I have been attempting to use Gimp but usually have to quit frustrated. Using Gimp tutorials do not help because the steps include opening up options I simply don't have.

For example, trying to align text. The tutorial tells me to click Align in the toolbox and another box is supposed to appear with the title Toolbox Options. that dialog box never appears. Tutorials using the toolbox are useless, because what is shown is not what happens.

Is there a tutorial that shows how to use Gimp without the toolbox?


Gimp has a feature to run in single window mode, or to run in classic mode where tools and docks are displayed as their own window. To toggle between these modes we tick or untick Windows > Single-Windws-Mode from the global menu top bar.

Single Window Mode

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Classic Windowed Mode

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In windowed mode we can close all windows. They will then disappear and will no longer be available until we re-open them. These windows also will not re-appear on just toggling to Single-Window-Mode.

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To get back your toolbox do the following:

  • Toggle to windowed mode (untick Windows - Single Window Mode)
  • Open the toolbox (Windows > Tool Box Ctrl + B)
  • Open additional docks you need (e.g. Windows > Dockable Dialogs > Tool Options)
  • Toogle back to Single - Window - Mode.

To restore all windows to defaults see: How to restore the default toolbox windows in GIMP?


The questions mentions an Align tool. It seems like the tool options for this tool are not docked anywhere in the GIMP UI.

This is what we are looking for:

GIMP Align tool options

If this docked dialog is missing, it is easy to get it back by following this menu path: Windows → Dockable Windows → Tool Options

Putting it back below the toolbox - its default place - or anywhere else is done by docking it where you want it, this is described in the GIMP user manual in the Dialogs and Docking section (many people apparently don't get that they have to drag the dialog content and not the dialog window).

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