18.7. Tool Options

Tool Options Preferences

This page lets you customize several aspects of the behavior of tools.


Guide and Grid Snapping

Snap distance

"Snapping" to guides, or to an image grid, means that when a tool is applied by clicking somewhere on the image display, if the clicked point is near enough to a guide or grid, it is shifted exactly onto the guide or grid. Snapping to guides can be toggled using View->Snap to Guides in the image menu; and if the grid is switched on, snapping to it can be toggled using View->Snap to Grid. This preference option determines how close a clicked point must be to a guide or grid in order to be snapped onto it, in pixels.

Finding Contiguous Regions

Default threshold

The "magic wand" tool creates selections that consist of contiguous regions, i. e., regions that are not divided by swaths of open space. This option determines how near each other two pixels need to be in order to be considered contiguous.


Default interpolation

When you scale something, each pixel in the result is calculated by interpolating several pixels in the source. This option determines the default interpolation method: it can always be changed, though, in the Tool Options dialog. There are three choices: None, Linear, and Cubic. "None" is fastest, but quite crude: you should only consider using it if your machine is very seriously speed-impaired. "Linear" is the default, and is good enough for most purposes. "Cubic" is the best (although it can actually look worse than Linear for some types of images), but also the slowest.

Paint Options Shared Between Tools

Brush, Pattern, Gradient

You can decide here whether changing the brush etc for one tool should cause the new item to be used for all tools, or whether each individual tool (pencil, paintbrush, airbrush, etc) should remember the item that was last used for it specifically.