3.5. Palettes Dialog

A palette is a set of discrete colors, in no particular order. See the Palettes section for basic information on palettes and how they can be created and used.

The Palettes dialog is used to select a palette, by clicking on it in a list or grid view. A few dozen more or less randomly chosen palettes are supplied with GIMP, and you can easily add new palettes of your own. The Palettes dialog also give you access to several operations for creating new palettes or manipulating the ones that already exist.

[Note] Note

The Palettes dialog is not the same thing as the Index Palette dialog, which is used to manipulate the colormaps of indexed images.

3.5.1. Activating the dialog

The Palettes dialog is a dockable dialog; see the section Section 2.3, “Dialogs and Docking” for help on manipulating it.

You can access it:

  • from the image menu: WindowsDockable DialogsPalettes;

  • from the Tab menu in any dockable dialog by clicking on and selecting Add TabPalettes.

3.5.2. Using the Palettes dialog

Clicking on a palette in the dialog selects this palette and brings up the Palette Editor, which allows you to set GIMP's foreground or background colors by clicking on colors in the palette display. You can also use the arrow keys to select a palette.

Double-clicking on a palette name (in List View mode) lets you to edit the name. Note that you are only allowed to change the names of palettes that you have added yourself, not those that are supplied with GIMP. If you edit a name that you are not allowed to change, it will revert back to its previous value as soon as you hit return or move the pointer focus elsewhere.

Grid/List modes

Figure 15.50. The Palettes dialog

The Palettes dialog

Grid View

The Palettes dialog

List View

In the Tab menu, you can choose between View as Grid and View as List. In Grid mode, the palettes are laid out in a spectacular rectangular array, making it easy to see many at once and find the one you are looking for. In List mode (the default), the palettes are lined up in a list, with the names beside them.

The option Preview Size allows you to adapt the size of color cell previews to your liking.


You can use tags to reorganize the palettes display. See Section 3.6, “Tagging”.

The buttons of the Palettes Dialog

Below the palettes view, at the bottom of the dialog window, there are several buttons:

Edit Palette

This button brings up the Section 3.5.4, “Palette Editor”.

New Palette

For more information on this button please refer to New Palette.

Duplicate Palette

For more information on this button please refer to Duplicate Palette.

Delete Palette

For more information on this button please refer to Delete Palette.

Refresh Palettes

For more information on this button please refer to Refresh Palettes.

3.5.3. The Palettes pop-menu

Figure 15.51. The Palettes pop-menu

The Palettes pop-menu

The Palettes pop-menu can be accessed by right-clicking in the Palettes dialog, or by choosing the top item from the dialog Tab menu ().

[Note] Note

Some of the listed pop-menu entries are installation dependend and need the Python language interpreter to be installed. This includes at the time of writing: Offset Palette..., Palette to gradient, Palette to Repeating Gradient and Sort Palette....

Edit Palette

Edit Palette is an alternative way of activating the Palette Editor: it can also be activated by double-clicking on a palette in the Pa