nib.
GIMP-Toolbox-BrushClone-Icon.png Clone C Copy pixels from one part of an image to another.
GIMP-Toolbox-BrushHeal-Icon.png Heal H Heal image irregularities.
GIMP-Toolbox-BrushPerspectiveClone-Icon.png Perspective Clone (none) Clone from an image source after applying perspective transformation.
GIMP-Toolbox-BrushConvolve-Icon.png Convolve (Blur/Sharpen) Shift + U Blur or sharpen an image.
GIMP-Toolbox-BrushSmudge-Icon.png Smudge S Mix adjacent pixels; with a direction.
GIMP-Toolbox-BrushDodgeBurn-Icon.png Dodge/Burn Shift + D Lighten or darken an image's shadows, mid tones or highlights.
Transform tools
GIMP-Toolbox-TransformMove-Icon.png Move M Move selections and layers.
GIMP-Toolbox-TransformAlign-Icon.png Align Q Align or arrange layers and/or other objects.
GIMP-Toolbox-TransformCrop-Icon.png Crop Shift + C Crop or clip all the image.
GIMP-Toolbox-TransformRotate-Icon.png Rotate Shift + R Rotate the active layer, selection or path.
GIMP-Toolbox-TransformScale-Icon.png Scale Shift + T Scale the active layer, selection or path.
GIMP-Toolbox-TransformShear-Icon.png Shear Shift + S Tilt part of the image to some direction.
GIMP-Toolbox-TransformPerspective-Icon.png Perspective Shift + P Imitate 3-dimensional shift of an image.
GIMP-Toolbox-TransformFlip-Icon.png Flip Shift + F Flip selections and layers.
Other tools
GIMP-Toolbox-PathTool-Icon.png Path B Allows selecting and modifying paths.
GIMP-Toolbox-ColourPickerTool-Icon.png Colour Picker O Select the colour from anywhere in open images for further drawing.
GIMP-Toolbox-MagnifyTool-Icon.png Magnify (Zoom) Z Alter the zoom level in the program.
GIMP-Toolbox-MeasureTool-Icon.png Measure Shift + M Shows distances and angles.
GIMP-Toolbox-TextTool-Icon.png Text T Place text layers into your image.

There are also some other tools, hidden by default. These tools are accessed from the "Tools" menu, or by showing them in toolbox.

Icon Name Shortcut Description
Colour tools
GIMP-Toolbox-ColourColourBalance-Icon.png Colour Balance (none) Modifies the colour balance of current selection or layer.
GIMP-Toolbox-ColourHueSaturation-Icon.png Hue-Saturation (none) Adjusts hue, saturation and lightness.
GIMP-Toolbox-ColourColourize-Icon.png Colourize (none) Renders into a grey scale seen through coloured glass.
GIMP-Toolbox-ColourBrightnessContrast-Icon.png Brightness-Contrast (none) Adjusts brightness and contrast. This brightness is alike to the Color/Hue/Saturation's Lightness, but from other algorithmic point of view.
GIMP-Toolbox-ColourThreshold-Icon.png Threshold (none) Transforms the current layer or selection into black and white.
GIMP-Toolbox-ColourLevels-Icon.png Levels (none) Changes the intensity range of the active layer or selection in every channel.
GIMP-Toolbox-ColourCurves-Icon.png Curves (none) Changes the colour, brightness, contrast or transparency by means of diagrams.
GIMP-Toolbox-ColourPosterize-Icon.png Posterize (none) Reduces the number of colours.
GIMP-Toolbox-ColourDesaturate-Icon.png Desaturate (none) Converts all colour to shades of grey.
Other tools
GIMP-Toolbox-GEGLOperationTool-Icon.png GEGL operation (none) Executes a GEGL operation.

Tool options[edit | edit source]


By default, activating any tool will have the effect of showing its options under the toolbox. Each tool has its own set of settings and any changes to them are kept through the current session. There are also four buttons under any options.

  • GIMP-Toolbox-ToolOptions-SaveOptions-Icon.png Save options to... - save options of the current tool
  • GIMP-Toolbox-ToolOptions-RestoreOptions-Icon.png Restore options from... - restore options from saved file
  • GIMP-Toolbox-ToolOptions-DeleteOptions-Icon.png Delete saved options... - delete saved options
  • GIMP-Toolbox-ToolOptions-ResetOptions-Icon.png Reset to default values - reset them to standard.

You can hide them by clicking on the arrow next to the tool name and deselecting Show Button Bar. You can also access these from the same menu under Tool Options Menu.

Colour, Indicator and Active Image area[edit | edit source]

Colour, Indicator and Active Image areas respectively.

Below the toolbox can be placed these three areas. This is set in "Edit > Preferences > Toolbox" and any of the three can be placed there.

Colour area[edit | edit source]

Shows current foreground and background colour. Clicking on either will bring the colour editor dialogue.

Clicking on the symbol in the lower left corner resets the colour to their defaults. The D key has the same effect.

Clicking on the symbol in the upper right corner swaps the foreground and background colours. The X key has the same effect.

Indicator area[edit | edit source]

Shows currently selected brush, pattern or gradient. Clicking on any of these allows to change it.

Active Image area[edit | edit source]

Displays a thumbnail of the active image. Clicking on it will bring the Images dialogue up, allowing you to select an image.

Introduction · Gradient

Introduction · GIMP · Gradient