How To Deselect In GIMP

Moritz Haag
Last updated April 1, 2022
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With GIMP, you can pick a specific area or object you want to modify. While this is a great feature, it might not be very intuitive for many people to figure out how to deselect a specific item and do something else.

If you are reading this, you are most likely new to GIMP and would like to know how to deselect on the program. This tutorial will help you learn how to do this by providing several ways to deselect in GIMP.

How to Deselect in GIMP: Steps

As stated earlier, there are various ways to deselect in GIMP, and we are going to run down the most popular methods. Let’s begin!

  • You can press Control + Shift + A keys to deselect. This step is quite simple. But remember that you have to press all the keys at the same time for this keyboard shortcut
  • You can right-click on the already-selected area and then click the Select-None option
  • Click on the “Select” label and choose none
  • You can deselect by double-clicking on any other area outside the current selection
double-clicking on any other area outside the current selection

Selection Tools

GIMP provides quite a plethora of ways for users to select a particular part of an image. Located on the left sidebar are more than a few selections tools.  You could also choose to access these tools by simply heading to the “Tools” menu and selecting the “Selection Tools” menu.

Some of the most used are:

  • “Magic Wand Tool,” which is also known as the Fuzzy Select Tool. It creates an area with a similar color to the selected point of image
  • “Rectangle Select Tool,” which enables users to select a rectangular area
  • The “Select by Color Tool” works like the Magic Wand tool with one small difference, it selects all the areas that have the same color with the image point being selected
  • The “Ellipse Select Tool” enables users to select an elliptic selection
  • The “Scissors Select tool” is used to create contrast in order for a user to make an object selection
Magic Wand Tool

Selection Modes

GIMP has 4 selection modes for users to choose from:

  1. Add to the current selection combines any previous selection with a new one
  2. Replace the current selection only enables users to make one selection at a time. All previous selections are canceled
  3. Intersect with current selection mode checks to see if any part of the selection intersects with a previous selection. If that is the case, only that intersection remains. If not, everything gets deselected
  4. Subtract from the current selection mode removes the currently selected area from any previously selected area, so long as there are overlaps

The Select Menu

The Select menu located on the Menu bar provides various options when it comes to deselecting and selecting. The most important ones are:

  • All- selects the entire canvas (Command-A or Ctrl-A)
  • None- deselects anything selected (Command Shift A or Ctrl-Shift A)
  • Invert- inverts current selection (Command I or Ctrl I)
  • Float- makes a selection float, meaning a user can only work on that part of the image till it is anchored (Command Shift L or Ctrl-Shift L). The best way to anchor a layer is to head to the Layer menu, then select the Anchor layer option. Alternatively, you could just press Ctrl H.


There you have it! Four different and easy-to-implement ways you can deselect in GIMP. You should note that each method comes with its unique scenario. The fastest method, of course, is the keyboard method.

However, if you are more conversant with using a mouse, you can use it to get the job done properly. We hope this tutorial has helped shed some light and offered great answers on how to deselect in GIMP.