Revision Date: 6 July 2016

Tools Window Tools Window icon

The Tools Window is where tools are chosen.  Clicking on a tool icon makes that tool active and available to edit the image.

Tools Window
Tools Window

Show/Hide the Tools Window

The Tools Window can be hidden by pressing the F5 key or clicking the Tools icon.

Tools Window icon
Tools Window icon

Clicking the Tools icon or pressing F5 key again toggles the visibility of the window back on.

Resetting the Tools Window

The window can be reset to its original position (including docking) by pressing Ctrl + Shift + F5 or by holding down Ctrl + Shift and clicking the Tools icon.

Relocating the Tools Window

The Tools Window can be relocated by clicking and dragging it by the title bar.

Tools Window contents

The Tools Window contains an icon for each of the tools.  To activate a tool, click on the icon.  The icon will show a border and highlighting indicating that it is the active tool.  The Paintbrush is highlighted in the image below.


Hovering the mouse pointer over a tool icon shows a tool tip with the keyboard shortcut.

Tool tips

Selection Tools

Rectangle Select Rectangle Select

Use this tool to define a rectangular or square selection region. This tool is covered in detail in the Shape Selection Tools section.

Lasso Select Lasso Select

This tool is used to create a freeform selection region. For information on how this tool works, see the Shape Selection Tools section.

Elliptical Select Ellipse Select

This tool makes elliptical or circular selections. To find out how to use this tool, see the Shape Selection Tools section.

Magic Wand Magic Wand

The Magic Wand Tool is used to select areas of the active layer that are similar in color.  This tool is covered in detail in the Magic Wand section.

Move Tools

Move Selected Pixels Move Selected Pixels

This is used to move pixels that are in the layer or current selection.

Move Selection Move Selection

You may use this to move or modify the selection outline without affecting any pixels in the image.

Both these Move Tools are covered in detail in the Move Tools section.

View Tools

Zoom Zoom

This tool is used to zoom in, zoom out, or expand the canvas around a particular region.

Pan Pan

This tool scrolls, or pans the image. This functionality is also usable from any other tool at any time: hold down the spacebar and then click and drag with the mouse.

Both these View Tools are covered in detail in the View Tools section.

Fill Tools

Paint Bucket Paint Bucket

This tool fills areas of similar color with a different color. For more information on this tool, visit the Paint Bucket Tool section.

Gradient Gradient

The Gradient Tool allows the drawing of gradients (a gradual blend of one color to another). Several formats and shapes are supported. The Gradient Tool also has a transparency mode, which is useful to "fade" or "blend" two images together. The Gradient Tool is covered in detail in the Gradient Tool section.

Drawing Tools

Paintbrush Paintbrush

This tool is selected by default when starts. It is used to create stripes of color just like a paint filled brush would do, hence the name. This tool is covered in detail in the Paintbrush Tool section.

Eraser Eraser

As the name suggests, this tool erases or removes areas of the image by setting the opacity, or alpha, of the pixels to 0.  This tool is discussed in detail in the Eraser Tool section.

Pencil Pencil

This tool allows editing of the active layer on a pixel-by-pixel basis. See the Pencil Tool section for more information on this tool.

Photo Tools

Color Picker Color Picker

Use this tool to "pick up" a color from the active layer and set it as the current Primary or Secondary colors. See the Color Picker Tool section for more information on how this tool works.

Clone Stamp Clone Stamp

This tool is used to copy regions of pixels between different layers, or within the same layer.  For a detailed discussion on how to use this tool, visit the Clone Stamp Tool section.

Recolor Recolor Tool

The Recolor Tool replaces one color with another. More information can be found in the Recolor Tool section.

Text and Shape Tools

Text Text Tool

This tool places text on the active layer. Find out how to use the Text Tool in the Text Tool section.

Line/Curve Line/Curve Tool

Draw straight or curved lines on the active layer with this tool. More can be found on this tool in the Line/Curve Tool section.

Shapes Tool Shapes Tool

This is used to draw a number of predefined shapes. This tool is covered in detail in the Geometric Shape Tools section.