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How can I select a rectangle and crop to it in gimp?

I opened an image. The rectangle selection tool is apparently selected. The mouse cursor consisted of a cross-hairs, a no-entry sign, and a double-lined square. I could not select anything.

The status bar says "Click-drag to subtract from the current selection". So I guess it is in some weird mode. But I can not work out how to get it out of this mode, and into a mode where I can perform the extremely basic task of selecting a rectangle.

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See screenshot below: In the Tool Options, next to "Mode" click on the first button which says "Replace the current selection". This is the default selection mode.

Once you have made a selection, you can cut it, copy it, paste as a new layer, etc. If you want to crop an image, use the Crop Tool instead. If you have made a selection instead, you can also do Image > Crop to Selection

enter image description here

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