I'm a reasonably seasoned user of PhotoShop but a newbie to GIMP. I need to take Print Screens and fuse/crop them together to create images that display full views of the pages on a certain site.

To do this I paste the screenshots to GIMP and then try to cut them to size with the Rectangle Select Tool. But whenever I try to draw a selection as I would do in PhotoShop, if I start it when over the print screened image the image moves as if I was using the Move Tool instead. This happens on some other tools like ellipsis selection as well.

With a bit of trying, I noticed I can get it to work while pressing Shift (add to selection). It's really weird though. Is this a bug or a feature?

GIMP version is 2.10

1 Answer 1


It's not a bug, but a difference in behaviour. When you paste in GIMP, unlike Photoshop, it creates a floating selection layer. Open the layers panel and you will see it. You need to promote the floating selection to a proper layer. To do that hit the new layer icon (in the layers panel) directly after pasting or press Shift+Ctrl+N. Now the selection tools will work as expected.

You can also skip the floating selection behaviour by using Edit > Paste as > New Layer

  • Thank you. I saw that what I pasted was floating, but didn't realize this was GIMP's normal behavior and not me fudging up somewhere. Is there a reason why pasted content initially turns into a float layer?
    – Rettomus
    Nov 19, 2019 at 13:57
  • It's a kind of legacy behaviour from the early days of image editing software before layer support appeared. You can actually use a floating selection to move content in an image without using layers.
    – Billy Kerr
    Nov 19, 2019 at 17:28

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