5.  How to Draw Straight Lines

Revision History
Revision $Revision: 1829 $ 2007-07-15 romanofski

This tutorial is based on Text and images Copyright © 2002 Seth Burgess. The original tutorial can be found in the internet [TUT01].

5.1.  Intention

Figure 3.31.  Example of straight drawn lines

Example of straight drawn lines

This tutorial shows you how you can do straight lines with the GIMP, using a feature called the Shift Key. Straight lines are a convenient way to make things that aren't so terribly affected by the imprecision of a mouse or tablet, and to take advantage of the power of a computer to make things look neat and orderly. This tutorial doesn't use Straight Lines for complex tasks; its intended to show how you can use it to create quick and easy line effects.

  1. Preparations

    Figure 3.32.  Introducing the Shift-key

    Introducing the Shift-key
    Introducing the Shift-key

    The invention called the typewriter introduced the Shift Key. You generally have 2 of them on your keyboard. They look something like the picture on the left. They are located on the left and right sides of your keyboard. The other invention, called the Mouse, was invented by Douglas C. Engelbart in 1970. These come in different varieties, but always have at least one button located on them. They are located on your desk, or sometimes on a mouse pad.

  2. Creating a Blank Drawable

    Figure 3.33.  New image

    New image

    First, create a new image. Any size will do. You can do so by selecting File+New from the menu in the toolbox window.

  3. Choose a Tool

    Figure 3.34.  Paint tools in the toolbox

    Paint tools in the toolbox

    Then click on the paintbrush. Any of the red-highlighted tools on the above toolbox can do lines.

  4. Create a Starting Point

    Figure 3.35.  Starting point

    Starting point

    After you click the paintbrush tool, you can click the image. A single dot will appear on the screen. The size of this dot represents the current brush size, which you can change in the Brush Dialog (see Section 3.2, “ Brushes Dialog). Now, lets start drawing a line. Hold down the Shift button, and keep it down.

  5. Drawing the Line

    Figure 3.36.  Drawing the line

    Drawing the line

    After you have a starting point, and have held down the Shift Key, you'll see a line like above if you're running GIMP version 1.2.x or later. Press the first button on the Mouse (the leftmost one usually) and then let it go. During that whole “click” of the Mouse button, you need to keep the Shift Key held down.