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Krita Features

Previous Post | Thursday, 24 December 2009 | Reading time: 4 minutes | Next Post

Krita is an application for image creation and image manipulation. We focus on painting, illustration, concept art and other creative work. This is a short an incomplete list of the most important features Krita provides. 

Krita provides an OpenGL based canvas in addition to an unaccelerated canvas. Krita's filters, histogram computation and image recomposion are multi-threaded and make use of multiple cores if available. The effect of filters is previewed on-canvas.

Scripting and recording are works in progress.

File Formats

Krita has support for a variety of file formats. Not all file formats are supported equally well, and for some there is only import, not export. Krita supports metadata for kra, ora, tiff, jpeg and png file formats.

In preparation are support for gif, psd (only up to Photoshop 7) and eps.

Color models

Krita does not support indexed color models. In general, Krita does not support color models without an alpha channel. Krita supports different channel depths, from 8 bits integer to 32 bits floating point per channel.

Layer types

Krita supports the both layers and masks. Masks are associated with a single layer, while layers are grouped in a hierarchy.


There are several types of tools: vector tools, raster tools, guidance tools, canvas tools and selection tools. Note some types of content are not implement as tools but as "shapes" that can be inserted, for instance richt text, text-on-a-path or geometric shapes.

Vector tools

Raster Tools

Canvas Tools

Guidance Tools

Selection Tools

(There is no magnetic outline selection tool at the moment)

Brush engines

Krita is different from other applications in that it supports brush engine plugins. These brush engines are used in the pixel tools to stroke your painting.

In preparation is a brush engine plugin that is compatible with MyPaint's brush definitions.


Krita provides filters that can be used directly, i.e. destructively on the pixels of a layer, when painting, or dynamically as a filter layer or filter mask.

There are more filters available in the krita-plugins project.