So, I'll make my best effort in explaining the behaviour I am seeing in Gimp so you can understand what's what I'm looking for.

Let's say I have a canvas of 800x600 and I create a new layer and paste an image that's 1024x800 ( or if it's smaller I transform its size so it ends up that size ), with the key here being that I end up having a layer whose content is bigger than the Canvas.

Now, I select a circle right in the middle of the layer, then I inverse the selection and I delete the selected part.

I'll end up with a circle of part of the image. The thing is, NOT everything got deleted, the parts of the image that were not visible ( which were "outside" of the canvas ) did not get deleted. If I move the layer down, I can see a border whose thickness is the difference between the image size and the canvas.

Why does this happen and can I avoid it?

Note - I know my description of the issue is convoluted, but I can't really make a GIF about this issue since I don't have the appropriate apps for doing so at work now.

Apologies for that

  • 1
    Have you tried cropping the image before you do the circle selection and delete?
    – Billy Kerr
    Jan 4 '19 at 9:56

The selection is always clipped to the canvas (ie, the part that is visible).

You can either enlarge the canvas to fit the layers (Image>Fit canvas to layers), or crop the larger layer to its visible part (Layer>Layer to image size).


There is two different sizes in image: visible layout and object. For example, your layout can be 4x4px and object inside it 40x40px.

Try this:

  1. Select all
  2. In top menu ImageCrop to Selection

I think that for your purposes it's better to use masks. It's more effective https://www.gimp.org/tutorials/Layer_Masks/

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