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I create simple example and try scale yellow rectangle:

Gimp Scaling Canvas

The yellow rectangle is obtained by duplicating the green. Moved and filled with pattern..

When I press the Shift+S (Scale), I expect that scaling will be from center of this rectangle, but in my case center of scaling start from a center of canvas rectangle. How to scale with ignoring transparent part of canvas? Something like here:

Gimp Scaling Object

Or if this isn't Gimp's case behavior please recommend right way for Gimp.

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Scaling a layer applies to the layer, because in the general case Gimp cannot figure out the "important" pixels of the layer.

However, layers don't need to be as big as the canvas, and can be just big enough to fit their effective contents (this is the case for text layers, for instance). So you can either:

  • use the Crop tool (using the Current layer only tool option) to crop the layer
  • make a selection and use Layer>Crop to selection
  • crop the layer automatically, using Layer>Autocrop layer (Gimp 2.8) or Layer>Crop to content (Gimp 2.10)

Once the layer is cropped the Scale tool will behave as you expect.

If you need later to make the layer as big as the canvas again, your can use Layer>Layer to image size.

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