KanvasBuddy - a Minimalist Toolbar

KanvasBuddy 0.4.1

A minimalist toolbar for Krita

KB Main

What is KanvasBuddy?

KanvasBuddy is a Python plugin made for Krita, a free professional and open-source painting program. KB is a small dialog that floats on top of the canvas packed with enough features to let you spend as much time in Canvas-Only mode as possible. The idea behind KB was to provide the 20% of tools used 80% of the time in the most out-of-the-way GUI possible. Its features are very similar to that of Krita’s own Pop-Up Palette, but tries to be more space efficient by showing features more selectively.

KanvasBuddy features:

  • A wide selection of Krita’s dockers. Right there when you want them, then hidden away when not in use!
  • Slider controls for the opacity, size and flow of brush presets. Specific values can also be entered by simply typing.
  • Quick buttons for toggling Canvas-Only Mode, Mirror Canvas and Reset Zoom, and more.

KB Main Size Comparison Maxed Out

New in version 0.4.1

  • This is mainly a small patch to ensure compatibility with newer versions of Krita. The developers patched a bug in the Krita API and KanvasBuddy follows suit!
  • Pinned Panel Mode: prevent KanvasBuddy from switching back to the main panel automatically when you click on Krita’s canvas. Enable this by clicking the tiny thumbtack in the title bar. (Credit to nickgeneratorfailed over at Krita-Artists for the suggestion)

Who is KanvasBuddy for?

KB is best suited to someone who’s already well-versed in Krita’s shortcut commands. The plugin isn’t meant to replace the entirety of Krita’s UI, just the most essential features needed to be able to work in Canvas-Only mode.

Download & Installation


Open the KanvasBuddy-0-4-1.zip archive and place the kanvasbuddy.desktop file and the kanvasbuddy (all lower case) folder in the pykrita directory, et voilà! Installed! Alternatively, open Krita and go to Tools -> Scripts -> Import Python Plugins… and select the KanvasBuddy-0-4-1.zip archive and let the software handle it.

To enable KB go to Settings -> Configure Krita… -> Python Plugin Manager and click the checkbox to the left of the field that says KanvasBuddy . When you want to launch KB, simply go to Tools -> Scripts and select KanvasBuddy . Please note that KanvasBuddy requires you to have an open document to work.

If you want to assign a keyboard shortcut to launch KB you first need to download the kanvasbuddy.action file. Go to your resource folder (In Krita, go to Settings -> Manage Resources… > Open Resource Folder ) and create a folder called actions . Place the kanvasbuddy.action file in the newly created actions folder and restart Krita. You should now be able to find KanvasBuddy in the shortcut list when you go to Settings -> Configure Krita… -> Keyboard Shortcuts .

Happy painting! :slight_smile:

Known issues

  • KB can’t borrow the Tool Options docker if it’s set to be in Krita’s tool bar.
  • People have experienced issues with the plugin on Linux. I have personally tested the plugin on several distros (Manjaro, elementary, Fedora, to name a few) without any issues, and so it’s been hard for me to do any troubleshooting. I’m eager to hear from anyone who experienced issues and was able to come up with fixes for them!
  • KB features virtually no crash handling. Should KB crash you might need to restart Krita in order for KB to work again.
  • Sliders and values doesn’t synchronize properly between KB and Krita due to limitations in the API. This is only a visual error and does not affect functionality.

Disclaimer: this plugin has been developed by someone better described as a ‘code bodger’ rather than a programmer. Beware of spaghetti. The plugin works well for me personally, but unfortunately I can’t guarantee it’ll work well for people on other systems or machines.


KanvasBuddy is released under the GNU General Public License (version 3 or any later version).

KanvasBuddy is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or any later version.

KanvasBuddy is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

You should receive a copy of the GNU General Public License along with KanvasBuddy. If not, see https://www.gnu.org/licenses/.

Long story short: you’re free to download, modify as well as redistribute KB as long as this ability is preserved and you give contributors proper credit. This is the same license under which Krita is released, ensuring compatibility between the two.


This is wonderful

thank you for sharing it here.


KanvasBuddy has been updated from 0.1 to 0.2.


I really like the complement, but it seems that something does not work. I am in Manjaro KDE. I also wrote in the KDE-Krita forum about the same thing, but I still haven’t had an answer.


I am very interested in making it work! Thank you!

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I’ve replied to your post on the Krita forums :slight_smile:

As a user, it is very important for me to be in canvas only mode.
So much dockers I only want to see when I use them, and under my mouse pointer, not at the edge of the screen.
I kinda got what I want with the popups Krita provides, but there is one I miss, it’s a layer popup…


Question feedback: Why can’t I use my shortcuts in the kancasbuddy interface

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That’s true.
I usually manage to avoid going out the canvas only mode by picking the layer on click ( r ), custom shortcuts for fast group, hiding, duplicating, alpha switch, going up/down and moving the layer up/down, but sometimes i have to see what layers I have.


Same for me! Those shortcuts are a lifesaver.
I use tab to go from hide to show dockers to reach the layers. But I still have to reach for the edge of the screen and all…


Really cool! I’m loving using this thing for when I’m sitting weird and put my laptop in tablet mode :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

I’d really love to see a button on the toolbar for saving. You gave the source, so I can try making that once I get some time!

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It’s something I’ve been getting frustrated with myself, and I’ll be looking into that soon!

KanvasBuddy is a separate dialog from Krita’s main window, so when KB is focused it “eats” the shortcut commands when they really should be passed on. I’m not sure how to work around it just yet, but I hope to get some guidance from Krita’s devs!

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This plug-in is already great!I hope it gets better and better

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I’m happy to announce the release of KanvasBuddy 0.3!

Changelog is found in the original post. Happy Holidays everyone!

(Thanks to Wolthera for helping me update the OP)

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I have tried it in my real installation of Manjaro and it works perfectly. Thank you! :+1:


I just installed it. It’s pretty good! :ok_hand:


I’m happy to announce the release of KanvasBuddy 0.4!

This is a pretty big update, so things are bound to break :stuck_out_tongue:

Changelog is found in the initial post. Happy painting!

(Thanks to tiar for helping me update the OP)


Downloaded the new update and it’s great! Though I’m struggling to add the docks I want to add (the ones mentioned in the cogfig.ini file). I tried editing the cogfig.ini file, but Krita didn’t seem to receive it. Does anyone have tips? I might have missed something :sweat_smile:.

How are you editing the config file?
All you should have to do is change the 0s to 1s and reopen the plugin :slightly_smiling_face:

I opened the file, change the 0s to 1s, and saved it. After that, I restarted Krita. I tried doing it several times, but I still couldn’t do it right.