How do you change the default font used in GIMP 2.8 on Windows 7?
The default font seems to be Sans Bold (which is used in a lot of applications that originated from Linux). I am not referring to the Text tool, but the font used by the UI.
Any help?

4 Answers 4


If you only want to change the menu fonts, you could try editing the gtkrc file (Edit > Preferences > Themes). There should be an entry called "font_name".

But, if you want to go beyond that, you could try the GTK+ for Windows Runtime Environment Installer. I haven't used it so I'm not sure how exactly you'd do it, but they state that:

This installer contains the GTK+ dlls with everything they depend on. Theme and theme-engine packages can also be found here, along with an utility to change GTK+ preferences.

And from the GTK website:

GTK+, or the GIMP Toolkit, is a multi-platform toolkit for creating graphical user interfaces. Offering a complete set of widgets, GTK+ is suitable for projects ranging from small one-off tools to complete application suites.

This thread on Gimptalk has some more ideas :)


This is a big problem. There are literally 15 different gtkrc files on my Win10 system on a fresh install. The current GIMP Preferences panel, Edit->Preferences->Interface->Theme, which presumably invokes the incorporated theme-engine package Preference Tool, lets you switch themes but DOES NOT LET YOU SET THE UI FONT SIZE. The old "GTK+ for Windows Runtime Environment" has been abandoned, and the gtk2_prefs tool is now dead in the water stuck with a 32-bit build from 2012. GimpTalk.com is also dead. No one has fixed this show-stopper for 8 years?!??

So what to do? As of 2020, inside file

C:\Program Files\GIMP 2\share\gimp\2.0\themes\System\gtkrc

search for lines

# Uncommenting this line allows to set a different font for GIMP.
# font_name = "sans 10"

take out the hash mark, and change it to

font_name = "sans 15"

then restart your GIMP.

Simply reloading the preference changes the prompts but doesn't seem to change the menu sizes.


  • Could you just be more explicit: I am on Windows 10 with Gimp 2.10.18. I found this file. I Opened it with Notepad. I found this line. I deleted the # and space before font using backspace. I changed the font-size number. I attempted File→Save but was refused and told to contact the administrator – despite being logged in as Administrator. — Can you provide slightly more basic-level instruction, please?
    – Alastair S
    Mar 28, 2020 at 0:59
  • @AlastairS: I am no Windows expert, but that sounds like a basic permission problem unrelated to GIMP. It would probably make a good question for Super User. (If you get a helpful answer there, feel free to edit a link into this answer for reference.)
    – Wrzlprmft
    Mar 28, 2020 at 9:14
  • ... thanks, I can't afford to delete my older font set, so I used TextEdit on MacOsX to remove the # comment code and change the font to another typeface in the gtkrc file, had to experiment to see which font name would work but managed to get it to work. font_name = "sans 10" changed to font_name = "Avenir 14" (old eyes)
    – kat
    Jun 30, 2020 at 23:53

Once in the C:\Program Files\GIMP 2\share\gimp\2.0\themes\System\gtkrc folder, right click the gtkrc icon, select properties, then select the security tab. Select 'Users' under the 'Group and usernames' tab. Click 'Edit' In the 'Permissions for gtkrc' window, click 'Users' then click the 'Allow' box next to 'Full control'. Click 'Apply'.

This let me save the file without any permissioning complaints. Unfortunately, after making the changes specified in this article and saving this file, there was no change to the font size in the GIMP menus.


I'm using Gimp 2.10.20 on Windows 10. I changed the font+size using the method mentioned here.


  1. Open Notepad
  2. Paste the following:
style "win32-font" {
  font_name = "tahoma 12"
class "*" style "win32-font"
  1. Save file named .gtkrc-2.0 in folder C:\Users\<User Name>
  2. Restart Gimp

IMPORTANT : While saving (Step 3), change the 'Save As Type: ' from Text Document (*.txt) to All Files(*.*).

  • gtkrc method doesnot work in Windows 10 with Gimp 2.99. Themes there are defined with CSS.
    – Asdf
    Mar 19, 2021 at 3:20
  • 2.99 (preparation for GIMP 3) uses different gtk version (GTK3). So this may not work for it. It's also a development release, So I haven't tried it on windows yet. Apr 22, 2021 at 5:36

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