I have seen Copy/Paste Layers from one Project to another? on the GIMP forum:
Yes, you make the layer active, and Select>all + Edit>Copy and then in the target image do Edit>Paste as>New layer. But you can also more simply drag the thumbnail of the layer in the Layers list of the source image to the canvas of the target image (in single-window mode, you may have to drag to the tab of the target image).
Copy&paste is the wrong approach to copy layers from one image to another - this will only transfer the layer content, and as you have discovered that isn't the same as a layer or group of layers.
Instead, drag the layer or layer group from the layers dialog of the source image to an image window of the target image. This will keep them intact, including any possible layer parasites (this is important for text layers, for example).
Now, I have three images, opened in Gimp, all of the same size and layout (say, screenshots of a window). I position some text on the first image, which becomes a text layer – and I want this text copied to the second image at the same location.
- There is no specific "copy/paste layer" command in Gimp accessible via menus, so I cannot use that.
- I drag the text layer from the source to the target image, and drop it on the canvas there – but of course, it somehow ends up at the location I released the mouse.
- Now I have to spend extra time clicking re-positioning the text layer.
Is there an equivalent of me just doing: click to copy (text) layer, click to change tab to destination, and click to paste (text) layer in the destination image at the same relative position (as in the source image), and with all the text-layer properties editable?