Draw regular shapes using The GIMP

I have been a user of GIMP for a while now. While I was able to do whatever change to existing images, today I was faced with a new challenge. Well, how do I draw a simple non-filled rectangle? I could not find any tool in GIMP which would help me create a simple rectangle. A decent image editor should provide an easy way to draw regular shapes right?

After a bit of searching I found a way to draw a simple rectangle. Here it is for all of you who may need it.

Step 1: Open GIMP

Step 2: Create a new Image by clicking on File > New and selecting the image size from the dialog that pops up

Step 3: Click on the Select Rectangular Regions tool. [Figure 1]

Step 4: Draw a rectangular selection on the image. [Figure 2]

Step 5: From the menu choose Edit > Stroke Selection. [Figure 3]

Step 6: In the Stroke Selection dialog, select the line width of the rectangle you wish to draw, the type of line, the pattern and other desirable attributes. [Figure 4]

Step 7: Click on the Stroke button

Step 8: The rectangle is now drawn and selected [Figure 5]

List of Figures

Figure 1 – The GIMP – Rectangular Selection

The GIMP - Rectangular Selection [Figure 1]

Figure 2 – Draw a rectangular region

[Figure 2]

Figure 3 – Stroke Selection

[Figure 3]

Figure 4 – Stroke Selection Dialog
[Figure 4]

Figure 5 – Hurray!

[Figure 5]


66 responses to “Draw regular shapes using The GIMP

  1. This issue is the sole reason I do not use the GIMP for all my image related needs. How hard is it to implement a simple shape tool?
    Even paint shop pro 7 had a brilliant shape tool and that was released over 10 years ago.
    While I realize that the GIMP is a photo editor, the crowd it could draw given this extremely simple addition would pop eyes across the globe.
    How hard can it be to code that?
    I recommend a mass request to the developers for this feature.

    • How hard can it be for you to code that? You want a change in OSS, make it yourself. That’s the whole point of OSS.

      The number of people who sit around complaining about this or that feature that’s missing in the Gimp… you seem to be forgetting that the developers don’t owe you anything.

      You don’t need to contribute to OSS in order to use it, but if you’re going to contribute at least do so constructively rather than just lying around being fed grapes and complaining about how sour they are.

      • Um, no… contributions to OSS consist of far more than programmers writing code. Input from the user community is essential to coding a great program. It’s silly to expect an artist with a great feature request to be able to implement it. (not bashing creative types… just that artists usually aren’t programmers as well).

  2. more than agree on that James. I would like to see that feature implemented on the next version of The Gimp.

  3. Thank you for the excellent explanation

  4. Gimp is not a simple photo editor, and this select + stroke selection is very very powerful

  5. How do i draw straight lines?

  6. Pingback: GIMP for Pixel Art: Shortcuts, Setup and Tips | Karnak Games

  7. sunsetreflector

    Thanks Bala and pbs01. You’ve all been working hard.

    Happy 2011. Rock on!

  8. Pingback: 2010 in review | B Space

  9. Well written on this topic. Thanks.

  10. Thank you SO much for this tutorial. Now I love GIMP even more…

  11. But can we change the angle of the rectangle?

  12. It’s not a vector and can’t be resized easily, though. Wish they’d still add a shape tool.

  13. Pingback: Drawing bordered rectangle in GIMP in simple steps « Ekkmanz in geeky life!

  14. so its look like im using selection tool to fill color, isnt it?

  15. Thanks for sharing, I was looking everywhere how to draw a rectangle…

  16. Hey this is kind of of off topic but I was wondering if blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if you have
    to manually code with HTML. I’m starting a blog soon but have no coding expertise so I wanted to get advice from someone with experience. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    • Most blogs today have WYSIWYG editors and no knowledge of HTML coding is necessary to get going.

      • What you say is true only in if you are happy with the way other people(like the theme dsigner of your blog) like your blog to look.

        But if you want to make a few tweaks to the way your blog looks and operates, then unfortunatly html coding is only the tip of the iceberg. Php/CSS coding is what makes most things happen and look the way there are, in the case of wordpress for example.

  17. Wow – watta mission! How many times have I drawn a rectangle & watch it disappear as soon as I clicked on something while trying to use it! Thanx for this!!

  18. Thanks for the information, it was helpful. 🙂

  19. Is there any way to precisely draw and position the cursor by typing coordinates as numbers and decimal points ?
    (Dragging a mouse is more tiring on wrist and fingers than typing numbers from keyboard, and frustrating if palm shakes).

  20. Regular figures can be drawn in Gimp with approximate position and dimension, with artistic skill but not precision of technical drawing.

  21. So I’ve got an image that has a blank space in most of it (It’s a template for a video game cover, so the parts that are set are part of the image, everything else is completely blank as in NOT WHITE, but rather that odd checkerboard that exists in areas that have absolutely no layers) and I absolutely can’t find a way to turn it into a basic white background. I’ve tried literally every page I could find on google to make a large white rectangle and send it to the back, but all it does is keep filling some other text item with white and fails to make any shapes. I know I can fix this by just opening a new document, making a big white rectangle, and then dragging it into my other document but I want to figure out how to do it the right way.

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