5. How to Draw Straight Lines

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

Figura 3.35. Example of straight lines

Example of straight lines

This tutorial shows you how to draw straight lines with GIMP. Forcing a line to be straight is a convenient way to deal with 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 straight lines.

  1. Preparations

    Figura 3.36. Introducing the Shift-key

    Introducing the Shift-key
    Introducing the Shift-key

    You generally have two Shift keys on your keyboard. They look something like the photography above. The keys are located on the left and right sides of your keyboard.

    The mouse can come in different varieties, but always has at least two buttons.

  2. Create a New Image

    First, create a new image. Any size will do. Use FileNew… to create a new image.

  3. Choose a Tool

    Figura 3.37. Paint tools in the toolbox

    Paint tools in the toolbox

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

  4. Create a Starting Point

    Figura 3.38. Starting point

    Starting point

    Click on the paintbrush in the toolbox. Click in the image where you want a line to start or end. 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 Secção 3.2, “Brushes Dialog”). Now, let's start drawing a line. Hold down the Shift key, and keep it down.

  5. Draw the Line

    Figura 3.39. Draw the line

    Draw the line

    After you have a starting point and while pressing the Shift key, you will see a straight line that follows the cursor. Press the first button on the mouse (the leftmost one usually) and let it go. During that whole click of the mouse button, you need to keep the Shift key held down.

  6. Final Result

    Figura 3.40. Final result

    Final result

    This is a powerful feature. You can draw straight lines with any of the draw tools. You can even draw more lines at the end of this one. Our last step is to let go of the Shift key, and we are finished. Some examples are shown in the next section. Happy GIMPing!