Sometimes, I'll have several layers on an image and I want to crop one of them. NOT resize it, crop it. Every technique I've tried simply crops EVERYTHING, not just the layer I'm working on. I have to delete the layer, crop the original image that it's from, then re-paste it into what I'm working on. I'd also like know how to rotate a layer without rotating everything else in the entire image.

  • Have you tried making a selection then click Layer > Crop to selection?
    – Billy Kerr
    Oct 15, 2019 at 17:57
  • 2
    I'm not a GIMP user, but in most raster editing applications you don't "crop a layer" -- You select what you want removed from the layer and the delete it from the layer. "Cropping" only refers to the entire document, not individual layers.
    – Scott
    Oct 15, 2019 at 19:03
  • @Scott Not the same thing. What you describe fills the layer with transparency but it keeps it size. The crop resizes it.
    – xenoid
    Oct 15, 2019 at 22:07
  • I know. Layers don't typically have sizes which are independent of the document. All layers in a document have the document size.
    – Scott
    Oct 15, 2019 at 23:12
  • @Scott, in GIMP you can crop a layer to have a size that is not dependent on the document size. So, in this regard GIMP is different from Photoshop and others.
    – Billy Kerr
    Oct 16, 2019 at 12:10

2 Answers 2


Let us assume you had selected a layer as an active layer which can easily be done using the layers menu:

enter image description here

This makes the ants yellow to indicate the active layer

enter image description here

If you then want to crop just this active layer make sure you had ticked the "current layer only" box in the crop tool menu

enter image description here

Now, when you apply the crop tool a new active layer will be created as cropped from the previous active layer:

enter image description here enter image description here

To crop a selection from a layer choose Layer > Crop to selection from the top menu.

  • This can also be done by making an ordinary selection (e.g. with the rectangle select tool), then clicking Layer > Crop to Selection
    – Billy Kerr
    Oct 16, 2019 at 12:58
  • @BillyKerr: cool - thanks for that! Even after years Gimp still surprises me with things that of course can be done.
    – Takkat
    Oct 16, 2019 at 16:38
  • Thanks, I will try this! Oct 23, 2019 at 18:03

I'd also like know how to rotate a layer without rotating everything else in the entire image.

Use the Rotate tool for intereactive editing:

enter image description here

Or use Layer>Transform>Arbitrary rotation if you know exactly what you want to do.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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