Skip to content

Tool: Tile Set / Tile Map Preview Plugin for GIMP

You are here:
Estimated reading time: 1 min

Tilemap Helper: Gimp Plug-in for Optimizing Tile Maps and Tile Sets

NOTE: The current version is rough around the edges. It needs improvement and refactoring of the source. That may come in time. For now, consider it a mostly working beta…

A GIMP plugin to help with creating tile maps and tile sets for games.

You can create a level map in Gimp (or other image editors) and use this plugin to help with tile de-duplication and tile set optimizing.

This plugin is not meant to replace tile set and map editors. Instead it aims to provide quick, in-workflow feedback without having to leave GIMP to analyze tiles in another application.

Download compiled executables here:

Plugin showing tile map helper with an image open


  • Optional Tile deduplication
  • Overlay of Tile ID # on source image
  • Click-to-highlight matching tiles on source image
  • Estimates of memory usage for storing Tile Set and Map
  • Use either Source Layer or Entire Image
  • Variable Tile size
  • Tile X/Y Flipping detection
  • Export Tile Set as image -> new GIMP image
  • Export Tile Map as text -> Clipboard (C array, RGBDS ASM)
  • Works with indexed and 24 bit RGB images (including alpha masks)

OS binaries available for:

  • Linux (GIMP 2.8+)
  • Windows (GIMP 2.10.12+)


  • The plugin is located under: Main Menu -> Filters -> Map -> Tilemap Helper

Quick instructions:

Native compile/install on Linux using below.

If GIMP & build tools not yet installed:
(example for debian/ubuntu/mint)
 * sudo apt install gimp
 * sudo apt install build-essential
 * sudo apt install libgimp2.0-dev
* cd gimp-rom-bin
* make

Then copy the resulting "plugin-gimp-tilemap-helper" to your GIMP plugin folder, depends on version

Plug-in folder locations:
 Linux: ~/.gimp-2.8/plug-ins  , or ~/.config/GIMP/2.10/plug-ins
 Windows: C:\Program Files\GIMP 2\lib\gimp\2.0\plug-ins

Guide forĀ Cross-compiling to Windows on Linux


Known limitations & Issues:

  • Max number of tiles: 8096
  • The Source Image or Layer must be an exact multiple of tile size in both dimensions
  • Greyscale images are not yet supported. Convert to RGB or indexed first
  • Map export prefix labels are saved to images as GimpParasites, so only persist across sessions when images are saved in GIMP’s native XCF format
Was this article helpful?
Dislike 0
Views: 5
Back To Top