Thread Rating:
  • 1 Vote(s) - 5 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Working with Paths
When I first started working with paths I made a How To list. I printed this and kept referring to it whenever I was working with paths. It helped me, so I am sure it will help others just starting to use Gimp paths.

Consider this a Work In Progress. ie it is not complete and not guaranteed to be 100% correct. Please feel free to correct and add to it. I would like to see it posted somewhere permanent when completed.


Create a new Path:
Design: Click, Click, Click, Click, ...

Close a Path:
Design: Ctrl-Click on first node.

Move a Node:
Design: Drag Node

Add a new node:
Design: Ctrl-Click on segment
Edit: Click on a segment

Delete a node:
Design: Select node, then Shift-Ctrl-Click on the node
Edit: Select node, then Shift-Click on the node (or Shift-Ctrl-Click on the node)

Delete a segment:
Design: Select Segent, then Shift-Ctrl-Click on the segment
Edit: Select Segent, Shift-Click on the segment

Join two nodes with a segment (close a path):
Design: Click on one node; Ctrl-Click on the next node.
Edit: Click on one node, Click on the next node.

Open (Extract) a handle:
Design: Select node: Ctrl-Drag square
or Edit: Drag square

Open (Extract) handles while creating a path:
Instead of just clckng, Click-Drag.

Close (Delete) a handle:
Design: Shift-Ctrl-Click on the handle
Edit: Shift-Click on the handle

Make handles symmetrical:
Design or Edit: Press Shift while dragging a handle
Design or Edit: Press Ctrl-Shift while dragging a handle

Bend a segment:
Design:  Click on the segment and drag
or Edit: Click on the segment and drag (Caveat: this adds a new node!)

Start a new section in the same path
Design: Shift-Click
(Can be used to create an O shape path with inner and outer sections)

How to tell Gimp that this path is complete and I want to start a new path:
Paths Dialogue: Click on New Path (similar to creating a new layer in the layers dialogue.)

How to smooth nodes or a complete path:
A good crib sheet.

For that last item, smooth a path, there is at least one plugin (probably more) that does that.

Must be something I do wrong....have only tried it a few times because I have had no luck with it. Every time I try to move a node the whole path moves?!

Yes, there is mode ("Move")where the whole path moves... check the Tool options (and your Alt key).
In the tool options for the path tool are 3 modes: design, edit, move. The move option will move the entire path. To move a single node use the design mode.

From my crib sheet above:
Move a Node:
Design: Drag Node
As described by Blighty, all depends on the path tool mode. In particular look out for the cursor symbol, +


struggled to get that less than 500KB Smile

edit: ctrl-z (undo) is your friend here. Accidentally create a node? back off that click.
Thanks guys Smile

(11-02-2016, 08:52 AM)rich2005 Wrote: struggled to get that less than 500KB Smile

... which is nice, since I expect this GIF to be today's major Internet hit and we don't want our hosting traffic meters to redzone Smile
Im not a great fan of the path tool in Gimp. Why did they make the nodes so big ?
They used to be smaller.
When you'll have a high-def display you'll understand Smile

Forum Jump: