27 Useful GIMP Keyboard Shortcuts to Know by Heart

Joel Lee 25-07-2016

For some, choosing between GIMP and Photoshop GIMP vs. Photoshop: Which One Is Right for You? Adobe Photoshop is the most popular image editing app. GIMP is the best free alternative to Photoshop. Which should you use? Read More 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 15 Free Alternatives to Adobe Lightroom, Illustrator, and Photoshop Would you like to get Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom, or Illustrator for free? Here are some of the best Creative Cloud alternatives. Read More . 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 7 Apps That Prove You Don't Need Adobe Creative Suite on Linux Adobe has refused to make its Creative Suite compatible with Linux, so how do you edit photos, movies, and audio, create vectors, and more? Well, you create your own open source creative suite! Read More .

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.

Editing Shortcuts

  • 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!

Related topics: GIMP, Keyboard Shortcuts.

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