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I've selected the below area in my image. I then switch to the move tool, but when I drag around the selection, the pixels that it had encompassed do not move with it. Would be great to know what I'm doing wrong :)

Thank you in advance.

enter image description here

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could your layer be locked? – Darth_Vader Jun 20 '13 at 17:45

The Rectangular Marquee Tool (M) strictly selects and area. With the Marquee tool still selected, clicking and dragging will move the marquee around without influencing any pixels.

If you want to move the selected pixels with the selection you must make sure you have the Move Tool (V) selected. Then simply click-and-drag the area around to move the selected pixels.

If for some reason the area still won't move it may be because you do not have the proper layer selected or perhaps you have multiple layers selected. Also ensure that your layer is not a text-based or smart object layer.


In reply to your comment:

That is correct. You cannot move the selected pixels across multiple layers much like you can't paint on multiple layers simultaneously. Your alternatives would be to merge your layers (I'd back-up my non-merged layers first). Another method is you make your selection then go to Select > Save Selection.... Once your selection is saved you can use it to move one layer, then you may load the selection by going to Select > Load Selection... and then moving the other layer, etc.

I'm not familiar with other methods, though there may be other ones. It may also be possible to write a custom script that allows dragging selections across multiple layers.

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Yes, I think it was because I didn't have any layers selected. I didn't realize this was necessary in order to move the pixels, as I thought the selection tool would "make active" pixels in any layers it encompassed? But I guess not. So, it will only move the selected pixels in whichever layers have been selected, is that right? – zakgottlieb Jun 21 '13 at 7:47
Check my edit I wrote in reply to your comment. – Johannes Jun 21 '13 at 15:41

Presumably you don't have the Move Tool active. If you have, say, one of the Marquee Tools active then the selection will be moved around. Switch to the Move Tool to shuffle the selection of pixels around

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3 Questions that may or may not help us to expand on the problem:

  • Have you got the layer selected?

  • Is the layer locked as a background?

  • Have you rasterised the layer?

I will improve or delete this answer as the situation progresses.

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Thank you for this. Please see comment above :) – zakgottlieb Jun 21 '13 at 7:48

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