In my Gimp project, I created a custom shape, then converted it to a path. But I wish there was a way to reduce the number of nodes it generates...

enter image description here

What would be a good way to reduce the number of nodes, but still have the paths connected?

  • 1
    Hi. GIMP has extremely limited vector capabilities. To be honest with you it would be easier and much better to use a vector image editor for work like this. Inkscape is free and Open Source.
    – Billy Kerr
    Jul 30, 2023 at 9:29

1 Answer 1


In the path editor, if you Ctrl-Shift-click a node(*), it is deleted, and the two nodes it was connected to become connected. So if the three A-B-C nodes are in a straight line and you delete B, you get the same straight line between A and C. But this is only true for straight lines, in the general case if you delete a node in a curve this will change the shape of the curve.

And the cases where you can simplify the path are usually those where you can create the path by hand or with a script (circles, regular polygons...). For instance in your figure above it would be faster the create the path by hand with an anchor in each of the 6 corners than to delete the 23 extra anchors. And the path would be more accurate(**). In fact I would create the path first, and use it as a selection to render the shape...

(*) if you ctrl-shift-click a segment between nodes, it disconnects the nodes and therefore opens the path.

(**) I suspect that in the path generated from the selection of your shape, the nodes aren't strictly aligned (by a tenth of a pixel...), so for the algorithm the remaining nodes cannot be removed without altering the shape. You can tweak the algorithm by shift-clicking in the Path list:

enter image description here

which leads to:

enter image description here

However, in over 10 years of dealing with Gimp's path, I never had to use this (and documentation says it's there mostly for debug/test purposes).

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