There's a white colour background in my layer and I want to make it transparent (fully or almost fully. Depends.) to be able to see the image behind the layer. When I fuzzy select, neither cut option nor the delete option works. Only copy-paste. Why?

And also, I want to scale the selection after fuzzy select as well. How to do that?

I did the "to new layer" thing but the white background still stays there as it is, even after cut paste on another file.

  • Hi. Welcome to GDSE. It's kind of hard answering questions where we can't see anything. Can you take a screenshot showing the problem, or what you are trying to do, or what has failed? The first thing that comes to mind is that the background layer has no alpha channel. Try right clicking it in the layers panel and choose, add alpha channel. Now try using the fuzzy select, and then delete. This is just a guess though.
    – Billy Kerr
    Jan 7 at 19:18
  • Also you can delete or hide layers in GIMP in the layers panel. You might not actually need to make any selection using any tool. Hard to tell without seeing anything.
    – Billy Kerr
    Jan 7 at 19:27

1 Answer 1


To have transparency you need an "alpha channel", which is a fourth channel (besides the three R/G/B channels) that indicates how opaque is a pixel (like the Red channel tells how red it is). When you load an image from a JPG, Gimp assumes that you will export back to JPG (which is a format that doesn't support transparency) so it doesn't enable transparency by default on that initial layers (but other layers will have an alpha channel). But you can always add an alpha channel with Layer > Transparency > Add alpha channel. You can spot layers without an alpha channel because their name is in boldface in the layers list:

enter image description here

To scale the selection, just use the Scale tool. However, when you scale a selection, the result is a temporary layer called "Floating selection". You can do further transforms (such as rotate or move), but eventually you have to do one of two things with it

  • merge it back to its source layer: Layer > Anchor layer (or Ctrl-H)
  • make it a plain layer: Layer> To new layer (or Ctrl-Shift-N). This is usually a better solution, because you can later do things (change colors, or move again, etc...) without having to redo selections.

There are also buttons in the layers list dialog for these actions:

enter image description here

When you have a Floating selection up, many actions are disabled, so you have to do one of these before you continue editing the image.

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