TLDR: When I use the marquee tool to select a box around layer and then move it with the move tool, the selection box shrinks to surround the populated region of the layer. Is there a way to keep the selection box's dimensions, instead of it shrinking on move?

Here's my situation: I have a uniform spritesheet made up of 30+ layers. I need to adjust different sprites in the sheet to different areas, but because the movement isn't uniform I need to do it sprite-by-sprite, layer-by-layer. I would save hours if I could just select a region and move the objects inside the region layer-by-layer, but because moving a selection with transparency shrinks the selection region to the populated areas, I have to reselect every time I switch layers. Any way to avoid the selection box shrinkage?

  • 3
    Can you add a temporary layer which contains a shape the defines size you need selected?
    – Scott
    Jul 3, 2013 at 1:18
  • extending scott's comment, make a hidden layer with a black rectangle (or other shape) for each region you will need, and ctrl+click the layer the quickly recall that selection region. You can store these masks within groups for the sprite(s) you are working on.
    – horatio
    Oct 1, 2013 at 21:18

2 Answers 2


Not a perfect solution, but I was interested in this so I tried to think of some creative alternatives. Here's the best one I found:

Selected Fixed Size under rectangular marquee and select the size of your region.

Now simply click M to select Rectangular Marquee and then click on the canvas to instant create a selected region and the V to go back to the move tool (Note: Holding CTRL and dragging a selection while on the rectangular marquee tool will also move it as if you were using the move tool). This should speed up your process up quite bit.

enter image description here

Another thing you might try is creating guides where the sprites are/will be. Selections have the ability to snap to guides too which may help.


When you are switch to the move tool- look at the top of your screen- do you have "auto-select" checked? if so, check to see if you have "layer" or "group" chosen, and toggle those to see if you get the results you want.

I played around with this a little bit and what is selected seems to vary depending on what options have been chosen.

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