Chapter 4. What to do if you are stuck

Table of Contents

1. Introduction
2. Common Causes of GIMP Non-Responsiveness
2.1. There is a floating selection
2.2. The selection is hidden
2.3. You are acting outside the selection
2.4. The active drawable is not visible
2.5. The active drawable is transparent
2.6. You are trying to act outside the layer
2.7. You are trying to act on a layer group
2.8. The image is in indexed color mode.
2.9. No visible effect when trying to use a brush, eraser or other tool
2.10. No visible effect when trying to use the move tool, rotate or other transform tool
2.11. Eraser and brushes no longer work
2.12. Eraser does not make area transparent
2.13. Unexpected colors when trying to use a brush or eraser
2.14. The crop tool leaves an empty area after cropping
2.15. I've been waiting for a long time and GIMP is not responding
2.16. General guidelines on what to check if you are stuck
3. How to fix missing windows and dialogs
3.1. All tool windows are missing
3.2. Tool options dialog is missing
3.3. Some of the tool icons are missing
3.4. The area showing the opened images at the top is missing
4. How to fix problems exporting images
4.1. I am exporting to a jpeg image and my transparent area turned white or black
4.2. I am exporting to a gif image and the colors changed

1. Introduction

All right, okay: you're stuck. You're trying to use one of the tools on an image, and nothing is happening, and nothing you try makes any difference. Your fists are starting to clench, and your face is starting to feel warm. Are you going to have to kill the program, and lose all your work? This sucks!

Well, hold on a second. This happens pretty frequently, even to people who've used GIMP for a long time, but generally the cause is not so hard to figure out and fix if you know where to look. Let's be calm, and go through a checklist that will probably get you GIMPing happily again.