I would like to be able to use the pencil tool to draw lines angled exactly 2 units to the right for every 1 unit down, at angles of about 27 degrees from vertical or horizontal.

Two penciled lines at 30 and about 27 degrees below level.

The straight-line rule using shift-ctrl draws in increments of 15 degrees. Is there a way to change this default so shift-ctrl draws at my desired angle?

To achieve the same result, I have also drawn cartesian and near-isometric grids to shift-draw straight lines over. This requires some care and it would be nice to draw them more quickly. I would also appreciate any other suggestions for drawing these lines.

  • Snapping the straight lines to GIMP's grid, set up like the one in your sample image, would seem to be feasible - or is there anything that prevents this from being useful in your use case? Jul 2, 2021 at 19:41
  • It is feasible and does work well for me. I have figured that a snap option would let me make them even more quickly on top of that.
    – dtersegno
    Jul 2, 2021 at 20:23
  • Not sure what you are using this for, but if you find yourself drawing stuff with lines such as diagrams or logos, etc, then GIMP isn't really the right kind of software. It might be better to look at vector software such as Inkscape (which is also free and Open Source). It's easy to set up grids and snapping to grids. Plus the lines can be moved and snapped to any position since they're vectors
    – Billy Kerr
    Jul 3, 2021 at 10:53

2 Answers 2


Little known option: View ➤ Snap to active path.

  • You create a path with a bunch of horizontal lines.
    • Manually, using the grid to help you
    • Automatically, using ofn-path-inbetweener: you create paths for top and bottom lines, and use the script to create N lines in between.
  • You then use the Shear tool (with Transform: Path mode in the tool options) to shear the path:

enter image description here

  • Once this is done, use View ➤ Snap to active path,
  • Without using the constrained angles, the brush will snap on the path and it is easy to make sure that this is the same line as the starting point

enter image description here

  • If you are doing isometric things, you can generate the other grid by:
    • Duplicating the sheared path
    • Flip it horizontally using the Flip tool (with Transform: Path mode in the tool options)
  • You can merge it with the other path (or you can keep these distinct)
  • Then you can draw isometric things easily:

enter image description here

  • Thank you, I think this helps me get what I want most quickly. I had tried custom paths with the automatic stroke drawing before, but I had not tried Snap to Active Path.
    – dtersegno
    Oct 13, 2021 at 20:21
  • "quickly" he says 3 months later :) Consider eventually accepting the answer if you find it works for you.
    – xenoid
    Oct 13, 2021 at 20:26
  • Thank you, I think this gets me what I want most quickly. I had tried the stroke path option before, but had not tried Snap to Active Path. For those who find the snap distance must be changed for paths, guides, or grids: the docs pointed me to the wrong place in the preferences dialog. The snap to grid distance can be set under Preferences -> Image Windows -> Snapping.
    – dtersegno
    Oct 13, 2021 at 20:27

Not exactly what you ask but I have a quick solution for this specific idea. You can draw your lines in 1:1 ratio, meaning they will be 45 degree lines. After you draw your thing you can just stretch it to 2:1 ratio or 200% on the X axis and you should get this result. I tried it in Photoshop and it did work with one little obstacle. PS added antialiasing to the resized line, so I changed the interpolation from Bicubic to Nearest neighbor.

If you want to draw isometric art or something, you can draw your thing in plain 2D and then transform it to the isometric grid:

enter image description here

In other words, why bother drawing the thing in this pseudo isometric grid, when you can draw it in normal 2D space and then transform it? Just an idea.

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