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Creating a Rectangle or Rounded Rectangle Using The Gimp

Updated on February 2, 2009

About The Gimp

The Gimp is a free digital image editor and creator. It offers most, if not all of the features of Adobe Photoshop, however it is free.

The Gimp has been around for over 10 years and stands for GNU Image Manipulation Program.

There are versions available for all major operating systems, including Linux, Windows, and Mac OSX. It offers many of the high level functions, including about 150 different effects and filters, like Cartoon, which makes the image look kind of like an old cartoon.

Drawing a Rounded Rectangle in Gimp

If you have ever used MS Paint or something like it, you might be used to the pre-made shapes. When you want to draw a rectangle, you simply select the rectangle tool and are done. The Gimp also allows you to do this, however, it is not quite as straight forward.

Below are the steps for drawing a rounded rectangle using the Gimp

  1. For the purpose of this exercise, lets create a new 800 x 600 Canvas. Goto "File" and select "New."
  2. Enter 800 for the width and 600 for the Height. This will create a blank canvas that is 800 pixels high and 600 pixels wide.

  3. Select the Rectangle Select Tool in the Gimp Pallet. This is the tool in the upper right hand corner of the Pallet (Pictured Below.)

  4. Left Click and hold the mouse button down anywhere on the blank canvas you created in step 2. Drag the mouse and you will see a rectangle with dotted lines appear.

  5. Without clicking on the canvas again, goto the Edit Menu and Select "Stroke Selection."

  6. Select the bottom option "Stroke with a paint tool" and make certain the "PaintBrush" is selected.

  7. Press Stroke

  8. This should create a border around the rectangle. This uses the Paintbrush tool to automatically stroke the border. If desired, you can make the paintbrush tool smaller or use a different color.

  9. Again without clicking on the Canvas, goto the "Select" Menu and click on rounded Rectangle.

  10. In the rounded rectangle box, change the Radius to 100 and click OK. You should see the dotted line change shape, with the corners becoming rounded.

  11. Now lets repeat step 5 - 7 and you should end up with something similar to the below picture.

The Steps in Action

This shows the pallet.
This shows the pallet.
This shows the canvas after using the Rectangle Select Tool.
This shows the canvas after using the Rectangle Select Tool.
This shows the Stroke Selection Dialog
This shows the Stroke Selection Dialog
This shows the "Rounded Rectangle" Dialog
This shows the "Rounded Rectangle" Dialog
This shows the final image.
This shows the final image.

Making Circles and Ovals

Now that you know how to make a rectangle, the steps to make a circle are very similar. In fact,steps 4 - 7 are exactly the same. The only difference is that instead of using the "Rectangle Select Tool," you will be using the "Ellipse Select Tool."The Ellipse Select Tool is located to the right of the Rectangle Select Too.

Filling in Your Square, Circle, or Rectangle

Using the above steps, you can draw an outline around your shape. However, if you want to fill it in, you have several options. You can use the Paint Bucket Tool or you can goto the "Edit" menu and select either "Fill with FG," Fill with BG," or"Fill with Pattern."

If you select Fill with FG, it will fill your shape with your current Foreground Color.

If you select Fill with BG, it will fill your shape with your current Background Color.

If you select Fill with Patter, it will fill the shape with a pattern.


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    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Thanks !

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Very helpful. Thanks!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      .... the same problem with the Photoshop to... instead of simple 2..3 step procedure they offer complicated 11 step !!! process ... in both applications it can be accomplished done though ass.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      F*** stupid piece of software. You need actually MANUAL to draw RECTANGLE. You don't need manual to use best software. Crap software needs manuals and stinky pile of tutorials.

    • nick247 profile image


      8 years ago from United Kingdom

      I'm in love with open source software, and hubs like this make using it that much easier. Nice one!

    • profile image

      Logo Design Gear 

      8 years ago

      Good article. To the point. Love it

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Loooove the gimp

    • 49er profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from USA

      Thank you Amanda.

    • Amanda Severn profile image

      Amanda Severn 

      9 years ago from UK

      Very clear and helpful. Thanks for posting.

    • BDazzler profile image


      9 years ago from Gulf Coast, USA

      Same comment as from the other hub, keep these Gimp hubs coming!


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