For some, choosing between GIMP and Photoshop is a tough decision to make. For others, like me, the choice is rather straightforward: GIMP is 100% free and can do a lot of what Photoshop can do. It does what I need, and that’s enough.
GIMP is especially important for users who are on Linux, where Photoshop isn’t even a valid option.
But in order to really unlock the potential of GIMP and speed up your workflow, you’ll have to learn the essential keyboard shortcuts — as is true of nearly every other application. So, here they are. Learn them well!
Basic Tool Shortcuts
- E: Ellipse selection tool.
- F: Free selection tool.
- M: Move tool.
- N: Pencil tool.
- O: Color picker tool.
- R: Rectangle selection tool.
- T: Text tool.
- Shift + C: Crop tool.
- Shift + E: Eraser tool.
- Shift + G: Bucket fill tool.
- 1: Reset zoom to 100%.
- Delete: Clear the current selection.
- Shift + Q: Toggle quick mask.
- Ctrl + D: Duplicate current image.
- Ctrl + T: Toggle active selection.
- Ctrl + Comma: Fill with foreground color.
- Ctrl + Period: Fill with background color.
- Ctrl + Shift + J: Fit image to window.
Other Useful Shortcuts
- F11: Toggle fullscreen mode.
- Page Up: Go to next layer.
- Page Down: Go to previous layer.
- Ctrl + M: Merge visible layers.
- Ctrl + Alt + O: Open image as a new layer.
- Ctrl + Shift + E: Export image as file.
- Ctrl + Shift + N: Create a new layer.
- Ctrl + Shift + R: Toggle rulers.
- Ctrl + Shift + V: Paste as a new image.
Which keyboard shortcuts do you use the most in GIMP? Are there any important ones that I left out? Let me know in the comments below!