How to Use Paths Tool in GIMP

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How to Use Paths Tool in GIMP

In case you are new to GIMP, there are several tools in GIMP you can use to select certain area on your image before applying certain operation, like moving the object, applying a filter or fill it with a color. Paths Tool itself can be used to select an area within an image that is impossible to be selected using other selection tools. Like the following.

On the example above, it’s impossible to use neither Rectangle Select Tool nor Ellipse Select Tool. You might can use Free Select Tool, but Paths Tool is the best option for such case.

As a new GIMP user, you might have no idea of how to use Paths Tool yet. Actually, it’s pretty easy. First off, simply click the Paths Tool on the Toolbox panel.

Specify the start point by clicking anywhere on the area you want to select then clicks a couple times until your desired area is fully selected.

Normally, your start point is also your end point when working with Paths Tool. Once you have made some clicks and get close to the start point, you can press and hold the control button on your keyboard and click the start point to get a more precise end point. Below is the demo of how to use Paths Tool.

Applying the selection

Before being able to go further with the area you have selected, you need to apply the selection first. To do so, go to Select -> From Path on the menu bar or simply press the Shift+V button.


During the selection process, you will get the straight line when clicking from a point to another one. If the area you want to select contains curved parts, you can also set the straight line to be a curve according to the curved parts. To do so, hold your mouse on the next point and start making a curve by moving your mouse.

Applying certain operation to the selected area

So you are done selecting the area. What’s next?

Sure, it depends on what’s on your mind. If you want delete it then you can click the Eraser Tool on the Toolbox panel. If you want to apply certain filter, you can select the sort of filter you want to apply on the Filters menu.

Let’s say you want to censor the area you have selected by applying a pixelated filter. To do so, go to Filters -> Blur -> Pixelize. You should see only the selected area get affected the filter.


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