Working with Paths - Printable Version

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Working with Paths - Blighty - 10-31-2016

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:

RE: Working with Paths - rich2005 - 10-31-2016

A good crib sheet.

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


RE: Working with Paths - sallyanne - 11-02-2016

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?!

RE: Working with Paths - Ofnuts - 11-02-2016

Yes, there is mode ("Move")where the whole path moves... check the Tool options (and your Alt key).

RE: Working with Paths - Blighty - 11-02-2016

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

RE: Working with Paths - rich2005 - 11-02-2016

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.

RE: Working with Paths - sallyanne - 11-02-2016

Thanks guys Smile

RE: Working with Paths - Ofnuts - 11-02-2016

(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

RE: Working with Paths - Espermaschine - 11-02-2016

Im not a great fan of the path tool in Gimp. Why did they make the nodes so big ?
They used to be smaller.

RE: Working with Paths - Ofnuts - 11-02-2016

When you'll have a high-def display you'll understand Smile