2.4. Free Selection (Lasso)

Figure 14.18. Free Selection icon in the Toolbox

Free Selection icon in the Toolbox

The Free Selection tool, or Lasso, lets you create a selection by drawing it with the pointer.

Since GIMP-2.6, you can use it in two ways. First create the starting point clicking on your image. Then,

In both cases, double clicking on the end point closes the selection with a straight line.

In polygonal mode, this selection is a preliminary selection; ants are marching, but the small yellow circle is still present: you can copy the selection and, pressing the Backspace key, you return to the previous selection step (re-open the shape), and you can edit the selection.

Press Enter or double click inside the shape to validate the selection.

Pressing and releasing the mouse pointer allows you to mix free hand segments and polygonal segments. You can go outside the edge of the image display and come back in if you want to.

The Lasso is often a good tool to use for roughing in a selection; it is not so good for precise definition. Experienced users find that it is often convenient to begin with the lasso tool, but then switch to QuickMask mode for detail work.

For information on selections and how they are used in GIMP see Selections. For information on features common to all selection tools see Selection Tools.

[Note] Note

The Free Selection tool is much easier to use with a tablet than with a mouse.

Figure 14.19. Mixing free hand segments and polygonal segments

Mixing free hand segments and polygonal segments

2.4.1. Activating the tool

You can access the Lasso Tool in different ways:

  • From the image menu bar ToolsSelection ToolsFree Select,

  • by clicking on the tool icon in the ToolBox,

  • by using the keyboard shortcut F.

2.4.2. Key modifiers

The Free Select tool has key modifiers that affect all selection tools in the same way. See Selection Tools for help with these.

Backspace returns to previous selection step (removes last selection segment), Escape cancels all selection segments.

2.4.3. Tool handling

To move the selection, see Moving selections.

Figure 14.20. Rough selection with the Free Selection tool.

Rough selection with the Free Selection tool.

2.4.4. Options

Figure 14.21. Tool Options for the Lasso tool

Tool Options for the Lasso tool

Normally, tool options are displayed in a window attached under the Toolbox as soon as you activate a tool. If they are not, you can access them from the image menu bar through WindowsDockable WindowsTool Options which opens the option window of the selected tool.

The Free Select tool has no special tool options, only the ones that affect all selection tools in the same way. See Selection Tools for help with these.

Since GIMP-2.10.12, selection modes work differently. Marching ants come with a continuous line, meaning that the selection is not validated yet and that you can still change the selection shape (mouse pointer comes with the Move icon). But you can't use "Hold Shift, Ctrl...) yet. You have to hit the Enter key. Then you can use Hold Shift to add a selection, Hold Ctrl to subtract a selection, Hold Shift + Ctrl to intersect two selections. When you are satisfied with your changes, hit Enter key to validate the selection.