Friday, February 1, 2008

Keyboard Shortcuts in The GIMP

One of my favorite features of The GIMP is the ability to completely customize the keyboard shortcuts. Most versions of The GIMP come with some standard shortcuts (ctrl+s is save, for example), but creating shortcuts for your most commonly used features will enhance your GIMP experience and save you loads of time.

All screenshots that follow are from GIMP 2.2.17. The latest version, 2.4.3, has some major flaws (e.g. font previews aren't displayed correctly and it's prone to crashing), so until these bugs are fixed, I will continue to write tutorials using 2.2.17.

1. In the GIMP toolbox, select File-->Preferences.

2. Select "Interface" from the menu on the left, and then click on the "Configure Keyboard Shortcuts" button.

3. Select the desired action from the list (the list is generally structured the same as the GIMP menus). For example, if I wanted to create a new shortcut for the "Delete Layer" function, I would expand the Layers section and click on "Delete Layer."

4. Type in desired shortcut or "accelerator." If the accelerator is already assigned to another function, a pop-up box will give you the option to reassign the accelerator to the new function.

For example, if I wished to assign "ctrl+D" as the new shortcut for the Delete Layer function, the following pop-up box might appear:

Since that is a function I frequently use, I will select "Cancel" and choose a new shortcut, "shift+ctrl+D."

5. Once you have assigned all of your desired shortcuts, close the "Configure Keyboard Shortcuts" window. Click on the "Save Keyboard Shortcuts Now" button so that you can immediately begin using your shortcuts. The option to "Save keyboard shortcuts on exit" should also be selected. Close "Preferences" window when finished.

Here's a brief list of some of the functions I've created shortcuts for:

Delete Layer: Shift+ctrl+D
Alpha to Selection: Alt+A
Duplicate Layer: Ctrl+J
Layer to Bottom: Ctrl+ { or Ctrl+Shift+[
Layer to Top: Ctrl+ } or Ctrl+Shift+]
Merge Down: Ctrl+E
New Layer: Shift+Ctrl+N
Open as Layer: Ctrl+Alt+O
Layers Diaglog: F7
Gaussian Blur: Shift+Ctrl+B
Drop Shadow: F4

As always, please leave comments or suggestions for future tutorial topics. Thanks!


Patricia said...

Can you make text paths with this program???

Chelsey said...

Yes, you can with the latest versions of GIMP, but I haven't completely figured it out yet. The documentation is really sketchy on it, and I have a feeling it's not quite as powerful as Photoshop's text path tool. It's still in the development stages. Having said that, let me know if you're interested and I can try harder to figure out how to do it!

Anonymous said...

Very helpful, thanks! :)

Jay M said...

Exactly the shortcuts I needed! Thanks for the tutorial!