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How to change default settings in GIMP on Windows 10

GIMP is a complex app and as such, it has quite a few settings that you can change. These settings tend to be file specific. If you were to enable a certain non-default behavior while you had a file open, it would stick for that one file but not for all other files. Any other file you open in GIMP will still have the default settings. A common example of this is the brush size. To get the change to persist across all files, you need to change default settings in GIMP.

Before we start, you should know that there will be some limitations to this. Not all default settings can be changed. If you’re unable to find a particular setting, that means you will have to enable/change it for each file.

Change default settings in GIMP

For this, we’re going with the ‘Snap to canvas edges’ option. You can enable this under the View menu and it’s a setting that, if you enable it from the app’s UI, it is only enabled for the current file.

To enable this option for all files automatically, go to Edit>Preferences. This is where it gets a little tricky. You need to be able to find the setting in Preferences. If you find it, you can customize it however you like, and when you click OK, the setting will be set as the default one. All files that you open will open with the setting set the way you chose it.

If you can’t find a setting in the Preferences, you’re out of luck. You will be able to customize it on a per-file basis but there is no way to change the default behavior of it in GIMP.

A quick Google search should tell you whether or not a certain setting exists in the Preference pane, and where you can find it.

GIMP’s behavior is going to come off as unusual if you’re coming from Photoshop. Photoshop always retains the last setting within the app. Its settings, regardless of how minor they are, are automatically retained. This makes it easy for users of the app to get right to work instead of having to set up the app to suit them each time they open a file. Of all the ways that GIMP differs from Photoshop, this is one area where it doesn’t make sense. The app is as complex as Photoshop and it is a waste of time to have to enable various settings before you can get to work.

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