Saturday, 22 December 2012

Install pattern files into GIMP 2.8 in OS X


How do I install patterns into GIMP 2.8 in OS X?


One way to do this is to copy the .pat files directly into the GIMP folder that contains all of the default GIMP pattern files. To find this folder, follow the steps below:

  • open your Applications folder
  • secondary-click GIMP, and select "Show Package Contents" from the context menu
  • navigate to: Contents/Resources/share/gimp/2.0/patterns

Now that you've found the patterns folder, copy all the GIMP-compatible pattern files into this folder. Restart GIMP. You should now be able to see the new patterns in the patterns dialogue/selector of GIMP.


Note that the above method will make the patterns you install available for every user of your system. There are other methods available which should only install it to your own user, but they may not be so straightforward for the typical user since they involve creating/opening hidden folders.

If you'd like to find out the alternative locations where GIMP is looking for pattern files, just follow these instructions:

In the main menu, click on (in OS X) GIMP->preferences, (or sometimes in another OS, file->preferences). The preferences dialogue should appear. Then in the left-hand menu of the new dialogue, expand the icon/item labelled 'folders' and look for the item named 'patterns'. Once you click on this, you should be able to find all of the folders GIMP is looking for patterns in, as shown in the following screenshot.


  1. I copied my pattern to the /.gimp-2.8/patterns because I don't have any 2.0, and whenI've copied my pattern there it isn't there when I open Gimp 2.8
    Please help

  2. thanks for the comment @Ken Awesomeness. The above how-to reminder is a bit out of date now, however I'll see if I can help. From your brief question I guess there's a few things that might be something to look into:
    1) are the pattern files the correct format?
    2) in the GIMP preferences, has the patterns folder been included?
    3) if GIMP was running while the patterns were copied and included, was GIMP ever restarted before checking for them?
    4) if none of the above helped, does the following, more detailed reference help?

    Best of luck!