The available tool options for the Path Tool can be
accessed by double clicking the Path Tool icon.
As with other tools, you can delete your changes by
By default, this tool is in Design mode.
You draw the path by clicking successively. You can move
control points by clicking on them and dragging them. Between
control points are segments.
To quickly close the curve, press Ctrl
key and click on the initial control point. In previous
versions, clicking inside a closed path converted it into
Selection. Now, you can use the Create
selection from path button or the
Path to Selection button in the Path Dialog.
When you have two handles, they work symmetrically by
default. Release the pressure on the mouse button to move
handles individually. The Shift key will
force the handles to be symmetrical again.
Several functions are available with this mode:
Add a new node: if the active node (a
small empty circle after clicking on a node) is at the end
of the path, the mouse pointer is a '+' sign and a new node
is created, linked to the previous one by a segment. If the
active node is on the path, the pointer is a square and you
can create a new component to the path. This new component
is independant from the other, but belongs to the path as
you can see on the Path dialog. Pressing
Shift forces the creation of a new
Move one or several nodes: On a node,
the mouse pointer becomes a 4-arrows cross. You can click
and drag it.
You can select several nodes by Shift and
click and move them by click and drag.
allows to move all the path, as a
Modify handles: you have to Edit a node
before. A handle appears. Drag it to bend the curve.
Pressing Shift toggles to symmetric handles.
Modify segment: When you click on a
segment, the mouse pointer turns to a 4-arrows cross. Drag
it to bend the segment. As soon as you move, handles appear
at both ends of the segment. Pressing Shift
key toggles to symmetric handles.
Edit performs functions which are not
available in Design mode. With this
mode, you can work only on the existing path. Outside, the
pointer is a small crossed circle (on the whole image if
there is no path!) and you can do nothing.
Add a segment between two nodes: Click
on a node at one end of the path to activate it. Pointer is
like a union symbol. Click on an other node to link both
nodes. This is useful when you have to link unclosed
Remove a segment from a path: While
key combination, point to a segment. Pointer turns to -.
Click to delete the segment.
Add a node to a path: point to a
segment. Pointer turns to +. Click where you want to place
the new control point.
Remove a node: While pressing
Shift-Ctrl key combination, point to a node. Pointer turns
to -. Click to delete the node.
Add a handle to a node: Point to a
node. Pointer turns to small hand. Drag the node: handle
Pressing Shift toggles to symmetric
Remove a handle from a node: While
Shift-Ctrl key combination, point to a handle. Pointer
doesn't turn to the expected - and remains a hand. Click
to delete the handle.
No warning before removing a node, a segment or a handle.
Move mode allows to move one or
all components of a path. Simply click on the path and drag
If you have several components, only the
selected one is moved. If you click and drag outside the
path, all components are moved. Pressing Shift
key toggles to move all components also.
With this option, segments are linear only. Handles are not
available and segments are not bent when moving them.
Create selection from path
This button allows creation of a selection that is based on
the path in its present state. This selection is marked with
the usual "marching ants". Note that the path is still present:
current tool is still path tool and you can modify this path without
modifying the selection that has become independant. If you
change tool, the path becomes invisible, but it persists in
Path Dialog and you can re-activate it.
If the path is not closed, GIMP will close it with a straight
As the help pop-up tells, pressing Shift
when clicking on the button will add the new selection to an
eventually preexistent. Pressing the Ctrl will
subtract the selection from the preexistent and the
key combination will intersect the two selections.
In previous versions, you could access to this command
only by the Edit sub-menu in the Image Menu. Now you can
access to it also via this button. See
Stroke Path and