Is there a way to assign Next Image and Previous Image as Ctrl+Tab and Ctrl+Shift+Tab respectively?

I've tried using the keyboard shortcuts dialogue but I can't seem to get it to work. I click on the function, it says "New accelerator..." and seems to be waiting for me to input the shortcut but pressing Ctrl+Tab does nothing.

  • Hi. Welcome to GDSE. The Tab key can't be used as a shortcut key, at least not in Windows, and not just in GIMP, it also can't be used in Photoshop either.
    – Billy Kerr
    Sep 6, 2019 at 11:02
  • @BillyKerr It already works that way in Photoshop, though.
    – Clonkex
    Sep 7, 2019 at 12:48
  • Yes, but I mean you can't use the Tab key to custom define shortcuts in Photoshop generally - the behaviour of Ctrl+Tab is built into Photoshop and is reserved for that purpose. What you could do in GIMP instead is set the shortcut to Ctrl+` (the Backtick key is located just above the Tab key). This shortcut also works in Photoshop BTW.
    – Billy Kerr
    Sep 7, 2019 at 13:11
  • 1
    @BillyKerr I don't really want to assign some other shortcut. What I wanted is the normal and expected functionality. But whatever, I can't have that. Thank you for the information.
    – Clonkex
    Sep 7, 2019 at 13:25
  • 1
    @MRule Thanks, although I would disagree about "just as handy". If I have to take my right hand off my mouse to complete a keyboard shortcut, it's not a good keyboard shortcut.
    – Clonkex
    Dec 18, 2021 at 21:18

1 Answer 1


You can't because the Tab is reserved for the GTK library (Gimp's UI is based on GTK). For some details see here.

This explains why you can't assign that combination in the keyboard shortcut editor, the editor doesn't see that key event when you enter it.

Even trying to bypass the editor and enter something like:

(gtk_accel_path "<Actions>/windows/windows-show-display-next" "<Primary>Tab")

in the menurc file in your Gimp profile, doesn't work. The UI ignores it and the shortcut editor flags it as invalid.

  • 5
    Well that's... stupid. So it's just impossible to assign a standard keyboard shortcut because the GTK devs decided tab couldn't be used? Wow.
    – Clonkex
    Sep 7, 2019 at 12:51
  • 2
    What really should happen is that the Ctrk-tab is used in a tabbed display to navigate the tabs. Note that Gimp currently uses the obsolete GTK2. Things could be better wit the GTK3 that will be used in Gimp 3.0.
    – xenoid
    Sep 7, 2019 at 22:08

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