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

I am used to ...

Chances are you have been using another graphics application before. It might be Photoshop, it might be Gimp, it could be Corel Painter or Krita will seem very familiar to you at first sight, and then you might start noticing differences. Or wonder where some basic functionality hides. This pages lists the main user interface peculiarities in Krita.


Krita makes a difference between tools and brush engines that Photoshop or Gimp don't. For instance, if you want to create an editable rich text object, you'd use the text tool in Photoshop. In Krita, you select the text shape (there are two: the regular, paragraph-oriented text shape and the artistic text shape that puts text on a vector path) in the shape selector and drag it onto your canvas.

And where in Gimp there are separate ink, pencil, eraser and brush tools, in Krita there is one freehand tool. You select the eraser, the pencil, the brush or any other brush engine in the brushes toolbar. Photoshop has burn and dodge tools: in Krita you select the filter brush, and in the filter brush settings the dodge or burn filter. This is similar to the way Corel Painter works.

There are two types of tools in Krita: the tools Krita shares with KOffice, and Krita's own tools. The first type are for manipulation or creation of vector data, while Krita's tools work on the pixel layers. KOffice tools are placed in the top part of the toolbox, Krita's tools in the bottom part.


Photoshop and Gimp use channels as a kind of permanent per-layer selection. Krita has local selection masks that have the same function. Additionally, you can enable and disable individual channels in a layer. If you disable a channel, it will not be used in the rendered image. You can also apply filters to a subset of channels, if the filter type allows that.


Applications like Gimp and Photoshop provide different brushes for you to use. Gimp's brushes come in files with the .gbr extension, Photoshop's brushes are called .abr. But Photoshop and Gimp have only one brush engine: Krita has many. Some of Krita's brush engines can make use of Gimp brushes. (In the future, we might also support some versions of Photoshop's brushes). Krita can also use MyPaint's brushes.

However, those brush definitions are only part of a Krita brush definition. since we can save and load the settings for all our brush engines. We call those settings "presets". Some presets combine a Gimp brush with a certain engine and a few other settings, others determine the number of hairs in a hairy brush engine.

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