3. Tools

3.1. Introduction

The GIMP has a large assortment of tools that let you perform a large variety of tasks. The tools can be thought of as falling into five categories: Selection tools, which specify or modify the portion of the image that will be affected by subsequent actions; Paint tools, which alter the colors in some part of the image; Transform tools, which alter the geometry of the image; Color tools, which alter the distribution of colors across the entire image; and Other tools, which don't fall into the other four categories.

Most tools can be activated by clicking on an icon in the Toolbox. When this is done, a <guiitem>Tool Options</guiitem> dialog for the activated tool appears below the Toolbox, presenting controls that alter the behavior of the tool. Tools can also be activated using the <guiitem>Tools</guiitem> menu in the menubar located above each image, or by using accelerator keys whose default values can be discovered from the menu. Some tools, such as the Color Tools, can only be accessed using the <guiitem>Tools</guiitem> menu or accelerator keys.

The shape of the cursor also changes when it is inside an image, to one that indicates which tool is active.