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looking for a way to perform an operation that works so beautifully in photoshop;

  1. on an 8x10 canvas (with content), deselect everything
  2. expand to 9x10 canvas so that content is at bottom (already did this)
  3. select a rectangle 1 inch high by 10 inches wide
  4. copy/move the selection to the top of the new 9x10 canvas

Action 4 simply does not work no matter what i try.

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  • Hi. Welcome to GDSE. Can you share an example image showing what you are trying to achieve or what has failed? A picture is worth a thousand words! Thanks. – Billy Kerr Jan 15 '20 at 16:32
  • Tell the truth, all I really want to do is deselect everything and just select a new rectangle and duplicate it and move it. I'd even be happy if all I did was deselect everything. I've used Photoshop for so many years that I think everything works that way! – Andrew Edwards Jan 17 '20 at 16:23
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Once you have done a rectangle selection (and are still in the selection tool, you can Alt-Control-drag the selection. Note that:

  1. this is a Cut, not a Copy
  2. this create a "floating selection", you have to anchor it (Ctrl-H) when you have set its position.
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  • Thanks for your help! I do need to make the selection a duplicate. . .and move it. – Andrew Edwards Jan 17 '20 at 16:24
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GIMP is different from Photoshop, but also similar in many ways. One of these differences is its behaviour when you copy and paste. Pay particular attention to step 3 below - it's different from Photoshop!

Try this:

  1. Make a selection

  2. Copy Ctrl+C, then Paste Ctrl+V

  3. In the layers panel hit the New Layer icon to anchor the floating selection to its own layer, or alternatively click Layer > To New Layer Shift+Ctrl+N

  4. Move it with the Move Tool M

Note: Use Command (for Mac) instead of Ctrl (for Windows/Linux)

If you are wondering about the "floating selection" behaviour, there was a time Photoshop had similar behaviour, way back before it had support for layers, but it no longer exists in Photoshop. It still exists in GIMP, and can in fact be used to move stuff around without using layers - a hangover from the early days of image editing software if you like.

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  • Thank you! Still wondering how to make selections non-selected. This seems especially over-difficult in gimp. – Andrew Edwards Jan 18 '20 at 17:59
  • From the main menu you can click Select > None or use the shortcut: Shift+Command+A – Billy Kerr Jan 18 '20 at 20:46
  • Thanks--I have done that but I cannot get rid of the "selection box" that persists around the edge of the entire image. That's what seems so obviously wrong to me. . .I cannot deselect it. – Andrew Edwards Jan 20 '20 at 16:39
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    It sounds like you are talking about the layer boundary, which shows up around an image. It's not really there, and it's not a selection.. You can just ignore it. When you export your final image it will be gone. If you want, you can switch it off in GIMP, but there's no point really. Click View, and uncheck Show Layer Boundary. – Billy Kerr Jan 20 '20 at 16:46
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    You can't do anything in that space because the layer does not extend into these areas - essentially there are no pixels there to edit. The Layer Boundary shows the extent of the layer. To fix it click Layer > Layer to image size. This is really turning into a completely different question from the one you originally asked. If you still don't understand this, probably best to ask it as new question. – Billy Kerr Jan 24 '20 at 0:47

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