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Simple question.
I'm trying to learn Gimp as a tyro.  I was perfectly satisfied with Microsoft Digital Image Suite, though it was soon discontinued and unsupported.   Finally, it became non-functional with WIN 10, forcing me to find a new app.  

Gimp looks good but all such powerful apps seem intimidating at first, with all that web of choices.  Extended hands-on learning can't be averted.

You can't get more basic or naive than I in my struggles to yet perform some simple Gimp operations.  For example, having made, say, a "rectangle select" area, how do I complete the operation and move on? The keyboard Enter key seems most intuitive but NO!  Left mouse key, NO.  Right mouse key, NO.  There it sits, selected.....and essentially useless.  How humbling!  So please be kind in any instruction.  I'm an 86-year-old retired engineer who is unused to accepting advice from young whippersnappers, regardless of how keen they may be.  They need to pay their "dues". 

--seeking info but moreover, wisdom
A selection is just telling Gimp what pixels should be altered. So once you have done a selection you select another tool (for instance the brush)(the selection remains) and you will notice that its effect is restricted to the pixels in the selection.

The founders of this forum are collectively known as "the Greybeards", so not exactly youngsters either.
When coming to Gimp for the first time having used some other image editing application for a long time you have to forget how "thing-were-done". It will be difficult, what you expect to happen often goes wrong.

First thing to look at is the Gimp help manual. Often on the terse side and basic but it is there.

example: Pages of options but probably not what you immediately want to know - that the selection is a boundary indicator, nothing else.

For Gimp 2.10 help files there is an installable version. The same as a PDF, 1000 pages with index and searchable.

When it comes to other sources of "help" there is plenty around. Many are old, refer to previous versions of Gimp which can be confusing. If you can read between the lines these are useful. Example, this one a PDF shows Gimp 2.8 but introduces the basics.

Then there are video tutorials. Many of the newest are long winded, include advertising and often incorrect or give poor advice. Unfortunately these are pushed by the search engines. Ignore those, others can be useful for specific topics.

Get stuck? You can always come back and ask here.

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