Drawing tool plug-ins

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Drawing tools

The raster editor window uses the active drawing tool to modify the current image. The active tool receives commands given by the keyboard or using left mouse button (or tablet). The tool is responsible for displaying the preview of the outcome until the current action is finished (applied or canceled).

Drawing tools make use of fill styles.

Mode of operation

Most drawing tools are activated by the press left mouse button->move the mouse->release the button sequence. In some cases, only the last of the 3 actions is important.

Most drawing tools display control handles after the initial definition of the drawn shape and the control handles can be used to adjust the tool's function. There may be several classes of control handles, differentiated by color. Some control handles belong to fill styles (usually having purple color) and can be used to fine-tune gradients.

Selecting the active tool

The basic method for selecting a tool is to click its icon in the toolbar above the raster editor. This toolbar holds the frequently used tools, but not all available tools.

Drawing tool categories

Selection tools

  • rsrc/simpleselect-tool.png image SELECT - modify selection by adding or removing rectangular areas.
  • rsrc/magicwand-tool.png image MAGICWAND - modify selection using a floodfill-like methods.
  • rsrc/transformation-tool.png image TRANSFORM - apply transformation to selected area.
  • rsrc/move-tool.png image MOVE - move the entire image(layer). Exterior can be either filled or the image can wrap.
  • rsrc/simpleselect-tool.png image SIMPLESELECT - select rectangular area and more or resize it. The selected area act as a floating selection.
  • rsrc/vectorselect-tool.png image VECTORSELECT - select objects in a vector layer, move, rotate and scale them.

Hand drawing

  • rsrc/pencil-tool.png image PENCIL - draw arbitrary curves using a pencil with a configurable tip.
  • rsrc/brush-tool.png image BRUSH - a more advanced version of PENCIL tool with smoothing, more configuration options and tablet pen pressure support.


  • rsrc/text-tool.png image TEXT - draw a text using specified font.

Shape drawing

These tools can be used to paint basic shapes.

  • rsrc/line-tool.png image LINE - draw solid or dashed poly-lines.
  • rsrc/curve-tool.png image CURVE - draw curves.
  • rsrc/stroke-tool.png image STROKE - draw multi-part lines or curves.
  • rsrc/ellipse-tool.png image ELLIPSE - draw filled ellipses or ellipse outlines.
  • rsrc/lasso-tool.png image LASSO - draw areas specified by their hand-drawn outline.
  • rsrc/rectangle-tool.png image RECTANGLE - draw rectangles with optional rounded corners.
  • rsrc/polygon-tool.png image POLYGON - draw filled polygons.
  • rsrc/shape-tool.png image SHAPE - draw arbitrary shapes.

Photographic tools

Tools focused on retouching of photos.

  • rsrc/redeye-tool.png image REDEYE - desaturate round area.
  • rsrc/crop-tool.png image CROP - cut a portion of an image.
  • rsrc/shapeshift-tool.png image SHAPESHIFT - move or deform parts of image.

Miscellaneous drawing tools

  • rsrc/dropper-tool.png image DROPPER - make the color of a clicked pixel the active color.
  • rsrc/shadow-tool.png image PSHADOW - apply a projected shadow. The image must be transparent or the shadow will be hidden.
  • rsrc/floodfill-tool.png image FLOODFILL - fill an area with fill style.
  • rsrc/fill-tool.png image FILL - fill the entire image.

Specialized tools

  • rsrc/hotspot-tool.png image HOTSPOT - set the hot spot of a cursor.
  • rsrc/luce-tool.png image LUCE - add light rays to an image. This is a plug-in that must be installed before it can be used.


Meta-tools modify behavior of other drawing tools.

  • ALPHA - modify alpha channel instead of regular color channels; white = opaque, black = transparent (available since version 2009.1).
  • rsrc/bubble-tool.png image BUBBLE - put the drawn shape into a comics-like bubble (available since version 2009.1).
  • rsrc/clone-tool.png image CLONE - copy pixels from one spot to another.
  • ERASER - draw with transparent color and Replace blend mode.
  • rsrc/stylize-tool.png image STYLIZE - add shadow or reflections to drawn shape, blur the background.
  • rsrc/retouch-tool.png image RETOUCH - apply an effects like darken, sharpen, etc.
  • rsrc/simpleselect-tool.png image SELECT - modify selection by adding or removing rectangular areas.
  • rsrc/recolor-tool.png image RECOLOR - change color in the affected area from the initially clicked pixel to the selected color.

Due to the plug-in nature of the tools and the existence of meta-tools, the total number of available tools is much higher. Meta-tools like ERASER or SELECT can be combined with ordinary tools yielding dozens of possible combinations (retouching with pencil, selecting with brush, ellipse, or polygon, etc.). Defining your own tools is an advanced topic, but it increases the power of the application considerably, for example when creating beveled text, selecting with text tool is a fundamental part of the process.

Probably the easiest way of accessing the uncommon tools is by using the toolbar with custom presets. The custom presets not only allows you to add the specialized tools, but also allows remembering and activating selected drawing modes in one click.


Many drawing tools support temporary switch to the dropper tool to change current color by holding down the CTRL key.

There are a lot of ways how to finish and apply a tool:

  • Press ENTER.
  • Perform the apply mouse gesture (Down->Right).
  • Switch to another tool (except the crop tool, which must be explicitly applied).
  • Right click and select Apply from context menu.
  • Click Apply button in toolbar or in main menu.
  • Just start drawing another shape (only valid for shape-drawing tools).

Selection can be canceled by:

  • Pressing ESC.
  • Pressing undo button (Ctrl+Z, or the undo mouse gesture).

Recent comments

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user icon ReaperSythe registered user on August 24th 2016

IS there an eraser :-(

user icon Anonymous on September 12th 2016

can't find ruler!! can't download help in PDF.

user icon Swizity_Shweasel registered user on August 18th 2017

so I'm looking to cut out an image but I cant figure out how. its not something I can do with the crop tool as it has curves and edges, I'm sure ill figure it out eventually

user icon Anonymous on January 25th 2018

The text buble script is unclear. How to cure it ? Thank you.
Le script des bulles de texte est flou. Comment y remédier ? Merci

user icon Anonymous on April 18th 2018

how can i change color from say blue to red to all the image?

user icon Anonymous on June 25th 2020

HI, Tks for RWPaint!

How can I change the color of the text shadow in the RWPaint?

user icon Anonymous on June 2nd 2021


user icon Anonymous on November 27th 2021

no freaking ERASER???? Never seen THAT left out of a program!!!!

user icon #1fisherman registered user on February 12th 2022

how do you put a n outline around a text letter?

user icon Anonymous on September 4th

Save as window cant be seen.
Have to use save for web.
Frame list has disappeared from gif editor.
Clone brush toggle has reversed.

user icon Anonymous
I wish there were...
Select background