To be clear, I have a selection and I want to move its content, the content from multiple layers. I know In my version of GIMP that I can't actually select multiple layers, but I can chain and group them. I tried ctrl-alt-clicking in both cases, but the selection content didn't move. I also tried floating the selection, but that didn't work presumably because GIMP only allows one floated layer at a time. The only thing I've succeeded in is moving the entire layers together, but I only want the selection area moved.

I've been scraping Google for a while now and haven't found anything. Plenty of tips on how to group and chain but nothing on moving content of selections within them.

I'm using GIMP 2.8.18 on Windows 7. I'm not opposed to upgrading GIMP version or installing a plugin if necessary. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  • Is your content on different layers?
    – Billy Kerr
    Mar 18, 2020 at 14:54

1 Answer 1


No easy solution. I would do it that way (assuming that all layers already have an alpha channel) with some existing scripts:

  1. Create the selection
  2. Duplicate the image (Image>Duplicate)
  3. In the duplicate, Select>Invert and delete the selection on all layers using the clear-layers script.
  4. (if needed) delete the selection in the source image with the same script.
  5. If need, import one layer from the source image to the duplicate to be used as a reference (drag from the Layers list of the initial to the canvas of the duplicate)
  6. Chain-link all layers in the duplicate (except the reference one)
  7. Position the layers with the Move tool.
  8. Resize all layers to fit the canvas (for instance using the ofn-layers-to-image-size script)
  9. Remove or hide the reference layer in the duplicate
  10. Back to the initial image, use the ofn-interleave-layers script to merge the layers of the duplicate image back in the layers of the initial image (this creates a third image).

The three scripts:

  • clear-layers
  • ofn-layers-to-image-size
  • ofn-interleave-layers

are available here

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