Adding simple shapes to GIMP drawings

When working with screen dumps there is often a need to circle a button or put a red ellipse around something to draw it to the user’s attention.

The best way of doing this in the GIMP is not exactly easy to discover by accident!

I only found it out in “Beginning GIMP – From Novice to Professional” Akkana Peck, Apress 2006 pp.289-290.

Even then I had to work out how where in the interface I could get to gfig. Answer: Filters>Render>Gfig …

It might pay to resize the Gfig window so you can see all the controls.

There is a catch – basically the shape is not separately editable once it has been added to the graphic!

You can, however, save some standard images e.g. red ellipse from within the File>Save dialog of Gfig itself.

To select a shape click on the pointer on the toolbar and click on the middle of the shape. The selected shape should have a middle handle which is black, not white. Options are to drag the shape around or to reshape it depending on which button is selected on the toolbar. Not what I’d call intuitive but once you’ve got it it is simple.

Final point – the stroke for the shape is probably best to be a small fuzzy circle to prevent a pixelated effect. Making it slightly transparent is also good so it doesn’t obscure the details beneath (give opacity a middle setting).

Gfig

PLUS this only works if the image mode is RGB I think.