Graphic Design Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for Graphic Design professionals, students, and enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I'd like to directly set (i.e. type in actual coordinates of) the position of my layer in the image, like you can with the selection box:

Directly set selection box position

(Not the size, but that would also be cool)

Is this possible? Thanks

share|improve this question
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Well, I was hoping to come here to find a better solution than the one I had used originally, but the way I usually do it is to use the rectangular marquee tool, along with a cut/paste of the layer I want to move. Basically, I follow these steps:

  1. Cut the entire layer I want to move to an exact position.
  2. Make an approximate rectangular marquee (doesn't matter how much bigger/smaller it is than the thing you want to place somewhere, we can set the width and height).
  3. Set the x and y position of the marquee to the position I want to place the layer.
  4. Set the width and height of the marquee to the width and height of the layer I just cut. (sometimes I have guide layers, and used a rectangular marquee that was precisely the size of the layer I wanted to move, to begin with, so you may not always need this step).
  5. Paste the layer, and convert the pasted item to a layer. It should now be in the precise position I wanted it to be.

Again, I wish there were a simpler way, but this way is the most accurate and reliable, and the least time-consuming, AFAIK.

share|improve this answer
I would argue that the alignment tool (with alignment relative to image, and then select the layer and distribute top with the offset set to the desired vertical coordinate, and then distribute left after changing offset to the desired horizontal coordinate) is simpler then cutting, creating a rectangle, and pasting into it, but both are unnecessarily complicated. I do wish "move" just had text boxes that you could type coordinates into. Usually I move it by hand, keeping an on the information bar. – AmeliaBR Jan 19 '14 at 21:10
That's actually a really good idea! Much better than what I'd worked with. Obviously still not as good as simply entering the position you want with the move tool, but still! Thanks! – Gurgadurgen Jan 31 '14 at 19:18

I was looking for an answer to this, which is why I came upon this question. The closest solution I could find is this:

Click on the top ruler and drag down a guide to the Y coordinate you want.

Click on the left ruler and drag right a guide to the X coordinate you want.

Use the move tool to drag the layer to the approximate position you want it. It will snap to the rulers.

share|improve this answer
This is definitively the way to do it, it makes you follow good practices of design... just read these in a design book :P – toto_tico May 16 '13 at 4:55

You can't. Sorry :) GIMP simply doesn't have controls for that.

share|improve this answer
oh well... hopefully 2.8 will have this :) – Aralox Apr 2 '12 at 0:39
It will not, sorry :) – Alexandre Prokoudine Apr 19 '12 at 3:12
It is not possible in GIMP to manually specify the position of a layer? Similar question here:… – SabreWolfy Dec 2 '12 at 9:00

OK this is a bit of a hacky way of going about it, but it gets pixel-perfect positioning. I had a layer that was 30px by 30px and I wanted to add it at 500,500 in a larger image. I made a new transparent image, sized at 530px by 530px; pasted my small layer into it and then used the Align tool to position it at bottom-right. I then pasted this 530px by 530px layer onto my original large image and used Align to position it at top-left... :o)

share|improve this answer

Have you tried the Move Tool, or Alignment Tool? From the Move Tool select "Move the active layer" and drag your layer where ever you want.

share|improve this answer
I did indeed try the move tool, but it doesnt allow me to type in exactly what position i'd like the layer to be at. The alignment tool does have an offset value though, and thats probably the closest ive gotten to a solution so far - thanks :) ill wait a little while before I mark this as answered, just in case there is actually a proper way to do it – Aralox Apr 1 '12 at 4:37
Oh, I thought you wanted to move it by hand. – Connor Apr 1 '12 at 14:29

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.