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In Gimp, I am told that I can constrain the pencil or brush to right angles if I hold down control and shift while I use them. However, when I do that I get the eyedropper instead? Also, the tutorials talk about making a point and then holding down control and shift before making another point. But the paint tools don't work this way, only the free select or path tools? If anyone can explain this, I'd really appreciate it.

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If you make a point with a paint tool (either pencil or brush) and then hold the shift you will see a line drawn from the latest point to the point where your cursor is. If you left click on the canvas then a line will be drawn from the previous point to the latest point.

If you press control as well (after pressing and holding shift) it will constraint the angle to multiples of 15. Note that the modifier for these and other actions are always visible in the status bar.

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Click where you want first end of the line (just like of you want to paint a point there). Then hold the desired key and click on the second end.

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