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This manual is a rewrite of the 1.6 manual. It is not complete


Interface Tour 1 NA.PNG

Krita is an free and cross-platform creativity application for digital painting, concept art, comics and the creation of textures for things like game art or 3D models. It is designed around existing real-world painting materials and artist workflows, but it is also packed with functions digital artists require, like layers, filters, perspective grids, dockers, filters, painting assistants, vector-based path drawing, typography tools, and built-in color-management support etc. Krita is a KDE application based on the Calligra platform.


  • Designed for natural drawing and painting workflows
  • Unique Artist Palette with fast color/brush access
  • Multiple brush engines and Blending Modes
  • Very good layer management with capability to add layers to group, create layer from linking external files, Assign independent color model to layers, variety of masks and ability to add layer styles
  • Vector Layers
  • Wrap around mode for seamless tile and texture creation
  • A variety of transformation tools
  • Symmetry Tools and Drawing Aids
  • Autosave and Backup feature
  • Opengl support for rotating, zooming, and panning canvas
  • Customizable shortcuts, toolbars and panels
  • Wide support of formats including GIMP and Photoshop
  • Powerful color selection with Advanced, Digital and Artistic selectors
  • Color Management and conversion in RGB, CMYK, L*a*b, etc.
  • HDR painting
  • Scriptable with Python, Ruby and OpenShiva
  • Cross-platform (Full support for GNU/Linux, FreeBSD and Windows. Experiemental support Mac OSX version)

A Few Highlights of Krita

Powerful and Flexible User Interface

Krita has a highly flexible and user-friendly interface. Nearly all aspects of the user interface, including the toolbar, keyboard shortcuts and movable tabbed tool panels, or Dockers, can be customized to suit the specific needs of an individual or team. Dockers are panels that can be moved around the screen through familiar drag-and-drop gestures. Using these tools a personally customized task-based workspace can be created in minutes. Each workspace can be uniquely named, saved and recalled for later use. When combined with the right-click accessible Artist Palette pop-up, an artist can create a seamless experience customized specifically to their needs, whether it is project-based or based more on personal workflow requirements.

Configurable Toolbars

Krita allows users to easily right-click and customize its toolbars. There are two toolbars in Krita: "Files" toolbar and "Brushes and Stuff" toolbar. You may add or remove whatever functions of the toolbars, change text position, icon size and ordering. Texts on the button can be changed or even overlapped by assigning any desirable icons to them (with KDE plasma workspace installed). While customizing toolbars, the function list is searchable.

Customizable Shortcuts

A powerful feature in Krita is the ability to assign/reassign keyboard shortcuts. The user is encouraged to assign both a main shortcut and an alternative shortcut to a single command. While customizing shortcuts, the command list is searchable and the users is notified of any conflicting commands. Krita lets you set up shortcuts that both speed your own workflow, emulate another software package or, perhaps, both.

Docking Tool Panels (Dockers)

Dockers are movable panels that each contain a specific set of tools. They are moved around the screen using familiar drag-and-drop gestures and can be placed either floating directly on the canvas or docked in one of the multiple docking areas. Dockers may be sized horizontally and vertically. Multiple dockers can be grouped in a shared space and switched between them by clicked on their tabs. By right-clicking on the title area of any panels you can easily add or remove panels from a complete list. A docker can also be collapsed to save space by clicking on it's down arrow in the upper left corner.


There are two kinds of palettes in Krita: the ordinary palette for color presets (Color Preset Docker), and the not-so-ordinary Artist Palette pop-up used for quick access to color selector, color history and favorite brushes. This quick access palette can be called up by right-clicking anywhere on the canvas, which liberates the artist from interruption in switching among colors and tools, thus providing a more immersive user experience. Favorite brushes can be added to the palette by clicking on the toolbar button Save to Palette, as well as selecting from any number of tag-based group of brush sets.

Infinitely Configurable Brush Engines

Krita has a powerful and highly customizable brush system modeled on various existing real-world drawing tools. In brush settings different genres of tools are grouped separately, each of them has tens of specified options which allow artists to adjust them thoroughly. On the right-side of the brush setting window is a sketchpad where you may test the current brush settings. The background color and sketchpad gradient can be altered by clicking the icons beneath it.

While using the brush tool ("Paint with brushes" in toolbox), you may change brush size by holding Shift and drag brush-tip horizontally on the canvas. By holding Ctrl you temporarily switch to color-picker. By holding middle-mouse button you can move canvas. Right-click for quick palette. Quick sliders of Opacity, Flow and Size can be found on Krita's brush toolbar, while only two can be shown at the same time, you may click the plus button on the right to switch between different sliders.

Artists and Technicians, Creating and Innovating Together...

Krita is a unique application designed for digital painting and sketching. Krita offers an end-to-end solution for creating masterful artistry at any level. Krita does not focus on image manipulation, photo enhancements, or editing existing imagery. We welcome the advancements of other digital tools in these arenas, such as Gimp, Inkscape, and many proprietary solutions from Adobe, Corel, and others. Krita does not consider itself in competition with other programs. Why? Our focus is entirely different.

We welcome the aspiring cartoonist, the masterful painter, the wizards of digital creation. We constantly create intuitive tools consistent with the creation of conceptual art. Our focus is on the natural thinking and familiarity an artist requires to comfortably accept the digital medium. Inspiration for many of the the tools within Krita begin in working studios around the world. Each tool is crafted from concept to completion, modeled from real-world painting materials and tools crafted by working artists. Like fire and water, we place pragmatic open-source programmers next to working artists and watch the magic happen! Two different mindsets collaborate daily experimenting and building Krita. So who are these magicians behind the program? Tenured programmers, volunteers, users, students, artists, illustrators, in short... digital enthusiasts just like you. In fact, so much of Krita's success is based on input and artistic expression from Krita users, we invite you to call it your own!

We are confident in your talents and abilities, and welcome your ideas on how to evolve Krita to fit perfectly as your digital medium of choice. Familiarize yourself with the program and relish in the ingenuity of others that came before you. If you find yourself in that inspiring position to conceive of such a tool that Krita has yet to implement, you too can become part of the Krita team. (Newbies have to bring donuts!) You can explore the latest advancements and find out how at

This page was last modified on 22 July 2015, at 12:56. Content is available under Creative Commons License SA 4.0 unless otherwise noted.