96 Most Useful GIMP Keyboard Shortcuts

96 Most Useful GIMP Keyboard Shortcuts

Do you ever wish your editing process was faster or more efficient? If so, then familiarizing yourself with some of the basic GIMP keyboard shortcuts will help you save time and make your workflow smoother.

From adjusting layers and image transformations to navigating menus and executing commands, GIMP’s shortcut selection gives users plenty of options for speeding up their editing tasks. In this blog post, we’ll explore the most useful shortcuts available in GIMP, along with tips on how best to use them.

Also, if you want to give yourself an even bigger productivity boost, make sure to check our favorite Excel keyboard shortcuts and Google Docks keyboard shortcuts. You waste too much time clicking on everything.

GIMP Tool Keyboard Shortcuts

GIMP tools are similar to the ones in Photoshop.

In fact, if you ever worked in any image editing app, you’ll easily recognize most of them. They’ll help you select, and interact with the image and its elements.

Note: some of the tools are grouped, so you won’t see them all in the tool menu. For example, Pencil, Airbrush, Ink, and MyPainBrush are grouped under Paintbrush. The same goes for the Ellipse selection tool; you can find it grouped with the Rectangular selection tool.

GIMP Additional Selection Keyboard Shortcuts

Shortcuts listed here will help you select in unique ways, as well as interact with different selections. We chose the most common actions, and they’re self-explanatory.

Action Windows & Linux macOS
Select All CTRL + A Command + A
Toggle selections CTRL + T Command + T
Deselect all Shift + CTRL + A Shift + Command + A
Invert selection CTRL + I Command + I
Float selection Shift + CTRL + L Shift + Command + L
Select from Path Shift + V Shift + V

GIMP Editing Keyboard Shortcuts

When it comes to editing your document or file, use these keyboard shortcuts to make your workflow faster.

Action Windows & Linux macOS
Crop and Resize Shift + C Shift + C
Rotate Shift + R Shift + R
Scale Shift + T Shift + T
Shear Shift + S Shift + S
Perspective Shift + P Shift + P
Flip Shift + F Shift + F
Blend L L
Dodge or Burn Shift + D Shift + D
Swap Colors X X
Default Colors D D
Undo previous action CTRL + Z Command + Z
Redo last action CTRL + Y Command + Y
Copy CTRL + C Command + C
Cut CTRL + X Command + X
Paste CTRL + V Command + V
Paste in place CTRL + Alt + V Command + Option + V
Increase Brush Size ] ]
Decrease Brush Size [ [
Show or Hide Selection CTRL + T Command + T

Note: The Paste in Place action allows you to paste the content of your clipboard into a new file, in the exact same location where it was positioned in the original file.

GIMP File Keyboard Shortcuts

The keyboard shortcuts listed in this section will help you open and interact with different files and images in GIMP.

Action Windows & Linux macOS
Open new file CTRL + N Command + N
Open Image CTRL + O Command + O
Open Image as new layer CTRL + Alt + O Command+ Option + O
Open recent image 01 CTRL + 1 Command + 1
Open recent image 02 CTRL + 2 Command + 2
Open recent image 03 CTRL + 3 Command + 3
Create a new image from clipboard Shift + CTRL + V Shift + Command + V
Save with a new name Shift + CTRL + S Shift + Command + S
Close All Files Shift + CTRL + W Shift + Command + W
Quit GIMP CTRL + Q Command + Q

Note: Opening a recent image past 03 is the same command, just replace the number with the corresponding one. CTRL(Command) + 4,5,6, and so on.

GIMP View and Action Keyboard Shortcuts

The keyboard shortcuts listed here will help you interact with GIMP. Browse its menus easily, toggle guides, or rulers, and fill the background with a color.

Action Windows & Linux macOS
Main Menu F10 F10
Drop-down menu Shift + F10 Shift + F10
Full Screen F11 F11
Toggle quickmask Shift + Q Shift + Q
Close document window CTRL + W Command + W
Shrink wrap CTRL + E Command + E
Fit image in the document window Shift + CTRL + E Shift + Command + E
Toggle rulers Shift + CTRL + R Shift + Command + R
Toggle guides Shift + CTRL + T Shift + Command + T
Clear selection CTRL + K Command + K
Fill with Foreground Color CTRL + , Command + ,
Fill with background color CTRL + . Command + .
Fill with pattern CTRL + : Command + :

GIMP Dialogs Keyboard Shortcuts

These shortcuts will allow you to manipulate Dialogs in GIMP. Dialogs are moving windows that contain tool options or are dedicated to a specific task. Open the dialogs to see and manipulate all their options without effort.

Action Windows & Linux macOS
Layers CTRL + L Command + L
Brushes Shift + CTRL + B Shift + Command + B
Patterns Shift + CTRL + P Shift + Command + P
Tool Options Shift + CTRL + T Shift + Command + T
Palettes CTRL + P Command + P
Info Shift + CTRL + I Shift + Command + I
Navigation Shift + CTRL + N Shift + Command + N
Close the current window Alt + F4 Option + F4
Go to next widget Tab Tab
Go to previous widget Shift + Tab Shift + Tab
Set new value Enter Option
Activate current button on the list Space bar Space bar
Toggle between tabs CTRL + Alt + Page up Command + Option + Page up
Open location Shift + L Shift + L
Down folder Alt + Down arrow Option + Down arrow
Up folder Alt + Up arrow Option + Up arrow
Home folder Alt + Home key Option + Home key
Close current dialog Esc Esc

GIMP Layers Keyboard Shortcuts

Manipulating layers is crucial for any image editing tool. Doing it fast means you’ll be done with your task in no time. What better way to quickly achieve the desired action than to use keyboard shortcuts? Use the shortcuts listed in this table to manipulate layers easily and quickly.

Action Windows & Linux macOS
New layer Shift + CTRL + N Shift + Command + N
Duplicate selected layer Shift + CTRL + D Shift + Command + D
Anchor layer CTRL + H Command + H
Select the layer above Page up Page up
Select the layer below Page down Page down
Select the first layer Home key Home key
Select the last layer End key End key
Merge all visible layers CTRL + M Command + M

How to Access the Full List of GIMP Keyboard Shortcuts

This article lists only the most common and useful keyboard shortcuts for GIMP. But every GIMP user has their preferred and unique list of shortcuts and in time you’ll create one too. You’ll add to these lists the tools and functions you use the most, or perhaps subtract the shortcuts you don’t use so often. Here’s how you can find the complete list of shortcuts within the GIMP application.

  1. Open GIMP on your PC or Mac.
  2. Go to the Edit menu (or the GIMP Application menu on Mac).
  1. Select Keyboard Shortcuts.
  1. GIMP will display a whole list of different commands and shortcuts for you to enable. You can also create customized shortcuts in this window.

How to Create Customized Keyboard Shortcuts

Not all GIMP commands have dedicated keyboard shortcuts. After all, there are thousands of commands, and it is up to you to select the most useful ones and assign shortcuts if they don’t have them already. Here’s how you can do it in GIMP:

  1. Open GIMP on a PC or Mac.
  2. Go to the Edit menu (or the GIMP Application menu on Mac).
  3. Select Keyboard Shortcuts.
  4. Use the search field to find the command you are looking for.
  1. If no shortcut is assigned to that particular command, it’ll say Disabled next to it.
  2. Click anywhere on the command’s entry to make your own shortcut. You’ll see Disabled replaced by New accelerator…
  1. Press the desired keyboard shortcut to assign it to this command. Press backspace to delete your shortcut if you made a mistake or changed your mind.
  2. If the keyboard shortcut you chose is already assigned to another command, GIMP will display a pop-up window asking you to confirm you want to overwrite the shortcut.
  3. Select Reassign Shortcut to confirm.

GIMP keyboard shortcuts are an incredibly useful tool when it comes to editing images. With just a few keystrokes, you can create stunning artwork in no time at all. Whether you’re a professional photographer or just getting started with GIMP, these shortcuts can make your workflow much smoother and more efficient.

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