I want to draw a box around a portion of my graphic for the purpose of highlighting it.

How can I do that?


Use the rectangle selection box, and under the Edit menu, hit Stroke Selection. Select your options from there.

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    GIMP is a powerful piece of software and as such has a pretty steep learning curve. For quicker, easier tasks I would recommend Paint.Net. Think of it as MSPaint++. – Michael Jul 27 '10 at 13:02
  • I've never used Paint.Net myself, but have heard nothing but praise about it. – Aeo Jul 28 '10 at 16:06
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    @Michael GIMP can do anything Photoshop can do… But with one of the worst GUI/user-experiences ever. – JakeGould Feb 3 '15 at 23:53
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    GUI of GIMP is a disaster. I simply can never find the buttons to do whatever I need to do. Having to Google how to make a rectangle says it all I think! – JohnyTex Mar 25 '15 at 10:45
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    @JohnyTex I also find the GIMP UI disgusting to an extreme, but, in all fairness, drawing a box in Photoshop isn't all that straightforward as well. – Marc.2377 Jul 11 '17 at 23:48

Select Filters > Render > Gfig... From there you can draw boxes and other shapes boxes in various styles.

enter image description here

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    Doesn't work for me. Gfig opens a dialogue box with a whole bunch of things inside, none of which are clickable. It all just seems to be disabled. The only UI element that worked on that box was the close button. – geoidesic Nov 13 '18 at 14:37
  • @geoidesic I can confirm it working for Ubuntu 18.04.1 using GIMP 2.10.8 – k0pernikus Nov 15 '18 at 11:11
  • Actually I've noticed a few other dialog boxes suffering from the same problem on Mac OS X Mojave. Alt tabbing a few times seems to unblock the dialog box and allows one to edit. – geoidesic Nov 15 '18 at 15:29
  • It works, but strangely. For example, I draw a square box in a picture and the box does appear, but smaller then what is drawn in the preview. Nothing seems to fix it. – Roel Van de Paar May 31 '19 at 7:38
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    It's really hard to select location accurately from that small preview box. – Jaakko Jan 27 at 8:53

Use the box select tool, then Select >> Border This selects around your current selection's outline (dotted animated line), at a distance of however many pixels you enter in the dialog box on either side of original line. i.e. if you use 5 for Border's input value, you will have a 10 px wide border selected. Then fill it in with paint bucket. You now have a box. Or... fill a layer with any colour, pattern, gradient, image etc., and use the selection to create a black box in a white layer mask using the same selection. Select all on layer mask, and gaussian blur a bit. That will give you a blurred border, using whatever image is on the layer. Everything that is black on the layer mask will be transparent to the layer below. Using this image as the main layer, I created a thick blurred border, but started with a circle selection instead of a square. I also did a border select on the original border select (after filling in layer mask) to blur the edges of my new border, and not the whole border.

Original: http://www.theblaze.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Kim-Jong-Un-AP.jpg

New Border http://i.stack.imgur.com/SHzjr.png

Example using black layer instead of image, and rounded corners. http://i61.tinypic.com/2yovj0j.png

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    no, no, no ... too many politics :) – CEO at Apartico Mar 11 '16 at 4:07
  • lol this made me crack up at work xD – Katie Aug 12 '16 at 18:00
  • This tells you what you can do, but not how to do it :-| – geoidesic Nov 13 '18 at 14:33
  • This answer is wrong, you can't fill a selection with the paint bucket. Once you click the paint bucket tool, the selection disappears. – geoidesic Nov 15 '18 at 15:31
  • It also says "use the selection to create a black box in a white layer mask" but it doesn't tell you how. Select just draws a selection, it doesn't allow you to "create a black box in a white layer mask". If we knew how to "create a black box" then we wouldn't be asking this question! – geoidesic Nov 15 '18 at 15:32

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