Krita Help, Krita Handbook, Krita Hotkeys

Category: Wisdom Kingdom | November 1, 2015 - Reading time: 8 minutes

I have compiled a Krita Help, Krita Hotkeys reference and sort of a mini handbook for Krita. What is Krita?? Krita is a very good FREE alternative to photoshop.  You bet it is.  All the global establishments and big companies can only reign for so long.  Until the masses gain their own power in the form of knowledge.  A united people can do wonders with combined brainpower.  This is happening in this decade.  Krita is one instance of this beautiful display, along with Godot and Blender3D.  As a free program, it can do what Photoshop can!  Sure, photoshop still has lots of "advanced" features, but for the meat and potatoes digital editing work, there is no need to bow down to Adobe and buy Photoshop!  You can download Krita at

(Image by Rakusa Studios, drawing using Krita)

Here is a collection of how-to's and hotkeys for Krita.  I made this for my own reference actually, but I am posting this hoping to benefit others who may need the information.  Be warned though, this "cheatsheet" is not edited or proof-read or arranged.  You can use Ctrl+F to search.

How To »»»»»»»»»»

  • Change saturation, Lightness, Hue : use HSV
  • Flatten layers and join together : use Merge with Layer Below [Ctrl+E] when rightclick on layer, need to do one by one
  • Change everything black : saturation 0 (desaturate function Ctrl+Shift+U) and then use contrast curves
  • Green Screen / Chroma Key / convert color to alpha/transparent : Color to alpha filter (Custom assign Ctrl+Shift+1)
  • Live/non-destructive filters, retaining actual image : use filter layer (see Others below)
  • Blending Mode for each layer : Right click layer > Properties… or just use the dropdown above all layers
  • Undo/Redo : Ctrl+Z/Ctrl+Shift+Z
  • Draw in symmetry mode : click on the double triangles on the top menu
  • Flip vertical/horizontal : Menu > Layer > Mirror
  • Mirror whole stage to view only (Press M)
  • Convert to Grayscale : Menu > Layer > Convert Layer Color Space (select Grayscale)
  • Make sure dimensions are the same as actual pixel view (no scaling at 100%) at the bottom right corner, make sure X is highlighted (bordered)
  • Clone Stamp: top menu brush selector > choose Clone brush. Ctrl Click to pick brush space, click to paint selected spot

Brushes »»»»»»»»»

  • Brush engine (settings) : click on the brush dropdown button on top menu
  • Filter brush : found in the brush engine settings panel. A brush that will apply filter effects
  • Blendmode Brush : like Dodge/Burn but with more blending modes stuff. Select from the dropdown on the top. Change normal to other stuff.
  • Eraser: is actually a brush using Blending Mode erase. [E to toggle any brush to eraser]

Selection »»»»»»»»

  • Ctrl+A for selecting all
  • Ctrl+Shift+A for Deselecting all

Fill »»»»»»»»

  • hotkey is F
  • see tool options for feather fills.

Transform »»»»»»»»

  • Move is [T]
  • The free transform tool, somewhere in the toolbar [Ctrl+T]
    • In its tool options, there are lots of controls.
    • Need to press Enter or click Apply after each Transform

Mask »»»»»»»

  • alpha inheritence in a layer (the alpha icon)
    • makes it NOT overshoot alpha boundaries of the layer below it
    • good for textures, shades, lights, etc
    • Right-click on the group folder, select Properties…, and uncheck Alpha
    • Or select the group folder, go to the Channel docker, and uncheck Alpha:
    • Or just click on the alpha icon, so that it turns white
  • Mask whole layer for painting:
    • Just lock the alpha (checkered box icon after the alpha icon)
    • Once locked, you can’t paint out of it…
  • Filter Mask
    • Right click layer and select it
    • But it seems that all Krita masks can’t support pasting images.
    • They work using black and white, with black as see-through.
    • You just have to paint black and white on the mask layer to determine what goes through.
  • Image mask
    • Need to use Erase mode on Black and alpha image…
    • Make:
      • -+ Group
      • ‘-+ Desaturate and Color to Alpha (white), ERASE blendmode
      • ‘-+ Original Image
      • -+ Original Image with modifications
    • Shorcuts:
      • – make original image adjustments
      • – Flatten to one layer
      • – Ctrl+J 2 times (2 more layers duplication)
      • – Shift+G (New group)
      • – Drag 2 layers in
      • – top layer Ctrl+Shift+U, Ctrl+Shift+1 click white
      • – top layer blendmode Erase
      • – bottom layer outside Group: Ctrl+L and make filter adjustments

Other Stuff »»»»»»»

  • Themes (Interface color) : Go to window > Themes
  • Filter layer is like adjustment layer in AE, and like Live Filters in Fireworks
  • Drawing lines: Line Tool : hold down V and draw, even in brush!
  • Draw and directly fill : Freehand Brush tool! (adjust in tool options)
  • Clone a layer : it’s like the layer is a movieclip. You cannot edit the clone.
    • If you edit the original, the clone will update!

Shortcuts »»»»»»»»

  • New Layer : Insert
  • New Group : Custom Assign Shift+G
  • Duplicate Layer : Ctrl+J
  • Open Color Adjustment : Ctrl+L (by clicking bottom left button, can access all filters)
  • Open Filters : Ctrl+L (see above)
  • Desaturate : Ctrl+Shift+U
  • B Brush (Freehand)
  • P Colour Picker
  • F Fill (enable !!)
  • G Gradient
  • Shift+V kis_tool_move (enable, check!!)
  • F6 Rectangle (enable or find better)
  • J Select ellipitcal
  • R Select rectangular
  • Ctrl+E Merge Layer Below

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