How To Add Shapes Into GIMP {Circles, Triangles, Octagons, Arrows, & More}

add shapes

As you already know, GIMP is an excellent alternative to Photoshop. The biggest drawback to GIMP, though, for graphic designers is creating shapes. Since it doesn’t have a built-in tool for creating shapes, we have to improvise.

This tutorial isn’t about creating shapes. It’s more about adding pre-made shapes into GIMP. You can literally find thousands of shapes online. Most of them are copyrighted and have limited usage rights.

No worries. I’ve created dozens of shapes that you can download for free (no email address required). Plus, they can be used for both commercial and personal use!

Table of Contents

This guide will show you how to add those shapes into GIMP, how to resize and reshape them, change their colors, and more. If you’re ready… let’s do it!

Download Shapes

Building a library of shapes to use with GIMP starts with the free shapes I created for you! Hit that download button… 

Once downloaded, unzip and open the .XCF file. You’ll find each shape on its own layer.

To find additional resources do a Google search for “free png shapes.” You’ll find loads of shapes to download. 

Make sure to review the copyright information to ensure it can be used for personal and commercial use.

Here are some links to other free shapes too…

How To Add Shapes In GIMP

Now that you have my free resources downloaded, it’s time to add the shapes you need into your current project. Open your project file, and if you haven’t done so already, open my resources file.

The resources I’ve provided are GIGANTIC. They’re so large the chances of needing to scale them larger will be slim. You can scale them down as needed without losing quality in the process. If you decide you need them larger, some pixelization will occur.

Two Recommended Steps Before Adding Them To Your Canvas

I recommend recoloring the shape and resizing it to the size needed before moving them into your existing document, in that order. 

That being said, I recommend 

duplicating the .XCF file and  appending “Master” to it. 

This way, if you save a copy with adjustments, you’ll still have a master copy.

Adding a Specific Color To the Shape

Resizing the Shape Smaller Or Larger

Add the Shape

Now that your shape is adjusted click on its layer and drag it over the project tab, it needs to go into. Drag to the canvas and release your mouse button. It will be added as a new layer!

add shapes new tab

Option 2 For Adding Shapes Into Existing Documents

Included in the download, I provided you’ll find a folder of all the shapes as individual files. Click on one of those files and drag it over the GIMP interface, and release. Again, the shape will be added as a new layer!

Love Free Stuff?

I love free stuff. How ‘bout you? I bet you do!! So, check out these free resources too…

Download 9,721 free brushes for GIMP
Download thousands of free fonts for GIMP

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