If you often work on a design with GIMP, chances are you also often use patterns. A pattern allows you to fill in a certain area on your design with an artistic background. Such as leather, marble, paper, and so on. In GIMP, you can add a pattern to a certain area using Bucket Fill Tool. GIMP itself has about 60 default patterns. If you need more patterns, you can also install new ones.
In GIMP, pattern files are stored in a .pat format. You can find the pattern files of GIMP on the patterns folder under the GIMP installation folder.
It’s not a secret that GIMP has a great compatibility with Photoshop. Not only you can open and edit a PSD file with GIMP. Some Photoshop components, including patterns and brushes, can also be used in GIMP. You can use an ABR file (the file format of Photoshop pattern and brush) in GIMP.
How to install GIMP patterns in Windows
If you use GIMP on Windows, you can install new patterns by copying the pattern files to the patterns folder under the GIMP installation folder. If you use GIMP 2.0.x, you can find the patterns folder on the following path.
C:\Program Files\GIMP 2\share\gimp\2.0\patterns\
You will need to provide administrator permission to add new files to this folder. A confirmation dialog will appear as you paste the file. Simply click the Continue button.
If the patterns you want to add are in a .pat format, make sure to put them together into a single folder before copying them to the patterns folder. If the patters are in an ABR format, you can simply paste the ABR file to the patterns folder. An ABR file can contain multiple patterns.
How to install GIMP patterns in Linux
Same as Windows, In Linux, you can also copy the files of the patterns you want to the patterns directory. In most Linux distros, you can find this folder on the following path.
You will need root access to add a new file to this folder. In Debian and the derivates (including Ubuntu and Linux Mint), you can type
sudo nautilus on the terminal to open Nautilus as root if you to copy the pattern files via Nautilus (Nautilus is the default file manager of Ubuntu). You will see a different structure here. In Linux, the pattern files are not put together into different folders like Windows. Instead, they are just be put on the patterns folder.
Since GIMP is less popular than Photoshop, it’s hard enough to find the native pattern files of GIMP (.pat files). So, you can download the pattern files of Photoshop instead if you need to install new patterns on your GIMP.