HomeGIMP TutorialsHow to Use Rectangle Select Tool in GIMP

GIMP has several tools which you can use to select certain region of an image. Rectangle Select Tool is one of those tools. As the name suggests, this selection tool is used to select a rectangular region of an image.

Rectangle Select Tool is a very basic selection tool. You can use this tool to protect the rest of the image while you work only on what’s inside the active selection. You can use this selection tool to apply certain effects (like gradient) or delete certain region. Only active selection will be affected by the action. The active selection is marked with marching ants. See the screencast below.

Rectangle Select Tool offers several options which you can use to modify the original rectangle shape. These options will appear right below the Toolbox as you activate it. You can, for instance, set the rectangle shape to have rounded corners.

How activate and use Rectangle Select Tool

  • Launch GIMP and open an image or create a new one. Click the Rectangle Select Tool icon on the Toolbox to activate this tool. Or, you can also use the keyboard shortcut by pressing the R key on keyboard.

  • Click anywhere within your image and drag it to any direction to create a rectangle shape. See the screencast below.

Now you can perform certain action to the active selection without ruining other regions within your image.

You can move or resize the rectangle shape. To move it, click around the center area and drag it to the direction you want. To resize it, hover your mouse over any edge and an adjustment handle will appear. See the screencast below.

Tool options

As mentioned, Rectangle Select Tool offers several options which you can use to modify the original rectangle shape. The options window will appear right below the Toolbox box as you activate the tool.

  • Antialiasing: helps to prevent jagged edges.
  • Feather edges: softens the edge of the selection.
  • Rounded corners: Creates rounded corners
  • Expand from center: expands outwards from start point.
  • Fixed: Aspect ratio (default); Width, Height, Size.
  • Highlight: brighten selection area, dim remainder.
  • Shrink merged: all visible layers shrink with selection.

Rectangle Select Tool itself offers four modes. The default mode will replace the rectangle shape you created earlier every time you create a new one, the second mode adds to the current selection, the third mode subtracts the current selection while the forth mode intersects with the current selection.

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