9. Filters

The Filters menu

In GIMP terminology, a filter is a plug-in that modifies the appearance of an image, in most cases just the active layer of the image. Not all of the entries in this menu meet that definition, however: the word "filter" is often abused to mean any plug-in regardless of what it does. Indeed, some of the things you will find in this menu do not modify images at all.

With the exception of the top three items, all of the entries in this menu are provided by plug-ins. Each plug-in decides for itself where it would like its menu entry to be placed. Therefore, the appearance of this menu can be completely different for each user. In practice, though, the appearance does not vary all that much, because most plug-ins come with GIMP when it is installed, and of course they are always in the same places in the menu.

Plug-ins are not restricted only to the Filters menu: a plug-in can request to be placed in any menu. Indeed, a number of GIMP's basic functions (for example, "Semi-flatten" in the Layer menu) are implemented by plug-ins. But the Filters menu is the default place for a plug-in to locate itself.

For general information on plug-ins and how to use them, see the section on Plugins. Information on the filters that are provided with GIMP can be found in the Filters chapter. For filters you install yourself, you will of course have to obtain information elsewhere.

Repeat Last

This command can be accessed from an image menubar as Filters->Repeat "filter", or by using the keyboard shortcut Ctrl-F.

"Repeat Last" repeats the most recently executed plugin, using the same settings at the last time it was run. It does not show a dialog or request confirmation.

[Note] Note

It is important to realize that this command repeats the most recently executed plugin, regardless of whether it can be found in the Filters menu.

Re-show Last

This command can be accessed from an image menubar as Filters->Re-show "filter", or by using the keyboard shortcut Ctrl-Shift-F.

"Re-show Last" interactively runs the most recently executed plugin. If the plugin is one that uses a dialog window, it does so here, with the settings initialized to the values you used the last time you ran the plugin. (Assuming the plugin is correctly programmed, that is.)

[Tip] Tip

It is very common, especially for plugins that lack a preview, to have to adjust parameters several times before the results are satisfactory. The most efficient way to do this is to memorize the keyboard shortcuts for "undo" followed by "re-show last": Ctrl-Z followed by Ctrl-Shift-F.

Reset All Filters

This command can be accessed from an image menubar as Filters->Reset All Filters....

Normally, each time you run an interactive plugin, the dialog comes up with settings initialized to the values you used the last time you ran it. Sometimes this can be very annoying, if you mess up the values and don't remember what they were originally. One way to recover is to exit from GIMP and start again, but this command provides a slightly less desperate solution: it resets the values for all plugins to their defaults. Because it is a dramatic step, it asks you to confirm that you really want to do it. Be careful: this command is not undoable.