Selections 1
Rectangles and Ellipses

How do I select an area of an image?

  Several ways. Squares and ellipses are what this page will cover, but the first seven tools in the GIMP toolbox are devoted to this, and I will go into detail on the others later. Briefly, they are the lasso, fuzzy select, by color, by shape and the path tool (which you can make into a selection.)

The rectangular selection tool

Click the tool in the toolbox and bring the mouse over to your image, click with the left mouse button where you want one of the corners of the rectangle to start, and drag until you reach where you would like the opposite corner to be. Let go. There's your rectangular selection.

There is a simple screenshot below:

The elliptical selection tool

Then we have the elliptical selection tool. The results are below of dragging the cursor from the outer edge to the opposite outer edge of the "circle." Both of the above exercises are drawn "side to side."

Make selection dragging from outside, or from center?

  However, if we press and hold the Ctrl key as we begin to drag, then the shape will be CENTERED from where we started. This is best demonstrated with a small Flash video, so take a peek at the two possibilities (drawn from outside and drawn from center) for the elliptical tool. (Same behavior holds true for the rectanle, by the way . . . Directly below is the Flash animation for a regular elliptical selection:


And here is the flash animation of the "start from center" elliptical selection process:
(It uses the Ctrl key, and you must pay strict attention to the order you use the Ctrl key and the mouse in this process.)


Basic Select tool options (applies to rectangular and elliptical selections)