5.3.  Open

Revision History
Revision $Revision: 1915 $ 2006-07-27 scb

The Open command activates a dialog that lets you load an existing image from your hard-drive or an external medium. For alternative, and sometimes more convenient, ways of opening files, see the Files section.

5.3.1.  Activating the Dialog

  • You can access the Open dialog from the toolbox window or from an image window through: FileOpen.

  • You can also open the Dialog by using the keyboard shortcut Ctrl-O.

5.3.2.  File browsing

Figure 14.27.  Open Dialog

Open Dialog


The left panel is divided into two parts. The upper part lists your main directories and your storage devices; you cannot modify this list. The lower part lists your bookmarks; you can add or remove bookmarks. To add a bookmark, select a directory or a file in the middle panel and click on the Add button at the bottom of the left panel. You can also use the Add to bookmarks command in the context menu, which you get by clicking the right mouse button. You can delete a bookmark by selecting it and clicking on the Remove button.


The middle panel displays a list of the files in the current directory. Change your current directory by double left clicking on a directory in this panel. Select a file with a single left click. You can then open the file you have selected by clicking on the Open button. Note that a double left click opens the file directly; if you have selected a file different from the current one, a message warns you before GIMP overwrites your work.

Right-clicking on the middle panel displays the Open Location dialog that allows you to type a path to a file. You can also open this dialog by typing Ctrl-L.


The selected image is displayed in the Preview window if it is an image created by GIMP. File size, resolution and the image's composition are displayed below the preview window.

[Tip] Tip

If your image has been modified by another program, click on the Preview window to update it.


The path of the current directory is displayed above the middle panel. You can navigate along this path by clicking on one of the buttons.


This button shows All Files by default. This means that all file types will be displayed in the middle panel, even if they are not images. You can filter the list for a particular file type.


The Determine File Type button has a default of Automatic. In most cases you don't need to pay any attention to this, because the GIMP can determine the file type automatically. In a few rare situations, neither the file extension nor internal information in the file are enough to tell GIMP the file type. If this happens, you can set it by selecting it from the list.