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New GIMP feature: Canvas Rotation

By at 2013-04-22 09:53:36 UTC, last updated over 8 years ago. CC BY-NC License

Canvas rotation feature Canvas rotation feature

On the weekend Michael Natterer implemented a new feature that was often requested by painters: Canvas rotation.

The canvas rotation feature lets you set an angle for the whole view of the image window by pressing SHIFT+Middle mouse button. You can also set it by 15° steps when pressing CTRL+SHIFT+Middle Mouse.

The feature is working great already and still is a work in progress of course (it’s only found in the development version). Currently everything inside the canvas is rotated, this means when using other tools they get the rotated view too. I.e. if you use the rectangle selection tool you’ll get a rotated selection inside the canvas instead of a “normal” one. Same example on the paintbrush tool: set a 0° angle on the brush in the preferences and you’ll still get a rotated brush when the canvas is rotated. This was already discussed in the official IRC as I was told, and there was no decision yet if this will be the final behavior or if the developers add something that allows the user to decide if the tools should synchronize with the canvas or get their own view. It’s a work in progress!

You can try the feature in the latest development build. Be sure to check out Alexandres demo video found at his blog to see it in action or just click to play below.


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devvv member for over 15 years devvv 1475 comments
over 7 years ago

No, it will be available with GIMP 2.10

over 7 years ago

But this function does not exist till now?! (28.06.2014)

Coche member for over 12 years Coche 13 comments rated this topic with 5/5
over 8 years ago

very welcome addition to GIMP!! just a suggestion, I think the canvas rotation may also be used by CTRL + LEFT arrow or CTRL + RIGHT arrow, just like canvas rotation works in MyPaint :)

over 8 years ago

@GImp Lover

Just how much more available should we nmake it? :D

There's an alternative way to toggle it, via Shift+Space + left-drag.

GImp Lover
over 8 years ago

Please make this feature available, it will make so many situations SOOOO much easier :)

also, please remove the involvement of the middle mouse button, or offer an alternative method - not everyone has a mouse with a middle button.

Thanks and keep up the awesome work :)

over 8 years ago


It's Cantarell.

Márcio Mendonça
over 8 years ago

Great!!! But I really liked of the font! How can I get that?

over 8 years ago

Great! :-)
Now it's time for implementing unlimited canvas size (that is, without the size preset upfront, but resizing on the fly when one draws out from it). Some applications have that already.

over 8 years ago

omg... almost a reason to return to Linux, damn you windows build for not working properly

over 8 years ago

You should put voice on your videos it would be easier to follow the tutorials

over 8 years ago

Great feature ! That is a very nice idea and a great step in the right direction.
Congratulations !