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How can I create an EXACT path from a selection with as FEW anchor points as possible using the 'Selection-to-Path Advanced Settings' dialog (https://docs.gimp.org/en/gimp-selection-dialog.html)?

I've been playing around with the options of this dialog for a while now, but all I can seem to produce is a path that follows my selection closely BUT has anchor points at every little corner of the selection. All these anchor points make it difficult to use the path in the next steps of my work.

How can I get a path that matches my selection precisely WITHOUT all these excessive anchor points? What are the specific settings that I have to use?

Many thanks for your help!

  • "All these anchor points make it difficult to use the path in the next steps of my work.". Can you expand on that? What is the problem with the higher number of anchors? – xenoid Apr 24 '18 at 17:28
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Changing a selection to a path can never be exact. An ordinary selection is made up of pixels, whereas a path is a vector. In converting a raster selection to a vector path, the exactness of a pixel selection will be lost. If there were fewer anchors, then the Path would be even more imprecise.

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It is however possible to delete anchor points, if you select one with the Paths Tool, and hit Backspace. It's also possible to add anchors by holding down Ctrl as you click on the path with the Paths Tool.

If you want to make more exact Paths, it's better to create them manually with the Paths Tool. Learning how to use the tool is a valuable skill. There are no shortcuts to creating exact paths. This of course goes for all image editing software that has vector capabilities.

If you find yourself using vectors frequently, it might be better to consider using actual vector image editing software, such as Inkscape or Illustrator. With these you can simplify paths to remove excessive anchors.

  • "If there were fewer anchors, then the Path would be even more imprecise." - But is there an option in the 'Selection-to-Path Advanced Settings' dialog that creates PRECISE CURVES instead of all these anchor points (if yes, which one)? I suppose this i my actual question. "It is however possible to delete anchor points, if you select one with the Paths Tool" - Yes, but the path created with the advanced dialog has so many anchor points that editing individual points is taking too much time now. – MaikS Apr 24 '18 at 9:34
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    @MaikS Yes, I've played with these settings, but you will never get anything that is exact since the initial selection is still made of pixels. A path will still be an estimate of a pixel selection. Since it's already taking you a long time to rectify the path, why don't you create the path manually with the Paths Tool, then you can control the number of anchors precisely. – Billy Kerr Apr 24 '18 at 9:43

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