I am trying to scale images without scaling layers. I tackled the problem of scaling down the images by selecting the largest visible layer and the cropping the image to that layer. This way none of the layers are scaled down, just the image is scaled.

I am unable to scale up the image independently of the layers. The standard option Image>>Scale Image, as you must have guessed, scales the layers too.

  • Wish I could do the opposite lol. Completely lost with the new Gimp :)
    – James P.
    Commented Jun 3, 2016 at 16:15

2 Answers 2


What you want to do is scale the canvas size.

  1. Choose Image > Canvas Size and enter the new size of the canvas, making it larger than the current size.

  2. Press the Center button if you want the layers centred in the new image, otherwise they'll be at the top left.

More information about the Canvas Size dialog.

(Note: this feature is exactly the same in Photoshop: Image > Canvas Size.)

  • 1
    Good answer... I had almost finished writing something very similar when yours popped up. Another good use of the canvas size feature is to "crop" an image while still preserving the surrounding content, thus allowing it to be moved around.
    – Drakel
    Commented Nov 21, 2012 at 4:16
  • Thanks a lot for the answer, esp. Center button. Commented Nov 21, 2012 at 6:35

Now you can use "Scale Tool" directly.

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