First off, I'm not sure if this is even possible but considering how long Photoshop has been around and how "powerful" it is, I don't see why I can't. I'm trying to edit sprite sheets with graphics that have lots of transparency on them. I want to move a selection without having the marquee crop itself around image. So for example, if I have a 10x10 pixel image and I select it with a 20x20 pixel marquee, I want to move that selection as the 20*20 box. However, photoshop will automatically crop the selection to 10x10 where pixels/image is present. I need to move the selection as a selection, "empty" pixels and all. How can I do this? Is it even possible?

  • I don't need to transform the selection. I can do that fairly easily. I need to move the selection, with pixels selected, as a whole instead of when I hit nudge or try to move via the mouse, having the selection crop itself to only where pixels are present. Again, I need to select something, with transparency, and move that entire selection as I originally selected it, not as photoshop wants to redefine said selection based on where pixels are or are not. Commented Nov 29, 2022 at 23:27
  • So you want both pixels and any transparency to actually be part of the selection. Is that correct?
    – Scott
    Commented Nov 29, 2022 at 23:53

2 Answers 2


With an active selection, choose Select > Transform Selection.

This will allow you to move, or otherwise transform, the selection without it referencing any underling pixels. In other words, it won't auto-clip to any pixels if you move it via the Transform Selection command.

I actually added a keyboard shortcut for the menu item via Edit > Keyboard Shortcuts because I use it so frequently.


So, you are not going to move only the selection. Your selected area contains some transparent pixels and also some opaque pixels. You want to move at the same time the selection marquee and all pixels - transparent or not - inside it. Especially you want to keep the dimensions of the selection intact, it only moves along the moved pixels.

Have a dummy layer. After making your selection marquee fill the selection in the dummy layer. Select in the layers panel at the same time the actual content layer and the dummy layer. Now you can move the content, filled dummy and the selection at the same time without losing the dimensions of the selection.

I guess you already know that anti-aliasing must be turned off in all tools when making pixel art.

  • I think I tried that earlier but was unable to get the "dummy" layer to work or something. I have preset patterns so that I can make grids so I just made a grid and set the marquee tool to select by size, now I can select things and move them a specific number of pixels based on where they were on the grid. I would've upvoted your answer because it is what I asked, but I cant. Thanks for the help! Commented Nov 30, 2022 at 1:55

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